British Social Welfare: Past, Present And Future by David Gladstone

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By David Gladstone

First released in 1994. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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Successive writers (Braham et al. 1992, Saggar 1992, Skellington 1992) have addressed the interrelated themes of the pattern of employment (and unemployment) of particular migrant groups together with the fact that, during the 1950s especially, immigration was encouraged “specifically to resolve labour shortages in certain sectors of the economy” (Solomos 1993). But even in that period “migrants moved into public sector employment which was falling behind private industry in wage levels and into industrial jobs with longer hours, shiftwork or unpleasant conditions” (Brown 1992), often in sectors of the economy such as manufacturing which have subsequently steadily declined.

In education, policy networks differ in terms of their relative integration, stability and exclusiveness and a number operate in parallel. The linkages between the Department, local authority associations and teaching unions for example, operate alongside both a professional and a party political network. Nor is the assumption justified that central government (to be more precise the lead department in each policy area) is the focus and dominant element in each network (Rhodes 1988, Rhodes & Marsh 1992).

But after 1987 even this last bastion of consensus came under attack” (Seldon 1991). This, of course, is not to deny the impact that the first two Thatcher administrations had on the welfare state: the sale of council houses, tax and social security changes, and reductions in public spending whose effects in the closure of wards of NHS hospitals and lengthening waiting lists, for example, attracted much media coverage. WAR AND WELFARE 23 Sullivan (1992) suggests that popular opinion saved the welfare state from its potential destruction, although Deakin (1993) believes that this popularity has not saved it from the restructuring that began after the Conservative’s third election victory in 1987.

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