The New Labour government in the UK is committed to a programme of reform of the welfare state that will pull away safety nets and replace them by trampolines, to bounce citizens back into active participation. Its regime of 'tough love' will make more demands on those claiming benefits and services, as well as clamping down on dependencey, fraud and crime. This will be done by changing the culture of welfare agencies, towards promoting achievement and independence, as well as meeting 'genuine need'. In Social Work and the Third Way, Bill Jordan provides an accessible and lively analysis of the tensions between 'toughness' and 'love' in the Third Way's political philosophy, and the problems of implementing New Labour

The Dog That Didn't Bark

The dog that didn't bark

In the UK, we are living through a period of radical reform of the public sector, especially that part of it that is concerned with the welfare of citizens. The New Labour government of Tony Blair has declared its ambitions to ‘break the mould of the old, passive benefits system’ (DSS, 1998, p. 24), to establish a ‘new social contract’ between citizens and the state, based on ‘a change of culture among … claimants, employers and public servants – with rights and responsibilities on all sides’ (ibid.). Social care should be given in ways that ‘promote independence’ (DoH, 1998a, para. 1.8). By implication, the agenda is to pull away safety nets and replace them with trampolines, to ...

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