Sunday, 19 February 2012

In praise of (the) public service?

I've done my fair share of bashing of the civil service in Ireland - God knows, it's an easy target - but reading Tony Judt reminds me that the goal  must be to improve public service, not replace it.
"If public goods - public services, public spaces, public facilities - are devalued, diminished in the eyes of citizens and replaced by private services available against cash, then we lose the sense that common interests and common needs ought to trump private preferences and individual advantage. And once we cease to value the public over the private, surely we shall come in time to have difficulty seeing just why we should value law (the public good par excellence) over force." 
from "Ill Fares The Land"  by Tony Judt

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