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Download British Government: A Reader in Policy-making by Simon James PDF

By Simon James

This reader offers over seventy case experiences of coverage making in Whitehall and Westminster, combining newspaper insurance, legit records, educational research and the memories of contributors. Simon James demonstrates a number of the ways that coverage originates, how it is formed inside of Whitehall, different modes of parliamentary keep watch over, and the issues of implementation and coverage evaluate. He illustrates civil servants' half in constructing coverage, ministers' kinfolk with their departments and their colleagues, and the position of the major minister and cupboard. Case experiences aid to envision cupboard committees, the effect of strain teams and choose committees in addition to the results of self reliant inquiries, the impression of the eu group and the restraining energy of parliament and the courts. The case stories variety from nationwide controversies akin to the pits closure concern 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 govt" presents a huge diversity of resource fabric and research that might be of worth to scholars of British politics, coverage making and political associations.

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There is a tremendous esprit de corps in the Ministry and the whole hierarchy is determined to preserve its own policy. Each Ministry has its own departmental policy, and this policy goes on while Ministers come and go. And in this world, though the civil servants have a respect for the Minister, they have a much stronger loyalty to the Ministry. Were the Minister to challenge and direct the Ministry policy there would be no formal tension at first, only quiet resistance—but a great deal of it.

Some of them, I think, could, in certain Departments, be in Permanent Secretary positions or in very senior Civil Service positions or, perhaps, working absolutely in tandem with a civil servant who knows exactly how the machinery of that Department runs and the outsider would be working in the innovative policy design area. DIMBLEBY These outsiders; what’s their role meant to be? HOSKYNS It’s really, I think, as much as anything, to prevent the Minister feeling so isolated and so lonely that, in the end, he simply does, without question, what his officials tell him; sometimes that might be right, sometimes it’ll be wrong.

But in nine cases out of ten it was a matter of presentation. In others his view depended on his relations with his fellow Ministers, or the matter was trivial and all that mattered was that something should be decided. In those cases, which were the majority, I would not argue but would accept the Minister’s view, preferably giving him credit for having seen something which had escaped me, so as to make him feel happy. 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.

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