How to make sense of the desire to ‘Take Back Control’

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I’m now reading Paul Colliers outstanding book ‘The Future of Capitalism’ (Of which more anon). Tomorrow’s Company would recognise his ideas on the ownership and leadership and stewardship (though he doesn’t use that word) of business as close to our agenda of 24 years.


What’s fresh in the book is his critique of the distortion of values that has led to the new divide between a metropolitan professional and London- based elite and the ‘broken cities’ outside. And he applies this critique to social policy too. He describes how great initiatives by voluntary organisations that cross all the usual boundaries of community mental health, NHS and education are closed down, although they are saving the taxpayer money and imprint lives, because they don’t fit any of the compartmentalised purposes of existing departments.


In Colliers work I can begin to see the shape of the post Brexit thinking the UK will need if people are to enjoy the substance and not the current illusion of ‘taking back control’.


It is place-based, it channels tax receipts and investment to the places that have lost out through globalization, it crosses departmental boundaries as it restores services to local operations, it balances rights with responsibilities, fairness with fellowship, and it insists that in families, companies, and political policy we need to rediscover human purposes and reinforce relationships.