I've made much recently of the somewhat abstract phrase 'public service ethos', but feel have failed to really capture why it is so important, how it works and why losing it will be a disaster.
Just now I have been reminded of a set of circumstances which illustrate the point I am trying to make. I was once told that whilst my Local Authorities in-house care agency would assist other agencies in the private and third sectors with improving standards by spreading best-practice the agencies in the private sector would not reciprocate as they did not wish to give their competitors any advantage.
In other words whilst the public sector took a co-operative approach, seeking a rising tide which would raise all boats the private sector with its ethos of competition has little interest in the bigger picture.
This is why we cannot let go of the ideals of public service.