This is a great interview of Tony Blair about his formation as a politician, political thinker and especially his views about the role of the state (the State too can develop interests) and the role of the public service.
“What I learnt about bureaucracy is that it is great about managing things but not great at changing things … when it came to, how do you do health service reform, or education reform, or I remember in the early battles I had reforming asylum and immigration policy, I found it frankly unresponsive … I say this to you as I say to governments around the world: you should always treat the bureaucracy with respect, you should recognise what it can do, but if you become a prisoner of it, believe me you will achieve nothing, you’ll just go round in circles. It’s a longer debate to have because reinventing government has fallen off the agenda in recent times and it really shouldn’t because today, especially with changes in technology, this whole concept of how government itself works is, in my view, fundamentally important
The interview is deep, thoughtful and perceptive. And conducted by Peter Hennessy, whose Whitehall remains one of my favourite books about the public sector and the art and science of public administration.