One of the great achievements of the coalition so far is the rid us of most central government targets. The trouble is that Whitehall has agreed to get rid of them without really understanding why. The result is, I'm afraid, is that we are tiptoeing right back where we came from - at least that is, I believe, what the flagship policy of 'payment by results' will mean.
It's a good idea in theory. In practice it will mean targets again, with all the waste and bureaucracy and distortion that they caused. But it isn't too late and there is an alternative.
This is what I've said about it on the website of the Royal Society of Arts: