Facing the Future

In 50 years time Britain will still be independent, still a monarchy, and still close to America, but will no longer be influential, and may no longer make waves in science, technology, art or culture. These are among the findings of the new survey conducted by MORI for the Adam Smith Institute. It presents a detailed picture of how the British public see the unfolding century. The report covers issues such as progress, living standards and the welfare state. The young are noticeably different from their elders. They are more optimistic.

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/wp-content/uploads/facing-the-future.pdf"]

Don't stop the bus

The humble bus is still responsible for more passenger journeys than any other form of public transport, but years of state control and neglect led to people abandoning it by the carriage load. 'Don't Stop the Bus' proposes measures to reinvigorate the bus system by devolving control.

 

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/wp-content/uploads/dont-stop-the-bus.pdf"]

Who owns the past?

We should privatize the past. We should take control of the nation's cultural treasures out of the hands of bureaucratic 'professionals' and give it to enthusiastic independents. That is the view of Andrew Selkirk in his Adam Smith Institute book, 'Who Owns the Past?'

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/wp-content/uploads/who-owns-the-past.pdf"]

Public, Private and People

Despite a supportive government and half a century of above inflation inflation increases, the National Health Service is still under strain. In the past few weeks alone, doctors have criticised it for long waiting times, diagnostic mistakes and it's poor record of treating heart disease, cancer and other serious diseases. Everyone accepts that we need to upgrade and modernise Uk healthcare. But to do that most effectively we must develop a wider involvement in the process, with real partnerships between the NHS, the private sector and the patients themselves.

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/wp-content/uploads/health-briefing.pdf"]

 

Planning Rape

Britain's system of town and country planning has evolved in a way which gives immense political power to lobbies. It is incapable of renewing Britain's infrastructure or regenerating decaying habitats, and it cannot cope with projects of national importance. Instead, a National Planning Court should take proposals of national significance out of the local planning regime; the Uniform Business Rate should be abolished; and developers could be allowed to offer a tariff of compensation to local residents.

 

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/wp-content/uploads/planning-rape.pdf"]

The Next Leaders?

University students spend more on drink and on entertainment than on tuition fees, and twice as much on clothes as on books, according to this MORI survey. But they do not tolerate intolerance in their friends, and think that their investment in education will help them far more than any UK or EU government initiative.

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/wp-content/uploads/the-next-leaders.pdf"]

 

The Stakeholder Protection Account

With public budgets tight and negative incentives a concern, government is keen to focus its help on the most needy, letting others carry more of their own burden. This may be the start of a third way for welfare, in which individuals themselves are expected to take on more responsibility for insurable risks presently covered by the state. There is wide experience to draw on, both from within the uk and abroad, of how private insurance can take up some of the strain and tailor a better service to today's more diverse population.

Risky Business

Governments have completely mishandled risk issues such as BSE, GM foods and mobile telephones. People's reactions to risk depends on their own view of it, not on anything they hear from the government. Trying to make people avoid risk - by wearing seatbelts, for example - can easily backfire as people seek new ways to get back to their normal risk levels.

 

[gview file="http://www.adamsmith.org/wp-content/uploads/risky-business.pdf"]