By Simon James
This reader provides over seventy case stories of coverage making in Whitehall and Westminster, combining newspaper assurance, reputable records, educational research and the reminiscences of members. Simon James demonstrates a few of the ways that coverage originates, how it is formed inside of Whitehall, different modes of parliamentary keep an eye on, and the issues of implementation and coverage evaluation. He illustrates civil servants' half in constructing coverage, ministers' kin with their departments and their colleagues, and the position of the best minister and cupboard. Case reviews support to ascertain cupboard committees, the impact of strain teams and choose committees in addition to the results of autonomous inquiries, the effect of the ecu neighborhood and the restraining strength of parliament and the courts. The case reviews diversity from nationwide controversies reminiscent of the pits closure predicament and the "Satanic Verses" affair, via to the hidden aspect of coverage making together with offers struck with strain teams in Whitehall convention and wrangling in Brussels over the tax on whisky. Designed as a textbook for A-level scholars and undergraduates, "Policy Making within the British executive" presents a extensive variety of resource fabric and research that might be of price to scholars of British politics, coverage making and political associations.
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Extra resources for British Government: A Reader in Policy-making
That is the way I think a Permanent Secretary should behave—with total subordination and a rather consistent attempt to consider what the Minister really needs. But I think no man of spirit can do this for long and that is one reason among many why I believe, and have urged on successive heads of the Civil Service, that all Permanent Secretaries should be compulsorily retired after five years in the rank; otherwise the mechanism begins to seize up under the strain and they start deteriorating in one way or another.
That can’t be done unless there’s an organisation whose job it is to do it—and the Cabinet Office is a co-ordinating body, it isn’t a goal-seeking body in that way—and it also can’t be done unless you can bring into it, first, people with a political commitment to trying to get it done; and, second, a richer mixture of talents and experience. …I’m not really talking about something like the American [system] where, by definition, all the top jobs change. I’m saying that you do need to bring in quite a lot of new people—and I’m talking about really quite large numbers— otherwise it won’t make any difference to the culture.
I can think of few people easier to work with than the last Labour Prime Minister. James Callaghan is a relaxed but formidable man. In his quiet way he was persuasive and effective. He was a great delegator, even if some thought he delegated too much. I don’t find this criticism compelling, for a Prime Minister paints on a very broad canvas, and how can Ministers operate effectively unless they are given authority to do their jobs supported by broad direction from the Prime Minister and with his ultimate backing?
British Government: A Reader in Policy-making by Simon James