Pining for Profits

A call for the Forestry Commission to be privatized as a single Scottish Company, as well as an assessment on what exactly the Commission's work entails.

"...throughout most of the past thirty years, doubts have been expressed about the economic justification for the Commission's continuing programme of afforestation, and, in more recent years, about the justification for its secondary objectives, particularly in the environmental field."

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Track to the Future

This paper restates the case for privatization, evaluates the three proposals on the table and makes final proposals to form the basis of legislation. The book also updates material from the Right Lines whilst looking at the possible privatization of The London and Glasgow Underground systems, the Dockland Light Railway and the Tyne and Wear Metro system. Some wider aspects of a free market in transport are also addressed.

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The Green Quadratic

The Green Quadratic argues that the Green Belt policy has prevented the outward growth of city areas which might have ensured a steady supply of building land, even at the expense of losing green environment. The limit that the Green Belt has put upon land availability has pushed prices even higher. Those already there are fully aware of the value of their environment, and do not stand to gain if there is a substantial amount of additional building. They can be expected to oppose development, and do so.

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The Health of Nations

Published to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the NHS, this report offers an objective assessment of the benefits and deficiencies of the National Health Service, along with a wide-reaching search for new structures that are better able to deliver the sophisticated and diverse forms of health care demanded today, while preserving the ideal of universal access.

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'Micropolitics' analyzes the process of policy formulation which makes allies of the various interest groups affected by change. Dr Pirie sets out the thinking behind some of the policies which characterized the Thatcher revolution in Britain, and to some degree those of the Reagan revolution in the United States. It deals with techniques such as ‘micro-incrementalism’ – policies which gradually replace one state of affairs with another because many people feel more comfortable with gradual, creeping reform.

His view is that we should make advances where and when we can, if they all point in the same direction. Each new status quo achieved will serve as a springboard for the next advance. ‘Micropolitics’ tells how and why.

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Expounding the Arts

It is clear that there are only two roads forward for Britain's arts and heritage. The one is to continue to depend on public support, always likely to be given grudgingly and with strings attached; always likely to be reduced in an economic crisis, always subject to changes in government; and always likely to carry with it the threat or reality of political interference. It was in the uncertainty or cross-party political support that Sir Roy Shaw foresaw potential disaster for the arts. His belief that it could be averted while till retaining substantial and growing public subsidies from the taxpayer defies all previous experience of the political process.

There is only one way to avoid becoming embroiled in political warfare, and that is to be totally independent of government. It is towards such independence that this report concludes the arts and heritage should look.

Such independence offers a major challenge which some might not survive. Equally, and more importantly, it offers an opportunity; an opportunity to create a partnership with the majority of the public that forty years of subsidies has signally failed to achieve.