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Accountable to None: Tory Nationalization of Britain [Paperback]

Simon Jenkins
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

4 April 1996
This work, by a former editor of "The Times" and an instinctive Tory, argues that despite conservative propaganda the 1980's and early 1990's have seen a great increase in the centralization of power. Despite privatization, deregulation and devolution, the government asserted its control over schools, universities, the courts, local government, and the NHS. The book describes the situation, and asks what this means for democracy.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (4 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140245022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140245028
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 648,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Simon Jenkins is Chairman of the National Trust and one of Britain's most prominent journalists. He writes a column for the Guardian, has edited both the Evening Standard and The Times, and has written many books on politics, history and architecture, including England's Thousand Best Churches and England's Thousand Best Houses, both published by Penguin. His most recent book was Thatcher and Sons. He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and lives in London and Aberdyfi.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leviathon Government. 17 Mar 2007
By Ross
Mrs Thatcher as the great nationaliser of British politics is not an obvious accusation to make. However under the governments of her and John Major more and more of the public sphere was controlled from Whitehall at the expense of an increasing neutered local government sector. Local government now exists to carry out the will of central government rather than to make decisions.

Simon Jenkins is not unsympathetic to the pressures that drove this process and he does not imply that it was a process which began only in 1979 (Atlee was another great centraliser) but he does methodically describe how the Consrvative governments repeatedly undermined local control of everything from urban planning to policing to hospitals.

It is in many ways a convincing critique although sometimes he includes actions which gave power to individuals at the expense of local government as part of this nationalisation process. For example giving schools the right to opt out of local control should be applauded as a decentralising measure rather than being lambasted by Jenkins for making the jobs of local planners harder.

Overall though it certainly has convinced me that Britain should radically decentralise the provision of public services and take power from Westminster.
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