Book News: April 26th, 2005

By Christopher FosterWhy are we so badly governed? Why has a system of government -the envy of the world as recently as the 1970s – developed so many defects? Why is there such a gulf between the political classes, who seem to believe the situation satisfactory or inevitable, and the general public, increasingly disaffected by politics and government. The author argues that the defects are not attributable to one political party. Some factors are widely recognised: the decline of the Cabinet and the marginalising of Parliament; the influence of spin on the political culture and the increased role of political and special advisers.

The book traces developments over the last 25 years, but most intensively since 1977. It considers possible solutions. It concludes by arguing that, although venturing in new and untried directions might seem attractive, radical improvement of the system is more likely to achieve better government and restore public confidence.

Published by Hart Publishing Ltd. mail@hartpub.co.uk. ISBN 1-84113-549-6. 19.95 pounds.