As we journey further into the second decade of the new Millennium our Nation, like all other northern hemisphere countries, faces immense challenges.
At the start of 2012 high on everyone’s agenda is the economic downturn. With burdensome levels of national debt, low economic growth, inevitable austerity measures, increasing unemployment, and social unrest - our national “heartbeat” is feeling the strain.
If this wasn’t enough to cope with, there are other forces affecting our nation’s future health and well-being: Globalisation, Digital Age technological advancement; National social demographics including an ageing population; and the threat of increasing social division and levels of deprivation. The Government’s strategy of pursuing a two- pronged plan for recovery is being subjected to immense challenge and resistance. The austerity measures aimed at tackling the national debt are painful and everyone is, in some way, directly affected. The Nation is racked with dissent, unease, fear and foreboding.
There is deep anger at the financial sector and politicians whom many blame for the state of the nation’s finances. There is a palpable state of anxiety, which is fuelled by the constant news of closures, job cuts, rising repossessions and talk of a lost generation through the highest level of youth unemployment for two decades. Over a million public servants risk losing their jobs and face long-term unemployment. There is industrial action and the country faces a spring, summer and winter of discontent This book explores whether there is another way of responding to the challenges we face especially the “perfect storm” conditions in our economic climate.
Based on 18 months of research and consultation, it explores the effectiveness of our public sector response to date. Challenging whether our direction of travel, is the best journey for our national recovery and for the future of our public services. Its conclusions are thought provoking - Likening the current leadership response to 1970/80s Groundhog day! It warns, that unless we move beyond 20th century policy and management responses to economic downturn, our nation is doomed to decades of decline and will fall behind other more progressive countries.
But that vision doesn’t need to become reality…. with decisive action, unified leadership, a sense of national unity, transition planning and radical modernisation (led by our public services), we can tackle the debt, stimulate growth, and be the vanguard of economic recovery in the northern hemisphere.
This book says the things that many dare not say. It confronts: vested interests; political dogma and posturing; individual and institutional protectionism; and the use of 20th Century industrial era legacy tools that stifle the agility, flexibility and progress we need in order to respond to the challenges of the fast moving 21st Century landscape evolving before us.
Crucially, it offers all those with an interest in our precious public services a viable and sustainable alternative to crude and divisive cut and burn response.