Substance not Spin

An Insider’s View of Success and Failure in Government

Nick Raynsford

Substance not Spin

Nick Raynsford

Distributed for Bristol University Press

208 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2016
Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781447331926 Published September 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Why does policy succeed or fail? In Substance not Spin, Nick Raynsford, a former member of the UK parliament, government minister, and campaigner pulls back the curtain on the front lines of policy making. Drawing on more than forty years of experience working at the very heart of both local and national government and the voluntary sector, Raynsford explores what works and what doesn’t in making and implementing policy and legislation. He gives an insider’s view on a range of events—some not previously made public—including the botched 1980s reform of housing benefit legislation, the vacuum left by the 1986 abolition of the Greater London Council, the ill-fated 2002 fire and rescue service strike and subsequent reform program, and fitful regeneration in the Thames Gateway in the 2000s. Bringing his investigation up to the current day, he even explores various devolution plans leading to the so-called Northern Powerhouse of the Coalition and now Conservative Government. Offering solutions to obstacles in policy making and implementation and challenging the prevailing public belief that politicians are unable to deliver, Substance not Spin provides a fascinating bridge across the political divide between policy and practice.
Contents
The problem;
Homelessness;
The irresistible rise of Housing Benefit;
Why we don't build enough homes;
Does it fly?;
A mayor for London;
The slow road to devolution in England;
The transformation of Hackney;
'This won't take much of your time';
Wasted opportunities;
Conclusions.
Review Quotes
Housing Studies
“Few people can be better placed to write about housing’s place in politics and policy-making than Nick Raynsford. . .His book will appeal to those interested in political science and policy studies as well as housing studies.”
Anthony Travers, LSE
"Nick Raynsford was one of the chief architects of the London mayor and assembly. His particular ministerial experience gives him deep understanding of how Whitehall and Westminster operate."
 
Lord Bob Kerslake, former Head of the Civil Service
"A fascinating read from one of the wisest and best informed ministers we have had in recent times. Essential reading for anyone interested in the challenges of delivering good government."
Margaret Hodge, DBE, MP
"An honest, thoughtful and detailed inside account covering an eclectic set of issues, with important insights and radical proposals for change."
Andy McSmith, author of No Such Thing as Society: A History of Britain in the 1980s
"As a serving minister, Nick Raynsford always distinguished between good politics and good policy, and could spot a bad policy from afar. That same common sense permeates these pages."
 
Peter Williams, University of Cambridge
“An insightful account …who better than Nick Raynsford to help us understand what actually happened.”
David Montague CBE, CEO L&Q Housing Trust
“Restores faith in the hard working politician, challenges the machinery of Whitehall and offers a route to renewed public confidence in government.”
Kate Henderson, Town and Country Planning Associatio
"Raynsford's incisive, candid and unique perspective on successes and failures in government makes this book a must read for politicians, policy-makers, campaigners and academics alike." n
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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