links for 2010-07-28

  • "a century after Robert Seymour's memorial disappeared, the stone commemorating him is to be unveiled at a ceremony in the back garden of 48 Doughty Street, the museum in Charles Dickens' only surviving London home. Seymour had taken his own life within 24 hours of a last meeting with the author Dickens, after completing the final illustration – named Death of a Clown – for the writer's first novel, the Pickwick Papers. Almost certainly Dickens had told Seymour he was being dropped as the artist for the serial, which when bound together would become his first runaway best seller and launch his career."
  • Fascinating stuff, as ever, from Matthew Taylor: "The latter [Labour's approach to public service reform] comprised four elements: first, strategy, accountability and funding from the top; second, choice and voice from the bottom up; third, diversity and contestability providing dynamism among providers; and, fourth, a general attempt to build capacity and confidence through the system."
  • Great article on the contradictory results of welfare reform and the intentions of the #bigsociety: "So proposals to move people off incapacity benefits will not only have a dangerous impact on their health it will also, in one fell swoop, greatly reduce the size and diversity of the pool of people Cameron expects to help deliver his big society."
  • Report from Policy Exchange: "The Commission on the funding of care and support long-term announced by the Coalition Government should not consider paying for care solely through general taxation. The report says that free personal care funded out of general taxation, as was introduced in Scotland in 2002, could cost the Government up to £106 billion each year – the equivalent to funding a second NHS. It recommends instead that the Commission considers three specific funding models: the King’s Fund partnership model; a social insurance model as used in Europe, and a hybrid model whereby the State guarantees some level of care, but people are required to top-up for their long term care through insurance or annuity backed products."
  • A speech the former Prime Minister gave at the excellent Institute for Government: "Tony Blair addressed the Institute for Government on his experience in and out of office on the importance of governance in the modern world".

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Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.

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