Oliver Letwin is often mocked for putting things in over-complicated language, for talking about ‘a shift in the theory of the State from a provision-based paradigm to a framework-based paradigm’. But in his interview with the Wall Street Journal Europe, Letwin sums up the Cameron vision for public services with admirable clarity:
‘Hospitals compete for patients, schools compete for pupils, welfare providers compete for results in getting people out of welfare and into work. So we get to the point where it [the public sector] is efficient because it is answering to the people it is serving and not to bureaucracy.’
Tories who are looking for a pithy way to describe the party’s approach to public services on the doorstep could do a lot worse than to use this language.