Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mike Denham compares Tesco to the NHS

This is brilliant. It frustrates me when people target Tesco for their anti-capitalist fervour. Supermarkets are held responsible for social trends they are the symptom of. The fall in the numbers of families including a non-working partner who has the time to visit a half-dozen shops is what kills small shops not some misbehaviour by Tesco. While there aren't a lot of different supermarket chains they appear to be competing fiercely.

Mike Denham makes very sensible points about the efficiency of private enterprise like Tesco. He compares this to the NHS. He refrains from arguing that NHS inefficiencies are caused by particular policy mistakes. Instead he identifies the fundamental problems with public services being provided by a centralised state accountable to politicians rather than consumers.

18 Doughty Street need to get better at enabling embedding. Then bloggers can more effectively spread their citizens journalist clips about.


Communication consultant said...

I'm surprised at you. It makes little sense to compare the NHS with Tesco rather than, say, other healthcare systems that are not provided by a centralised state accountable to politicians. Tesco's success is measured in profit and market share. The healthcare system has public policy aims which make conflated analysis of the two markets terribly simplistic.

Matthew Sinclair said...

It is simplistic but it is making a simple point that monitoring by politicians often results in bizarre or non-existent incentives in the public sector. There lots of other examples of this. In LA they improved police complaints procedures and this led to police activity halving over night.

Not every analysis of the NHS needs to be a detailed study of its successes and failures.