Batten down the hatches

From the foot-and-mouth outbreaks in August and September of last year to the summer floods, or the fall of Northern Rock, public confidence over the government's handling of critical events has dropped over recent years. This is due to the fact that its perceived knee-jerk solutions have failed to meet modern public expectations, often inflating initially small risks, such as Northern Rock, into a full-blown crisis. Conversely, the government complains of disproportionate public reactions, and

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