Recommended reading: a piece by local blogger Joe Moran on the Guardian's Comment is Free pages at the beginning of this week (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/22/modernity-public-sector-paradox-management ). Moran refers to the blogging postal worker Roy Mayall & his brilliantly acerbic account of "modernisation" in his workplace. He also delivers a finely concise assesment of "modernisation" & the motives of those behind it:
"Governments are as susceptible to groupthink as professions. And it is worth questioning the argument that all public sector employees, from postal workers to academics, are equally resistant to "change". The leitmotif of the New Labour era has been the unstoppable nature of such change: doing nothing is not an option; we can't stand still or we will roll backwards. Often this is a way of shutting off argument (who on earth would want to roll backwards?) by claiming ownership over the future and insisting this is the only way things can be - in order for markets to be free, the workers must be incentivised and coralled into line."
Whereas New Labour acolytes can only be incentivised by the lure of a few grand a day.