As someone who loves the dash of the new and who thinks the modern world is in many ways better than past decades, I hesitate to say that we should go back a past model. Better perhaps, is to say government needs to learn more from successful organisations in the private sector that do not have the luxury of getting away with mistakes.
It is true that the Blair model of government did a lot of damage. He and his immediate cronies believed that the prime task of government was to manage the media. They claimed that their task was uniquely difficult, because suddenly they lived in a world of 7 x 24 news, as if previous decades did not have to deal with an intrusive press quite capable of making out of hours calls if things were exciting enough. They had morning and evening papers and morning, daytime and evening radio broadcasts in the 1930s, whilst there has been plenty of late night and early morning tv in more recent times.
They damaged government by believing that a government can control all this media, and by thinking it is government’s unique job to entertain the media on a 7 x 24 basis. If government does not bother to entertain the media that regularly there are plenty of film stars, rock stars, footballers and other celebrities grateful to make fools of themselves sufficiently to boost their appearances.
Government should talk to the media when it has something to say. It has to accept it will be questioned when it has made a mistake. It should regard staying out of the media quite often as a success, as the media usually wants you in when you are on the ropes, not when you are succeeding. Government should concentrate on governing, and on saying enough so people know what it is trying to do and what it has achieved. Actiosn often speak lounder than words. A good economic recovery, and falling enegry prices, would be appreciated by voters even without a spin doctor to tell them about it.
Competent government needs to spend more time working out solutions to problems, seeking to proceed by trials and by careful policy implementation. It needs to spend plenty of time researching, testing and discussing, before rushing out a press release or statement. Mr Blair showed how dangerous and absurd government by press release could be, with items like his thugs to a cashpoint. This government needs to take an issue like high energy prices, analyse its causes properly, and then decide which of those causes it can and should tackle to get energy prices down. When it has a finalised version which should work, then is the time to tell peo[ple about it and to start its implementation.
In the case of energy the cost of customer subsidised electricity generation from dearer sources is a bigger cause of high energy prices than the margins of the main producers. The much lower energy prices in the US owe much to faster exploitation of shale gas technology.