John Major has already set the tone, says Townsend. His aides have talked of the need to curb 'meddling' social workers, and the prime minister has promised to make defending the family from the interfering state a key election campaign aim.
Health secretary Stephen Dorrell has already implied that private provision must be the engine of social care, with social services providing the safety net.
'By arguing that the state still does too much, the crude theme of the white paper emerges', says Townsend.
Their retirement and care will fill the 'safety net' to overflowing'.