Integration - Government Policy and Context

In the course of this study, I have gathered a lot of information about the UK Government and its policies. There is a study of the Role of Government and its Discourses in the Dispositive section, but my study has raised more questions than this. In this section of the Food Site I have described the Government documentation in detail.

In this page, I look again at the context the Governement operates in - the map, the players, and their perspectives (I began my work on this context in this section, and develop it further here)

Different Players have alternative perspectives on the Government, and I'll survey (or carricature) some of them :-

  • all their policies are "New Labour" window dressing (Old Labour view)
  • the Government is in control of everything (Establishment view)
  • the real Government is in fact the self-perpetuating establishment and civil service (radical left view)
  • the civil service collects statistics and generates regulations (anti-government "freedom" view)
  • the supermarkets and agri-businesses are really running everything, with a new "gloss" of green vocabulary (disaffected green view)
  • This is the best Government we ever had (New Labour view)

Then there are different levels of context:-

Global Context
:-

  • in global terms, the UK government can best be seen as one voice among many, as there are other Governments, International Organisations (such as the EU and WTO) and also International companies who operate beyond boundaries. The UK Government discourse seems to fit very comfortably with these.
  • we are locked into global, European and national systems, and, despite all the rhetoric about sovereignty and independence, we can do nothing about this, we live in a global system
  • globalisation is a major historical process in the world, mostly lead by multi-national companies
  • debatably this is also part of a process of the spread of capitalisation - many farms are becoming industrialised because they are owned by companies that want to see a return on capital employed, and the land has considerable capital value (previously this was overlooked by farmers) The same process of capitalisation applies now to sport, art, leisure and to many areas which were previously "free".
  • the Government dare not try do anything about globalisation (they can't think of anything to do anyway)

National Context:-

  • in the national context, all the organisations, from businesses to environmental and consumer groups, seem to have similar messages (and similar 'nice' pictures to brighten up their websites). From their websites, they all seem to be 'equal but different' agencies, engaged in a collective endeavour to improve amenities and all the areas of our lives.
    From these perspectives, our government does not seem to dominate in the way they do in their own publications - the picture that one gains from this is of a collective endeavour where the Government plays a major role.
  • a system has been established where there is no dissent - all the businesses and agencies are "singing from the same songsheet" and the impression is given that "no reasonable person could object to any of this"
  • the government discourse gives the impression that everything is going well, and it generates a feeling of confidence
  • on the other hand, the Government has emergency powers which it can apply in crises such as the Foot and Mouth disease.
  • there is a rhetoric of sustainability and rural development, but there is little if any evidence of any real changes, and recent trends such as second homes and tourism are unlikely to improve things
  • a major role of the Government is to adopt entire discourses about economic, green and consumer issues into it's policies and discourses, and the aims and objectives show a balance between green and business interests

To summarise, the government discourse gives the impression that everything is going well, and it generates a feeling of confidence, however, there are some areas of cynicism and dissent, and the Government is part of international systems and processes which show everything in a different perspective.

Please contact me at george@whatever-will.be if you are interested in the above

(0044)(0) 1372-749803

A website from