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Book Review: The Alternative Manifesto by Eamonn Butler

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On the heels of the highly successful The Plan by Dan Hannan and Douglas Carlswell comes the policy wonk partner book. Dr Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute has postulated “A 12 Step Programme to Remake Britain.” As in The Plan, Butler seeks solutions to problems from everywhere and anywhere. Countries as diverse as New Zealand, Central Europe and those of Scandinavia are explored for methods to improve the governance of Britain.

Fans of big government will no doubt wince at the level of cuts proposed. Those who fear privatisation as if it were a plague will find little comfort in this book either. Critics will find lots to quibble with in this book whether it’s the sweeping reforms of welfare to the draconian changes called for in the civil service. Those who get their income from the state will not be keen on Dr Butler’s solution to the problems that plague the country.

However anyone alarmed at the rising level of debt of the British government will find solutions that just might stem the grotesque growth. Those who find the increasing encroachment of the state in every aspect of life from home to the school to the street will find comfort in the suggestions here.

The book is meant as a simple and concise series of recommendations to take the UK back to sound and reasonable governance. It’s the type of book that would find a keen readership in the newly formed British tea party movement. While not everything is applicable to the US, there is plenty to ponder here for those with a similar view of American governance.

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