Philip Blond (2010) Red Tory

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Philip Blond (2010) Red Tory

Postby Andrea on Wed May 12, 2010 12:36 pm

I've been following this guy very closely (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=182&p=2297&hilit=blond#p2297 ). in a recent reportage within the Financial Times he was even referred to as "David Cameron's philosopher king" ( http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/f1183a86-41e5 ... abdc0.html ). However, whether the new government will adopt any of Blond's radical policies is something I very much doubt.

Anyway, "Red Tory" ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Tory-Right- ... 0571251676 ) makes for a fascinating read. He's at his best demolishing both the left (for its authoritative statist centralisation) and the right (for its blind faith in corporations and the corrupt understanding of free markets). His practical alternatives based on grassroots cooperative localisation are clearly appealing from a systemic perspective, and he finally does come out of the system's closet from page 250 onwards (quoting Senge, Ackoff and Seddon). However, he does pander too much towards a white Christian audience for my tastes.

For me, a barometer for the success, or failure, of this government will be how closely Blond will be involved in guiding policy. Keep a very keen eye out for this guy!
esse sequitur operari
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Re: Philip Blond (2010) Red Tory

Postby Selwyn157 on Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:43 pm

I cant agree enough, I picked this volume up at Waterstones the same day I bought systems thinking a primer, coming from a deeply embedded socialist South Wales Valley community this was like leaving a bacon sandwich in the pew of a Synagogue having this lying around my house, - my Brother in law and father in law are very frequent visitors and its a case of " what are you reading now Sel - Oh , I'll have a gander at that after you ! mitigated of course by a box of books they have read and pass on to me - Once the Title was spotted it was like a red rag to a bull, given that the Lib dems were very active in Merthyr at that time also - on the run upto the election Some very lively discussions during some warm weather interspersed with frequent Beers !

It says it all that :-
1. I didnt even get a chance to finish it - it was spirited away - justification offered was but you've 3 books on the go anyway...
2. I await its return - or a ransom note !

Also there is a letter in this weeks Merthyr Express entitled "where are you my Friend now? " aimed at our local Lib Dem candidate who ran a very close 2nd to the incumbent Labour MP - slashing his Majority to some 4,000 votes from over 20,000, this poingiant missive bemoans the fact that a lot of traditional labour voters voted for the Lib Dem message for change and were effectively sold down the river by the LibDem leadership. as stated it remains to be seen how much further this government is swayed by lib dem pressure.

regards

Selwyn
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Re: Philip Blond (2010) Red Tory

Postby Andrea on Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:15 pm

The fascinating thing about Philip Blond's book is that he is equally scathing of the Left and the Right. Both provide extreme, and diametrically opposite, views of human nature, which in turn, justify their paternalistic approach to governance. Blond, on the other hand, believes that empowered communities will eventually be able to figure themselves out of the mess they are in. A view that I think is shared by Eric Beinhocker, although the latter's focus is more on empowering small and nimble enterprises. Both books share a strong non-hierarchical narrative that frees people to do their own experimenting and deciding. So, Selwyn, you may very well have to do some community-based systems teaching to your relatives to avoid them from jumping onto simplistic conclusions ;)
esse sequitur operari
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Re: Philip Blond (2010) Red Tory

Postby Andrea on Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:50 am

The summary of the latest report from Philip Blond to have caught the public's attention-- http://www.respublica.org.uk/articles/ownership-state - is screaming with ideas that I think originate from a systems approach:

Engaging providers and recipients multiplies the effect of individual action and changes group behaviour and social outcome.


empowered staff are better at cutting costs and correcting failure than those managed by command-and-control methods.


Trying to achieve true engagement in existing structures invariably feels like a partial fix in an otherwise hopelessly compromised system. Frontline leadership is a scarce commodity in large multidisciplinary organisations with centralised cost control and management by target. User involvement often becomes not cocreation but the choreographed rubberstamping of top-down decision making.


The new civil company would be structured as a social enterprise, with the scope and flexibility to allow a number of different governance structures in the light of local conditions.


Is it just me that thinks that this guy is a "systems natural"?
esse sequitur operari
Andrea
 
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Re: Philip Blond (2010) Red Tory

Postby llamagirl on Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:19 am

Having read this book during the early days of the new government, it has really helped me understand the meaning behind the political positioning going on at the moment. Blond's differentiation between society and individualism is a real key point at the moment, which seemingly the present governement are in danger of missing, (take the 'free schools' idea for example). Some of the detail in his interpretation of civil society I'm not sure about, some of it sounds a bit too 'daily mail reader' to me as some of the civil groups he promotes tend to be focussed on quite narrow views, but in principle the idea of a middle layer between the individual and the government seems to have the potential for a more dynamic flow of information and action than our present top down system, and parallels with Beinhocker's suggestion that culture (both social and organisational) shapes the boundaries for social progress.

His ideas on how the public sector should operate do reflect the experiences of both my parents who worked in the public sector (until their recent retirement) in jobs that had direct community contact all their lives. My mum who worked as a community based nurse, felt she was no longer able to do her job anymore as the system actively worked against the relationship between her and the individual families and children she worked with. She would have welcomed the opportunity to be able to work innovatively.
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