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Zero Base Policy [Perfect Paperback]

Madsen Pirie
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 July 2009
Britain is broken. Its finances are in ruins, its taxation is chaotic and punitive, its public services fail to reach adequate standards, and its public administration shows no coherence and commands no respect. In Zero Base Policy Madsen Pirie urges a new approach. Instead of tinkering at the edges by trying to improve existing policies, he urges a re-think to first principles, asking in each case what are the purposes and the objectives sought. The policies derived from such an approach make a clean break with the past, setting out how Britain can be put right. Ranging across all areas of public policy, Madsen Pirie presents the radical agenda which can transform the nation from broken Britain into a dynamic society and a successful economy, one which achieves the objectives its citizens yearn for. It should be bedtime reading for those who aspire to govern Britain in the future.

Product details

  • Perfect Paperback: 86 pages
  • Publisher: Adam Smith Institute (22 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902737636
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902737638
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.6 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,336,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Asks all the right questions 13 Sep 2009
Format:Perfect Paperback
What an excellent idea. Given the amount of dead weight laws and regulations that are holding back this country, it is certainly time to look at policy afresh. Madsen Pirie does a sterling job of setting out exactly what the next government should do, the only question is whether the politicans have the guts to do it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Perfect Paperback
Zero Base Policy is the latest book from Madsen Pirie, a leading light at the UK's Adam Smith Institute. In it, Pirie asks a simple question - if you started from nothing (the zero base of the title) what would government do?

His answer is that they would do much that is currently done, but would behave in a less piecemeal and more considered fashion. Instead of taxing the poorest in our society - people earning the minimum wage and well below average annual salaries - and then having to assist those same people with benefit payments, the state would simply not tax them.

Like much of Pirie's argument, it is a simple and straightforward point which has been ignored by successive governments too afraid to make their case. This is never more true than when Pirie turns his attention to drugs policy, and argues strongly for the legalisation of most drugs, and the controlled delivery - as opposed to criminalisation - of the most addictive.

His arguments starkly illustrate the difference between being "right wing", which this is not, and being "libertarian", which it most certainly is. The social conservatism of the right and authoritarian instincts of the left are both equally rejected.

Even it is not agreed with, this is a book which should be read and responded to by politicians of all persuasions. The failure to explain - either from right or left - why we should not pursue Pirie's zero base approach is emblematic of the decline of British politics into a series of sacred cows and soundbite-ready speeches.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great British manifesto!! 18 Dec 2010
By Den
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
With current political events my study interests turned to political philosophy, questioning the Government of the time is something I have never shied from and although admittedly I am centre right, I do try to be as apolitical as possible and dig in to the truth, no matter who is Governing Britain at the time.

What I needed is a short, sharp, introduction to politics and ways in which we could question Government decisions while finding ways to fix broken Britain. I was not disappointed with Piries short, sharp and thankfully agreeing with most everything I have always said since delving in to politics, book, Zero base policy.

In this Pirie takes us through eighteen distinct areas of Social policy, split in to their own short and easily digestible chapters, debunking, refuting and putting a case towards the right thing to do not from a sense of fairness or justice, but rather an empirical base that most politicians shy from because it would harm their career in the eyes of the uneducated and the tabloid press.

I found myself nodding in agreement and having a wry smile, even a chuckle as Piries' ideologies matched my own perfectly, yes it would get the backs up of the politically uneducated, yes economics plays heavily in a lot of piries arguments, no fair play is not advocated, but this is not about fairness, it is about whats right and what will ultimately put Britain back to Great Britain once again and 'make this small island the envy of the developed world and the prime minister that is brave enough to enact these examples hailed a hero for being a political maverick.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Putting the 'Great' back in Britain 1 Dec 2009
Format:Perfect Paperback
An excellent, clear-sighted and thought-provoking review of a British government not fit for purpose. Probably the very best blue-print for an incoming government to follow to restore our country.
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