A return to corporatism?
It seems that the Conservative Party has undergone something of a transformation in its attitude towards union input into government policy.
On Friday’s Today programme, Francis Maude called on unions to “see themselves as social partners working together with the government as much as possible”, along the lines of the corporatist partnership model that exists in much of Western Europe. And George Osborne used an interview on The Politics Show on Sunday to reiterate the invitation for greater social dialogue.
The TUC has always sought to establish practical working relations with governments, but it was not able to do so under the last Conservative administration, which effectively closed to door to unions for 18 years. One of the biggest barriers to continental-style social partnership has been an unwillingness on the part of governments, particularly (though not exclusively) Conservative ones.
It’s refreshing to see that the Cameron government has taken a more enlightened stance.