Laments about the decline of public morality and the public service ethos have found expression jhnn across the political spectrum. The age of modernity (or post-modernism) makes more difficult, though by no means impossible, the maintenance ofa civil society in which 'virtue' and 'trust' feed the public service ethos, indeed modernity has greater need for civil society, virtue and trust at exactly the same time as their stock are receding. Governments have, among other things, applied indiscritninately the (heavy' regulatory regimes necessary to deal with impropriety, in the process stifling the public service ethos. Virtue cannot be commanded; trust is an elusive 'commodity'. Neither can be secured by administrative fiat, though government to malfunctioning can help to create conditions conducive to their nourishment - 01'. more decisively, stifle their growth. Heavier regulatory regimes and more elaborate codes are understandable and perhaps rational responses but, if pressed too far, become counterproductive. There should be a retreat ji'om the excesses of ~management by numbers I. Leadership remains important but, in the age of modernity, no longer sL~lJlcesas the talisman. There must be greater emphasis upon citizenship.
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