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The endemic failure of long-term policymaking

Covid-19 is exposing holes in the government’s ability to plan for the future

By Jennifer Dixon  

Photo: David Cliff/NurPhoto/PA Images

Plans are worthless but planning is everything, runs the well-worn quote from Dwight D Eisenhower. Covid-19 holds up a mirror to our ability to manage crises, be it by the government, public health authorities, the NHS and social care system or wider. The reflection is uncomfortable.

In the wake of Covid-19 there will be analysis of our response. How strong was emergency planning across the government? How resilient is the public health system, the NHS and social care? How strong was the information and…

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