Will Hutton Interviewed about ‘The State We’re In’

Interview with Will Hutton

Will Hutton is the Assistant Editor of the Guardian and author of the economic bestseller The State We’re In. He is credited with being an important influence on New labour.

He responded to an open letter by Michael Morrison published in the last edition of L&TUR (no. 52) A number of comments from New Labour on the subject of stakeholding, some of which were included in the open letter, are printed on the opposite page in order to place the interview in context.

In the week before we talked to Hutton he had received nearly 100 requests to speak or be interviewed. That he found time to speak to what is a small magazine which many others on the Left prefer to ignore is an indication of a commitment to debate which does him much credit. We would like to express our thanks to him for that.

L&TUR – Do you see stakeholding in terms of promoting the welfare of “individuals” rather than as being a social conception?

Hutton – I think that in a sense you can marry the two positions quite easily by saying that if an institutional reconfiguration of the British economy and society did not promote the betterment of individuals then it wouldn’t be much of a reconfiguration. And of course every reform you can think of is about the promotion of individual happiness and individual self-betterment so in that sense I don’t have a problem with it.

Where I have a problem with it is when the reforms are robbed of their intent by trying to cast them in the same language as the Right have used over the last 15 years because that is not actually what the game is about. It is about putting a reform programme to the members of a polity and then it is put in place through legislation and institutional reform and quite a number of chess pieces on the board are moved around in that.

It does mean a challenge to vested interests, it does mean a challenge to concentrations of power in Britain and the end result, if the analysis is right (and I think it is) is a great improvement in individuals’ lives. But the mechanism for that will have been, frankly, an old fashioned reform is left of centre position: a party of the Left reforms the institutions of capitalism to improve the lot of ordinary men and women.

I wasn’t disappointed with the debate in the way that you were and I think the winning of arguments in politics is quite a subtle business. The control of the agenda, the creation of a vocabulary is, in many respects, the first and second thing you have to do before you set up constructing coalitions to achieve that objective.

Some people, who were disappointed that within the space of 48 hours the raising of the word had not been followed up by a kind of radical programme, were living in the world of impossibilism.

L&TUR – The reason why I was disappointed was that the use of the word “stakeholding’’ wasn’t widely accompanied by an awareness of the need to promote institutions which lead to cooperation and an awareness of the tension, which you discuss, between cooperation and competition. A lot of the people who were using the word did not see it as a threat to unfettered markets.

Hutton – Before the famous chapter in my book and Tony B lair’s speech in January I don’t suppose more than 2000 people in the country had a clear idea of what stakeholding meant. I’m certainly more forgiving than others.

The Left lacks a political economy of contemporary capitalism. Old models that it has had in its head don’t work. It is in the process of constructing a model that allows it to produce an analysis which gives it a reformist programme to bind the centre and left together. There are a lot of people who see that process in different terms. That doesn’t mean that isn’t the in direction which they are all headed at various speeds.

I think Peter Mandelson and Roger Liddle’s recent book is within that debate. My own book is. That’s actually what the terms of discourse are within the Labour Party and the Liberal Democratic Party at the moment. There is a yearning for an explicit socialist programme that is clear and unambiguous, rather like after the Second World War. Even then there were huge rifts on the Left about what the construction of socialist economies might mean and it is hardly surprising that there will be a spectrum of views about what a stakeholder society might mean. That doesn’t mean that it is not underpinned by a clear set of values.

If you are asking me would I have liked to have seen some of the ideas I have been developing being pushed more clearly, then the answer, of course, is yes. But if you are asking a more realistic question – was that ever likely, – given where we have got to? – then I think one has to be much more forgiving, tolerant and open. 1 don’t think it helps the centre and the centre-left’s cause to be sectarian and to immediately be suspicious of the good intention and the motives of people who are basically travelling in the same direction,- and much more generosity of spirit is more creative than one which falls back on the old sectarian wrangling.

L&TUR – Some of the reactions to your work in the Tory press have been a bit hysterical and not very generous.

Hutton – [laughs] There is a very interesting article in the recent edition of Prospect by Ferdinand Mount. He argues that the Right have stopped drinking and I drink he is right and they have got themselves onto a very narrow agenda in which any departure from privatisation, free markets and low taxes and a very narrow conception of what The interests of the British middle classes are represents a threat to civilisation as we know

Rightwing newspapers which are in the ascendancy in the British press do patrol this territory with unforgiving and relentless ardour which, when you are a victim of it, makes you realise why the lop of The Labour leadership arc as circumspect as they arc. It’s all very well talking in the bar of a local pub about why isn’t this said and that said. But when you are up there and the victim of it and almost everything you say is produced and misinterpreted it is a very sobering experience, [laughs] Of course The Right are going to react in that way – but I don’t think they have won the argument.

L&TUR – You say “of course the Right are going to react in that way but is it not perfectly possible to separate the interests of the CRI and the interests of the City of London? It shouldn’t necessarily be seen in a right-left framework.

Hutton -1 think That is precisely what is taking place. I Think that is one of The Things That is so interesting. The argument is increasingly between The advocates of a kind of slash and burn shareholder capitalism and The advocates of stakeholder capitalism – and within That socialising and reforming capitalism, which is where The social democratic left has always been.

There are some very interesting allies in That cause. Who would have thought 18 months ago that the CBI would have launched an investigation into corporate governance, City- industry relations, hurdle rates for new investment and short-termism? But they have done it, frankly off the back of “The Stale We’re In” (well, one of the contributory things has been “The Stale We’re In”). Behind the scenes many members of the CBI national council broadly back the arguments I have come up with. However old allegiances to the Conservative Party the very hard.

When Adair Turner made his slight reference to stakeholding the phones were humming at the CBI with members threatening to break off contributions: – “didn’t they realise that the job of the CBI was to support the Conservative Party through thick and thin and never depart from the line”. Adair Turner has been quite brave – just in a subordinate clause in a speech.

And nor is the City itself a homogeneous whole. It’s very interesting. Obviously there are some investment funds which do make a living from churning their portfolio and arbitraging and anticipating bids and deals; and investment banks which make huge fees from mergers and acquisitions where obviously any change to the current situation is the end of civilisation as we know it. On the other hand, some of the mutual insurance companies, some of the bigger pension funds, one or two people on the boards of the clearing banks are quite surprisingly sympathetic to the arguments I have come up with.

The City is leaderless at the moment. The Bank of England no longer secures the universal adherence to the line that it used to – in part because there is no line to adhere to. There are a lot of foreign banks and people in the City who are strong believers in stakeholder capitalism; others who believe in shareholder capitalism – there’s a wide spectrum of interest. There is a coalition to be constructed between the stakeholder capitalists in the City and stakeholder capitalists in industry. It cross-cuts the finance-industry divide.

And yes it is quite surprising how the argument has moved over the last 18 months. I find I have a lot of invitations to speak at regional CBI conferences, regional Chambers of Commerce and, even within the banking community, people arc nothing so hostile to me as they were originally.

The argument is moving, equally, in Conservative circles: the idea that the only approach to the welfare state is to dismantle It and put the onus on self-insurance is also an argument which is not making much progress. It is interesting that people like John Redwood arc anxious to sign up to – express their undying loyally to – the basic institutions of the welfare state.

And so I think, not so much The State We’re In, but the phenomenal! success of the book – it has now sold close to 150,000 copies in just over a year which docs mean it’s the best-selling book on political economy this century (apart from maybe ‘The Affluent Society”) – has meant that a lot of people are thinking that, whatever the imperfections of the book, the fact that it is being bought in such large numbers gives a sense of where the centre of intellectual gravity really is – where the wind is blowing. And so that has led to a lot of people running for cover a bit.

The people who run the Daily Express, Daily Mail, the Telegraphs and the Murdoch broadsheets – that hasn’t come through to them yet. They see themselves as defenders of a middle class interest, who buy their papers, atavistically pro- Conservative, and they arc instinctively hostile to any suggestion that the positions in which we live arc less than perfect; and only imperfect because there is not enough repression. So I am not surprised that they have responded like they have.

But beyond that within civil society I think there is quite an extraordinary movement. I would never have expected to be one of the people asked to speak to the Association of Chief Police Officers. Police officers say there is absolutely no question that the management of the economy – the subsequent impact on social cohesion – and the capacity to maintain public order arc phenomenally interlinked. It’s absolutely crystal clear. The police understand the connections in a way the Tory Right refuse to admit and again this will express itself in a year or two’s time within the discourse in the Conservative Party.

And so I am absolutely clear I think there is a coalition to be built and I think that coalition Is going to hold – despite the best efforts of Michael Heseltine and the Conservative press. I think the very big leads which Blair has got in the opinion polls are going to hold. And I think we will be surprised, as we go into the election period, just how rock solid it is. And that reflects what is happening in civil society. Now that should involve New Labour’s leadership. On the other hand have they got this lead because they have been playing it cautiously or because there arc currents in the civil society desperate to hear the kinds of things which ‘The Suite We’re In” expresses? Now at the moment New Labour arc playing it both ways and throwing a few bones in the direction of the ideas in “The State We’re In” and keeping it cautious and tight – and I think it behoves people in the centre and left of British politics to understand exactly the game that is being played and why. If you were in their position would you play it differently, really, having lost four elections? It’s not a fairy tale world. My job is slightly different from that – I’m free to say and write whatever I like – and I do – but the success of it doesn’t mean that it can be …

L&TUR – I accept that, but I was worried that [New Labour] saying contradictory things [in interpreting the “stakeholding” concept] would confuse the issue. Although I accept there is a need for caution.

Hutton – Again, Stuart Bell, who is the number two to Margaret Beckett at Trade and Industry – there is quite a radical reform of corporate governance there and the outline of a new Company’s Act and he is on record as saying that is going to take place. I think one shouldn’t get too caught up with the idea that there is caution. Almost everything that I – the kind of vision of a stakeholding society that I and others promote – is dependent on substantial reform of company law and finance-industry relations. ‘Hie Labour trade and industry team have got working parties on almost every aspect of it and they and they are moving, sometimes hardly at all, but in all eases they are moving in the direction that I think it is important to move in. So there is always a debate about whether the hour glass is half full or half empty but I have chosen to be generous about it rather than critical about it.

1 just think as a journalist and as an economist you raise hurdles – you say this has got to be jumped over before I can give my endorsement or support to this programme. The typical thing in Britain is to set a fresh set of hurdles. You can see that the Labour Party arc lumbering up to jump these hurdles and it really isn’t very clever to say the whole thing is hopeless and to damn it as hopeless before it has even begun.

L&TUR – One of the points I made in my letter – do you think it is wrong that trade unions should operate within a strict legal framework as established in the 80s but that there isn’t a corresponding one….

Hutton – Well, I said in my review of the Mandelson book, and I’ve said consistently in all my writing that there must be a symmetry of rights and obligations. It is absolutely wrong that all the accent is on the unemployed, or one parent families, or troublemakers in the community. Wherever you want to apply a stakeholder framework you have to make sure that rights are exactly balanced by obligations. What makes me angry is the notion that people who think in stakeholder terms don’t think symmetrically – that exactly the same applies to the directors of large corporations and that their obligations are not to be negotiated and should be imposed with the same rigour as the obligations of people who are regarded as at the bottom end of the of the income and social scale. Unless you do that, unless you have a symmetry of obligations, unless the thing is indivisible, you fall at the first hurdle.

This is where you get into longstanding problems about the Left and capitalist structures – there is an appalling tendency to bow the knee in front of concentrations of power, partly because they are so influential in constructing opinion and actually allowing you to govern. On the other hand I think the moral argument is so strong and I think the lack of confidence from these power concentrations in what they are saying means that there is a unique opportunity here – almost like that after 1945 – and there is a chance to really change the configuration of British capitalism and I think it must be seized.

L&TUR – You mentioned that even John Redwood, even where he stands on the political spectrum, makes clear his commitment to the welfare state. Does the discussion about the Singapore model of welfare concern you?

Hutton – Yes. Mind you, I think the whole Singapore thing has gone of 1 the boil. Chris Smith Hew out there to look at it and has come back rather more salutary than when he went. I don’t think we are in for Provident Funds Singapore-style-compulsory saving on that scale. You don’t have to advocate Singaporean structures of welfare to see that you could construct pensions on a three pillar basis – first pillar: this is absolutely essential – a slate pension which provides a minimum living income. Second component: a personal pension but one which you save for by making regular contributions across the Post Office counter, through a Friendly Society mandated by the Slate or via a Slate fund itself where the charges are explicit, there are no penalties if you can’t pay for three months and you can withdraw the money without vast penalties – that would be the Gold Standard.

Britain’s insurance companies on these matters, have close to a piratical approach. Their concern is not the welfare of the recipients of the pensions but maximisation of short term profits. It really is unbelievable. And the third pillar would be the company pension as it is at the moment. And that seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable approach.

The second pillar shadows what goes on in Singapore but its danger is that it is not redistributive in the way SERPs was. 1 am a great fan of the Barbara Castle negotiated SERPs in the mid-70s and I simply don’t accept that there was a crushing burden on the British taxpayer. Unbelievable propaganda! It was a scheme I would like to get back to. In the current political climate I would settle for an element of mandatory saving through Post Offices and through State mandated Friendly Societies -1 don’t regard that as a sell-out. I think that is quite a reasonable approach to pension provision.

L&TUR – One of the things you campaign for is to argue that the globalisation of capital is overstated. I read Mandelson’s book last week and I wonder do you think the Left is lacking confidence about that? They see global capital as a barrier to any desires they might have.

Hutton – The Mandelson-Liddle book didn’t discuss it much… Well, it was an underlying implicit assumption, I think. I’m not sure whether Roger Liddle in particular would think that. Roger Liddle is a very good man.

The globalisation of finance is plain, it’s obvious, there is a global capital market. There is a threat to stakeholder capitalism from the demands of the capital markets – that’s also clear. But if you ask another question – is production becoming globalised? The evidence is of deglobalisation of capital. So that American multinationals are relocating production to Mexico, Japanese multinationals to the Asia-Pacific littoral and in Europe production is moving to Poland, the Czech Republic, Last Germany and to a lesser extent to the Mediterranean littoral. That’s the process which is taking place. It’s regionalisation rather than globalisation.

What’s paradoxical is that you will see someone like John Redwood say: “globalisation, globalisation, globalisation and in the next breath say you can’t construct Europe because of the different cultures and institutions of contemporary Europe and of course lie’s completely correct – but one of those two statements must be false and the second statement is more correct that the first. What’s striking is the disparate nature of European institutions whether it be the approach to a professional army through to the baccalaureate, through to the negotiating rights of trade unions, the funding of pensions, to the structure of home ownership – these things arc so disparate. Rates of return have diverged not converged, savings and investment ratios have diverged not converged. I think you can make a fairly good case, leaving aside globalisation of finance, for deglobalisation. And I think this offers all kinds of opportunities for Left parties.

What it means is that the kind of stakeholder capitalism I advocate is absolutely feasible. As long as you’ve got some kind of sound regional governance. It’s unlikely that all British multinationals will move production to Asia but they might move to low cost Ireland or low cost Spain or low cost Poland. You can do something about that within the governing structures of Western Europe. You can limit that process. That’s the big argument inside the European Union – The degree to which we should settle down around stakeholder or Anglo-Saxon shareholder capitalism. And that’s the big tension in the last 10 or 15 years and of course its leaning towards stakeholder capitalism has been one of the profound sources of tension between mainland Europe and Britain under Thatcher.

L&TUR – You talk about “leaning towards stakeholder capitalism ” but in your book you describe relationships between employers and employees, businesses and their suppliers, business and finance as being trapped in vicious circles – implying the creation of a stakeholder society is a very difficult project to implement in a gradualist way because the individual business finds it a very difficult to defect from the current arrangement – but they would all want to.

Hutton – Yes-the difficulty about constructing a stakeholder society, like constructing more longtermism in the City (it’s the same issue) is that there are huge rewards to those firms that defect from the strategy. The only way you can prevent defection is by law. That’s why doing it on a voluntary basis is still-born. You’ve got to have a legal framework in which these structures take place otherwise the rewards are – in game theory terms – to those who defect from the strategy.

L&TUR – So presumably there will have to be more courage in making this point.

Hutton – Yes, absolutely. It’s astonishing that there isn’t. ‘The curious thing is that the Conservative Party themselves have been quite bold in extending law into some of these areas – into pension funds, into financial services, employment legislation. It’s an interesting aspect – this is an unobserved conflict within the Conservative Party. The Tory Party have been more aggressive about ending self-regulation in Britain than any administration in the twentieth century. Self- regulation of the unions is clear – everyone knows that – nine Employment Acts. But there is also self-regulation of the City, self-regulation of the police, self-regulation of broadcasting – British civil society was always self-regulating and of course the law has been extended by Tories into all these areas.

I remember Sarah Hogg in one of those profiles in the New Statesman saying the thing she most regretted was having taught the Left that they could achieve their aims through regulation. And in a way one is inviting the Labour Party to pick up the lesson that has been taught.

L&TUR – That was one of the things I got from reading that Simon Jenkins book [“Accountable to None” reviewed L&TUR no. 52] if you destroy various intermediary institutions in civil society what the Right expected to happen – or hoped would happen – was an atomisation of society but in fact the role of these institutions ended up being undertaken by the State. And the Right feel a bit confused by that now.

Hutton – Well they do. Ferdinand Mount, Simon Jenkins arc two very subtle Englishmen whose instincts are liberal in the very best English sense of that and in many respects I share those values – tolerance, respecting civil society, privileges should be accorded to things which are happening at a local level, the great Victorian tradition of self-betterment – that’s all stuff I strongly relate to.

These are areas where you can see very strong parallels between the thinking of someone like myself and the thinking of someone like Ferdinand Mount or Simon Jenkins. Whereas for me it opens up a fantastic reforming programme, it puts them on the horns of a dilemma because it is their own Party which has destroyed all that and the paradox is that you have (o look to a kind of social democratic Whig, New Labour Party to reinvent civil society and reconfigure British capitalism so that the good things about English civil society can be retained and entrenched and again it is one of the reasons why Blair may be in power for a very long time.

I think the Conservatives and the Right have completely blown it and it is one of the reasons why these arguments are so important to state right now. The paradox is that you can’t have a voluntaristic structure for local government. It has to be the case that local government has certain rights and obligations by statute and the same is true of corporations and consultations with their workforce. And having got that framework right you then let them get on with it – laisser-faire in The longstanding English manner. That’s a kind of libertarianism which many socialists feel instinctively happy with. The socialist left in Britain has got a strong libertarian tendency – the two things coexist: libertarianism and the desire to keep things all at the centre.

L&TUR – I was going to say it’s a bit more muddled than that isn’t it? In the Mandelson book there were, I thought, worrying elements of social authoritarianism for example where he talked about parents who aren’t “up to the job” being replaced by quasi-parents – a desire for the state to intervene even at the family level which the Tories haven’t really done.

Hutton – I’m instinctively liberal on all these points and I get uneasy when I hear Jack Straw talking in these terms but here’s the “but”: what they are saying is fundamentally right but it has to be squared off against entrenched rights and a written constitution because it is true that the consequences of poor parenting impact on the wider society and it imposes costs on the wider society.  If I have ten children and I parent them inadequately and they become delinquent and consequently make streets unsafe, public parks unpleasant, live on income support and themselves get locked into a cycle of poor parenting when they become parents that means that my quality of life in this polity is substantially reduced and that is a matter of concern to me. There have to be instruments by which the collectivity, however we express the social, say to people like that these are costs which arc unfair for you to displace onto me. In exactly the same way as I would say to parents who send their children to private schools: it is unjust that you are privileging your children and denying my kids equality of opportunity. Therefore I reserve the St to reorganise the way the public school system works.

Equally I have rights to say something about parents who ore bringing up children in a manner which makes them delinquent. This is part of the idea that the stakeholder conception of rights and obligations must be indivisible

The Left like it when you talk about taking on public schools and don’t like it when you talk about poor parenting. That’s why stakeholding goes hand-in-hand with written down rights in a codified constitution so that the citizen or the parent instruments to fight back against excessive coercion from the state Of course getting the balance right is a constant problem – it is an unfolding process as we live life in a civil community.

I share your concern about coercion and authoritarianism and all the rest of it but if you accept The rights-obligations framework is a correct one all you can say is that the existence of obligations as well as rights is in a sense a coercive thing but in my view it is no more coercive than saying that you’ve got to drive on the same side of the road, frankly, and yes it has to be policed. If you don’t like it in a democracy you can vote fora party that will change the balance of rights and obligations and as long as there is redress in the courts and everyone has decisive civil liberties that are written down it won’t be a pathway to repression rather it is the route to a good society.

L&TUR – My concern would be lessened if there was an awareness that this breakdown in social cohesion or in family life is caused, yes, by the behaviour of families themselves – but it has an awful lot more to do with the disruptive effects of the market.

Hutton – Absolutely. Completely. Any discussion of the family crisis in Britain – so called family crisis in Britain – must include an explosion of part-time work, the vast numbers of hours that are worked, the vast numbers of men and women who have to work at weekends (I think it’s 50% of men and 40% of women have to work at weekends, a quarter of men – or is it a third of men? – work more than 50 hours a week). There’s external pressure in the labour market putting familial relations into huge difficulties as well as the amazing living standards at the bottom of British society. One of the offences of contemporary Britain is that, despite the huge media, it doesn’t tell the story of contemporary Britain to the British.

The conditions of 20-30% of adults live in Britain are absolutely poor where you are really uncertain if you have the capacity to feed and clothe and house yourself and your children and that haunts as many as 30% of households in Britain and certainly the 20% of households in which neither adult works.

Then there is the next raft of people who are working in insecure forms of employment which may seem fun in your twenties when you are moving from job to job but when you start to make medium term commitments you realise this is no way to live a life. And the notion that the crisis among 18 to 24 year o s – the rise in drugtaking, whatever – is independent of these matters…. [Expression of exasperation]

One of the great things about Tony Blair when he was ow Home Secretary was that he developed this phrase: “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” – that sounded like a slick slogan. Then during his tenure he spent the entire time discussing the causes of crime. I think old Jack Straw has lost that symmetry and I think he hasn’t taken as subtle a position as the one Tony Blair took up.

L&TUR -That point about “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime “. When Blair was talking about education recently a perfectly respectable position would have been to talk about the socially damaging effects of the market and to talk about how teachers should try harder. But the emphasis from New Labour is simply to attack teachers and say they need to be inspected more and say they need to be audited more. We were talking before about civil society – should we not permit teachers to have a kind of professional standing that would permit them to be motivated…

Hutton – Again I don’t see it as either/or. I think both statements arc true. I’ve recently become a governor at the LSE and I’m a visiting Fellow at Nuffield, a college in Oxford, and I talk to academics a lot about the supply of “raw material” – undergraduates and it is absolutely clear that standards are not as high as they should be and not as high as they were 20 years ago – that is a shared view. Pedagogy – whatever takes place in the classroom – ain’t that clever. Scrutiny of pedagogical techniques, evaluation of performance, rewards for good performance, penalties for bad performance are fundamental artefacts in any profession.

We expect people who sell life assurance policies to be regulated and come down hard when they mis-sell. We expect professionals like lawyers and accountants to be regulated (and I want to regulate them both more toughly) and, I’m sorry, I don’t think you can excuse teachers from the same mindset. If I consider the auditing of British company accounts to be a public interest question, and I don’t trust accountants to set appropriate standards, even though they are a great profession, consider that the self-regulatory instruments are too weak and earlier on we were acknowledging together, sharing the view, that a stakeholder conception required a beefed up

expression of public interest regulatory organisations. To excuse teachers from that would be an impossible position. We’ve already said that things are indivisible, we’ve already said that there should be a symmetry of rights at the top and at the bottom and teachers should not be excused that.

The plain fact is that there is a resource problem in British education and a structural problem about the strength of private schools. I think entry into schools should be egalitarian but once you are in them I am strongly in favour of setting and streaming and actually a degree of learning by rote. I thought that stuff had been inhibited by a lot of second rate thinking and the results are there for everyone to see. You can see now because of the increasing internationalisation of schools and the increasing swapping of students and professors. People who bring their families from Israel or Germany or France and attend schools say that standards are a year or two years behind what they would find locally. And there has to be intervention to sort it out.

But that said, all that said, you cannot construct a slate education system in Britain with a demoralised and underpaid and undervalued teaching profession so the quid pro quo for these interventions is unquestionably a substantial raising of teacher pay, a professionalisation and a recognition of its professional role and a profound respect for what takes place. The teacher in a society is the transmission agent of, not just skills, qualifications, and all the rest of it, but is almost the most important tiling that can happen.

So, my reply to your question is it is not an either/or. It is perfectly possible to say there should be interventions about bad teaching. What takes place in classrooms cannot be left to the teacher any more than I would want the rules on selling life insurance to be left to a life insurance salesman. And to say a professional high-paid cadre of teachers is an essential component of the good society. These are not incompatible statements. Are they?

[Sadly, Hutton let himself be talked out of his correct understanding.  He has done little since his first impressive impact.]


This article appeared in April 1996, in Issue 53 of Labour and Trade Union Review, now Labour Affairs.  You can find more from the era at https://labouraffairsmagazine.com/very-old-issues-images/ and https://labouraffairsmagazine.com/very-old-issues-images/m-articles-by-topic/.