The Public Services Under Gordon Brown – Similar Reforms, Less Money

Griffiths, Simon. 2009. The Public Services Under Gordon Brown – Similar Reforms, Less Money. Policy Studies, 30(1), pp. 53-67. ISSN 0144-2872 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article examines Gordon Brown's promise to ‘let the work of change begin’, as it applies to the public services. It looks at the expectations for Brown's government at the handover from Blair, and in particular the claim that Brown is somehow to the left of his predecessor. Most of these arguments were found to be mistaken once Brown was in power. The article then looks at Brown's record on the public services during his first year in power through both his own comments and policy initiatives, and those of people close to him. In particular, the article contrasts Brown's premiership with that of his predecessor. There are two areas of focus: first, the relationship between central government and public service professionals; second, the issue of choice in the public services. The article concludes that although there are subtle differences between Brown and Blair, his project is substantially the same as that of his predecessor, although the conditions under which it has to be carried out are more difficult. If there is a difference (and it is argued this is only one of degree) it is that whilst both Blair and Brown are happy with the introduction of private money into the public services, Blair was more pro-competition than his successor.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Gordon Brown, choice, competition, education policy, health policy, professions, public services, social democracy

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Research Office > REF2014


19 February 2009Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

01 Oct 2010 10:17

Last Modified:

11 Apr 2019 13:29

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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