Samuel Brittan - a collection of the writings of the economic commentator and Financial Times columnist
Click on the headlines to the right to see the latest pieces. Older ones are filed in the sections below.

Inside the Department of Economic AffairsInside the Department of Economic Affairs - Samuel Brittan's new book
Available from Oxford University Press and Amazon
The rise and fall of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) parallels the promised but eventually unfulfilled modernization agenda of the 1964-6 Wilson government. The diary kept by Samuel Brittan (in contravention of civil service rules) for the fourteen months in which he served as an 'irregular' in the DEA provides a unique source for understanding the growth ambitions of the new government and why they quickly ran into the sands...more
Sacrifice the greenbelt to fix the broken property market
The Financial Times 20/06/14
The best way to preserve the environment in present conditions is to mark out valuable conservation areas such as the remaining unspoilt areas of the North and South Downs in southeast England as out of bounds for most development but to lean on local authorities to allow reasonable development elsewhere...more
Review of Liberalism: The Life of an Idea
The Financial Times 07/06/14
Liberalism is one of those concepts that seems clear-cut, until we try to define it. It is easier to come to terms with on a comparative rather than an absolute basis. Gorbachev was clearly a more liberal ruler of Russia than Stalin. More parochially, Westminster was a more liberal school than Eton in the immediate postwar decades. Edmund Fawcett has taken on a brave task in Liberalism: The Life of an Idea ... more.
UK economy gear shift is reminiscent of 1970s boom
The Financial Times 26/04/14
There are obvious similarities between the present and the Barber boom of 1972-74. In both cases the economy was shifting into a higher gear in a pre-election period. In neither case is there any evidence that the authorities have ignored official advice to go slower. The big difference is that the UK now has the inestimable advantage of a fully floating rate of exchange. Economic excess will show itself in pressure on sterling rather than a run on the reserves...more
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