By Peter Dorey
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Extra info for Developments in British Public Policy
It was only in 1996 that a link was discovered between BSE and vCJD. Why more people were not affected with this disease is not clear, but the people most at risk were those who had eaten poor quality beefburgers containing tissue from BSE-infected brain and spinal cord. It is also probable that there was a genetic predisposition or resistance to the disease. There were 28 deaths in the UK from nvCJD in 2000, 20 in 2001, and 17 in 2002. The handling of the BSE crisis by MAFF revealed a number of policy failures.
In 1957, this led to the resignation of the Conservative Chancellor, Peter Thorneycroft, and his two Treasury Ministers (Hennessy, 1989). There have been both policy differences and personality clashes between Prime Ministers and Chancellors. Whilst being in Number 11 (Downing Street) is not necessarily a stepping stone to the top of the greasy pole – only four of the eleven post-war Prime Ministers have also previously served as Chancellor (Churchill, Macmillan, Callaghan and Major) – they can appear as rivals for office, and for ideological and policy leadership.
Occasionally there are clear junctures, points of profound change. In retrospect, 1945 and 1979 stand out as significant: the clear emergence of a more collectivist and then less collectivist approach to policy respectively. In broad terms, the period from 1945 is marked by three main phases of dominant ‘ideas in good currency’ about the conduct of economic policy. From the end of the war until the early 1970s, economic policy was conducted in a way termed ‘Keynesian’. The late 1970s to the mid-1980s constituted an experiment in monetarism.
Developments in British Public Policy by Peter Dorey