Letter by John Meadowcroft in The Times Public Agenda Section

Dear Sir,

Kevin MacDonald of the Royal Town Planning Institute writes that ‘society works better with a vision and a direction for the future (May 2).

This assumes that there is one vision and direction for the future that everyone can and should agree upon. In practice, planning usually means the imposition of one person’s vision of the future on everyone else.

Certainly, Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia were societies organised in the pursuit of one vision and direction, but few would consider them successful societies. Scepticism as to the supposed benefits of planning by those who think they know best is the hallmark of a healthy society.

Yours faithfully,

Dr John Meadowcroft

Deputy Editorial Director

Institute of Economic Affairs