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Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity [Paperback]

Kwasi Kwarteng , Priti Patel , Dominic Raab , Chris Skidmore , Elizabeth Truss
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Sep 2012
"This book pulls no punches. The path is clear. We have to be brave enough to take it." - Sir Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco 1997 – 2011

Britain is at a cross-road which will define its place in the world for generations. From the economy, to the education system, to social mobility and social justice, Britain must learn the rules of the 21st century, or we face an inevitable slide into mediocrity.

Presented by a team of rising star MPs of the Conservative party, Britannia Unchained takes us on a journey around the world, to the nations that are triumphing in this new age. Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore and Elizabeth Truss reveal global examples for Britain to take onboard including what Canada can teach about paying national debts; how China supports businesses and what Brazilians can teach Britain about risk-taking. By implementing these lessons, Britain can once again triumph in this new age.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (13 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1137032235
  • ISBN-13: 978-1137032232
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 195,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'An intelligent, evidence-based programme for economic revival…This book deserves to be taken seriously by all with an interest in politics, whatever their beliefs.' - Simon Heffer, New Statesman 
'a touchstone for the ambitious new right of the Tory party' - Liam McLaughlin, Huffington Post

Book Description

Brittania Unchained spans the globe, exploring nations that are triumphing in this new age, seeking political and economic lessons to help ensure Britain a bright future

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
2.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Re-hash of well worn arguments 7 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The political history in this book seems thoroughly researched and probably correct. There are copious references although over half of these are actually media articles. Beyond this the content is less robust. In chapter 1 Rolls Royce is cited as an example of industrial decline in the 1970s. Rolls did not fail by being backward looking but due to adopting an innovative aero engine technology which proved to be in advance of its time, just the kind of entrepreneurial risk taking advocated later in the book.
From this book Conservative philosophy seems principally to be work hard and make lots of money or if you can't make lots of money work hard anyway. Work is, indeed, part of our Christian heritage `The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat' but this is not the whole picture. Jesus said `A man's life does not consist of the abundance of his possessions'. Are people motivated by anything other than high pay and low taxes?
An example given (p62) is a hard working taxi driver is motivated to work 60 hrs per week to take home £10 per hour net. On the other hand, on p69 it appears to be de-motivating for an entrepreneur working (say) 80 hrs to take home £25 per hour up to £150,000 and £20 above that. Why is this? Given the number of words in this book the authors have missed an opportunity to develop their arguments in more depth.
There is little that is new, informative or practical in this book. It is not worth the 30mins I worked to pay for it, don't buy.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Failed book, abysmal 16 July 2014
Failed book, if 0.25 of a star was possible.One of the authors was ceo of Tesco, now struggling and doomed by the rise of Lidl and Aldi.What kind of lesson can this be, crush the opposition so you can dominate and bully the farmers , cream off all the best sellers and let the specialist shops go to the wall.By telling us that we dont work hard enough this illustrates the disconnect.I have just done 8.5 hours on my feet with a 30 min break and now earn 30 % less than 10 years ago because the EU open borders mean theres more competition for my job.I have to do this until I am 67 to get a state pension that will pay me only a very basic living.
In the USA the natives were made to be indebted so they would sell the land and become enslaved.Thats what we have in store, if we survive the collapse in pollinaters,climate change and huge pollution that our governments have inflicted upon us in the name of progress.
I am scared to think these people are in charge , uncreative ,inhumane and using a now defunct argument to steer the ship that is the U.K to the rocks.
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This is a bold, uncompromising and clearly written book. Opinion about it seems very polarised. As a consequence, there are lots of 1 star reviews saying "this is the work of the antichrist", "hanging's too good for them" and other intemperate nonsense etc...The book is engagingly written and I think it's great to have MPs with ideas and a vision, even if not everyone might agree with those ideals.
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31 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Clueless in the Commons 15 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The irony of five MPs lecturing the electorate on the virtues and necessity of hard work probably won't be lost on a lot of people, but once an individual becomes a member of our rotten parliament it seems they have to take leave of certain senses much as they lose touch with reality. The fact that it took five of them to come up with this slim and intellectually emaciated volume says enough about their work ethic when it could have been written by any reasonably erudite individual with a basic grasp of how to use statistics and Google. But then this book is far more about personal ambitions than it is being truthful with the electorate, which along with other considerations has been drowned in Marx's `icy water of egotistical calculation'

The authors are apparently future stars of the Conservative party, which only goes to show how it takes only the peddling of some strain of Thatcherism to attain that status. This in essence is a book which argues nothing new, then. It contains no fresh insights into what is wrong with British society, but inevitably it peddles the usual litany of things that those on the Right get themselves into a lather about -the welfare state, the laziness of British workers, the tax system and how the politicians responsible for that system impertinently presume the highest earners should pay any tax at all, celebrity status as the only thing that `the young' aspire to etc.

It makes for tiresome reading, although when the City of London is exalted as some kind of hotbed of hard work, that's being polite. Just how much time and effort does it take to pick up a phone and fix an interest rate? Tuggy Tug `standing on a rough street corner in Brixton waiting for someone to mug' (p.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The authors are a group of Conservative MPs, who urge even more savage attacks on the British people.

They claim that economic problems have cultural causes, and therefore cultural cures. They confuse long hours with hard work. They discuss productivity without ever mentioning investment. They blame the lack of social mobility not on greater inequality but on lack of hard work. They slur that people are unemployed because they `are wilfully not working'.

Canada's banks have far higher capital requirements. They are banned from merging and protected from foreign competition. As a result, no Canadian bank has yet failed in the current great depression. But the authors sneer at `Canada's supposedly superior system of financial regulation' p. 34.

Their account of Canada's deficit is confused. They write on one page that Canada's deficit in 1984 was more than 8 per cent and on another page that it was 1.2 per cent. They praise the Liberals' 1993 pledge to cut the deficit to 3 per cent, yet also write that in 1993 the surplus was 0.3 per cent.

Again, on page 14 they write, "Canadian debt had been high ever since the Second World War." But on page 15 they write, "Canadian debt still remained comparatively low in international terms. In 1974 it had been just 18 per cent of GDP."

As they point out, countries "have discovered that it is far easier to simply stop paying than try to squeeze more revenue out of an overtaxed population." They then demand a squeeze! Countries default in order not to go bust, but the authors equate default with going bust.

Low-tech manufacturing produces 14 per cent of our manufactured exports.
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