The Social Market Twenty Years On

Philip Collins served as director of the SMF and as speechwriter for Tony Blair; he is perfectly placed to offer a history of social market thinking and its impact on government. In this essay, Collins defines three pillars upon which the social market philosophy stands: markets are ‘social organisms’; the ‘thin line’ between politics and markets makes careful regulation necessary; and market systems are more productive than planned ones.

He appraises the Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown governments, and the Con-Lib coalition’s education and health reforms from a social market perspective – and the prospects for a realignment of British politics with a Social Market Party at the centre.


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