Alexander Hamilton was the most precocious of the United States’ founding fathers, and was a man who commanded vision, strategy, policy, administration and pragmatism, as well as fierce and compelling rhetoric.
I was put in mind of Hamilton very early into my reading of the final report of the Barker Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care. Of Hamilton, it was said he “placed political realism at the service of a larger ethical framework”, and that he
Operated in the realm of the possible taking the world as it was, not as he wished it to be, and he often inveighed against a dogmatic insistence upon perfection.
He himself said:
It is perhaps always better that partial evils should be submitted to than that principles should be violated.
Because of these sentiments expressed by and about Alexander Hamilton, above, I think he would have – rightly, in my view – celebrated the publication of the Barker Commission yesterday. I suspect he would have been impressed by the way it straddled vital principles of equity and fairness with a pragmatism of how to get to a new health and social care settlement and the compromises needed along the way.