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Ministers and Officials

Leo Pliatzky, 22 May 1980

The Government of the United Kingdom: Political Authority in a Changing Society 
by Max Beloff.
Weidenfeld, 438 pp., £6.95, March 1980, 0 297 77618 5
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... This addition to the publisher’s ‘Modern Governments’ series is essentially a textbook for students, but it can be recommended to the general reader also as a well-informed and well-written guide to the constitution, the apparatus of government, Parliament, the political parties and the pressure groups. The expert on particular aspects of the subject would not look to a work of this kind in order to add to his knowledge: but he won’t find his expertise offended ...

What can be done

Leo Pliatzky, 2 August 1984

Government and the Governed 
by Douglas Wass.
Routledge, 120 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 7102 0312 8
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... The 1983-84 series of Reith Lectures was given by Sir Douglas Wass, who retired from the Civil Service in March 1983. He had served in the Treasury since 1946, and had been Permanent Secretary to the Treasury since 1974. The task which he set himself in the lectures was to examine the efficiency and responsiveness of central government in Britain. Knowing that it can be quite hard to find anything weighty enough to put into a single memorial lecture, my first reaction was to wonder whether there are enough subjects of general interest, and a sufficient supply of people with something new and important to say about them, to warrant a whole series of broadcast lectures every year ...

Doing something

Barry Supple, 3 June 1982

Getting and Spending: Public Expenditure, Employment and Inflation 
by Leo Pliatzky.
Blackwell, 232 pp., £12, March 1982, 0 631 12907 3
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Inside the Treasury 
by Joel Barnett.
Deutsch, 200 pp., £8.95, February 1982, 9780233973944
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Public Expenditure and Social Policy: An Examination of Social Spending and Social Priorities 
edited by Alan Walker.
Heinemann, 212 pp., £7.50, March 1982, 0 435 82906 8
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... variety of reaction which accommodates itself to revolutions. In Getting and Spending, Sir Leo Pliatzky has a throw-away line to the effect that in the circumstances of 1979 ‘something around 40 per cent would have been about right as a ceiling on the proportion of GDP going to public expenditure’. And this from a former head of the public ...

What would socialism be like?

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 1 March 1984

In the Tracks of Historical Materialism 
by Perry Anderson.
Verso, 112 pp., £4.95, November 1983, 0 86091 776 2
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The Dialectics of Disaster 
by Ronald Aronson.
Verso, 329 pp., £5.95, February 1984, 9780860910756
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Rethinking Socialism 
by Gavin Kitching.
Methuen, 178 pp., £3.95, October 1983, 0 416 35840 3
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The Economics of Feasible Socialism 
by Alec Nove.
Allen and Unwin, 244 pp., £12.95, February 1983, 0 04 335048 8
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The Labour Party in Crisis 
by Paul Whiteley.
Methuen, 253 pp., £12.50, November 1983, 0 416 33860 7
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... life insurance companies into industry, and although it endorses the point that Joel Barnett and Leo Pliatzky have made, that decisions on spending and decisions on the budget should not be as separate as they have been in the past, it proposes nothing specific for the future of the Treasury itself. That, at a moment when this department is more ...

The Party in Government

Conor Gearty, 9 March 1995

... of quangos. It is now a very long time since the Report on Non-Departmental Public Bodies by Sir Leo Pliatzky was welcomed by the newly appointed Prime Minister Mrs Thatcher on account of its scathing attack on the quango culture in modern Britain. A recent report put the amount of public money disbursed by such bodies after 15 years of Tory rule at ...

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