The privatization of the utilities by the Conservative governments of the 1980s and 1990s was a major shift in public policy. It was also a huge experiment in reinventing government, since the newly privatized companies were regulated by high-profile individuals. Frequently criticized and often controversial, the regulators wield enormous power over a large sector of the British economy. This book tells the story of their first fifteen years or so controlling prices, introducing competition, refereeing mergers and sometimes clashing with the government.
ALISON YOUNG is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Management under Regulation, Warwick Business School. She is co-author (with Trevor Smith) of The Fixers: Crisis Management in British Politics.