Published: 6th Feb 2012

Harold Wilson said that he was at his best ‘in a messy, middle of the road muddle’. I think this speaks to many of the ways we actually do policy in England. It might not be perfect, it might not get your heart racing, it ain’t sexy, it’s not ideologically left or right, but at the end of the day, we tend to just muddle through in a messy way. Take for example, the role of the business-led, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs). When the coalition government came into power, they had gusto, an ideological fervour for ‘creative disruption’, a stridency for ‘business knows best’ and getting ‘public sector out of the way’. Thus they got rid of public sector economic development bureaucracy, such as the regional development agencies, replacing them with the local enterprise partnerships. LEPs might not be the best, they are under resourced, they lack legal status and … (To read the full article, subscribe below)