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Fixing Britain: The Business of Re-Shaping Our Nation [Paperback]

Lord Digby Jones , Michael Wilson
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

23 Feb 2012
Straight–talking solutions from the face of British business Digby Jones did not hold back in his explosive first book. Now ′the face of British business′ is back in paperback. With a renowned, no–nonsense, straight–talking approach, he is one of the world′s most acclaimed business commentators. In his candid and forthright style, Fixing Britain puts the spotlight on critical national and international business issues and lays out the essential reform urgently needed for the growth of the UK. Knowledgeable, authoritative, and independent, Jones highlights how untenable the status quo is in the UK, and sets out how Britain can get back in––and stay in––the globalised race. Jones is never afraid to say what others are thinking––this is the most explosive examination of the state of British business in years.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; Reprint edition (23 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1119963974
  • ISBN-13: 978-1119963974
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 357,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

‘Written in a no–nonsense straightforward style, and much of what he says is straightforward and much of what he says is reasonable and balanced.’  (The Market, May 2012) ‘The book is easy to read and does question some key issues that sit at the heart of our society.’ (Financial Adviser, 31st May 2012)

From the Inside Flap

Five Minutes to Midnight Time for Change There was a small state a long time ago that developed into the most powerful economic and military empire the world had ever seen. It gave the world a common language, a common currency, the rule of law, the freedom of citizenship, tariff–free trade and peace. But in the space of just three or four generations, it was all over. I speak, of course, of Rome. Rome’s majestic achievement declined and collapsed, alarmingly quickly. Rome didn’t fall apart because the Huns came out of the Ardennes Forest or the Scots came over Hadrian’s Wall. Rome fell apart in Rome. It became complacent, lazy, and indolent. It lost its sense of values and purpose and became a society for the selfish. As it unknowingly approached it own demise, it lacked leadership and it blamed everyone but itself. Something which had taken centuries to build, fell apart, in history’s chronological terms, in just an afternoon. I don’t want that to happen to my country.  – Lord Digby Jones --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plenty to say, but just can't do 8 April 2011
Format:Hardcover
Just as empires have been judged to have crumbled under the weight of their own contradictions, so too this memoir/manifesto from the enigmatic Lord Digby Jones leaves you wondering how it all came to this.

Even the starting point (and conclusion) where the bombastic Brummie professes to love his country, then likens it to Ancient Rome (just before it collapsed), he puts a familiar marker down with the pomposity and grandstanding that took him to the top of the CBI and into Gordon Brown's Government of all the Talents. I say all of that as someone who admired him as the Voice for Business. He always delivered a good speech. He clearly worked ferociously hard at the helm of the UK's most influential business organisation, touring the country and talking to businesses. But just as you always wonder if a good campaigning politician could effectively lead a great department of state, so you found yourself wondering where all of this tub thumping would take dear Digby.

During his time at the CBI, he boasts in the book, he was the most visible leader that the business organisation had ever had. He was also taken inside Tony Blair's big tent and listened to. He had the ear of government.

He was asked round for chats at Number 10 and was frequently consulted on policy. Politically, he skilfully sidestepped the issue of the Euro, pandering to his bigger members by not following the weight of business sentiments which was against entry to the single currency. And during a period of economic growth, business enjoyed a good run.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Re-shape or just getting back to basics? 24 April 2012
By Keepie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book in a day and would recommend it to anyone who feels passionate about the present state of GB... a very easy read with lots of samples of why Britain has fallen behind so many other countries. Digby Jones writes with a real passion about the state of the country and draws upon all his experience in running the CBI and his work with leading British companies to examine what is wrong with the present system and what needs to be done to put things right. For many people his views will seem too simplistic...for others his views will come over as just plain common sense. You get a feeling of a sense of frustration in his book... Digby Jones comes over clearly as a person who just wants to get on with the job of making things better, putting in place the policies that will have a huge difference in the working practices of both businesses and government...working practices that have so clearly fallen behind the new dynamic economies of Asia. The sense of frustration comes from his experience in working with the governments of the day and knowing that politics will inevitably get in the way of progress.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Digby Jones 5 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A more self satisfied patronising piece of writing i have not experienced.

All our current affairs group bought it as a discussion piece - we all hated it and they're probably all now at the charity shop
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Earnest advocacy for UK business 24 May 2011
By Paul Bowes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
'Fixing Britain' is a call to arms by the former Director General of the CBI, cross-bench peer and Minister of State for Trade and Investment. It paints a picture of an ill-prepared United Kingdom entering a century that will be dominated economically by the USA, China and eventually India. At home, Sir Digby sees a workforce that is badly educated and trained, a population that has become excessively dependent on state benefits, and governments that have lost sight of long-term objectives. The British, he argues, have forgotten the virtues that made the nation great: they must be recovered, at least to some degree, if the recent financial crisis is not to become the first episode in a 'fall of Britain' to parallel the fall of Rome.

Sir Digby's answer to all of this, imparted in a breezy, conversational and at times repetitive style, is business: the lessons of business, the values of the businessman, the virtues of entrepreneurialism and self-reliance. The objectives of government should be those of business. Business pays for everything else: the government's priority should therefore be the promotion of business, the freeing of business from unnecessary constraints, and the inculcation of the values of business in the population at large.

The author surveys the UK's relations with its major business rivals and partners. He examines the issue of economic immigration. He laments the state of British education. He proposes serious reform of the electoral system, the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Civil Service. He insists that the tax and benefits systems must be changed so that it is never again possible to 'earn' a better living on benefits than the average full-time employed person. He beats the drum for pride in the country's historic achievements.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Solution Is Under Your Nose 22 May 2011
By Ben
Format:Hardcover
Digby-Jones is the John Prescott of the right. Bombastic, blustering, and charismatic but more a dogmatic rabble-rouser than a clear thinker.

The book starts by successfully identifying the fact that the UK has in business terms, especially manufacturing, suffered disastrously over the last 3 decades. During this period, Britain has shamelessly flogged off many of its successful businesses to foreign ownership with mixed success and never hesitated to close down factories in pursuit of a cleaner, brighter and elusive `post-industrialised' economy. Hence our present over-reliance on (propping up) the financial services industry. Our competitor nations have during this same period taken a very different approach nurturing and growing their strategic industries.
The problem is that many of the so called `solutions' put forward by Digby-Jones are simply warmed up Thatcherite orthodoxies (in turn rooted in the now widely discredited Chicago School economics), perpetuated under Tony Blair to whom the author was a key adviser.

Jones continues to preach the tired policies of naked free market economics that have long been applied in practice as policy by UK governments of all hues. As we survey the present desolate industrial landscape around us, it would seem highly unlikely that the most effective solution is more of the same medicine.

Despite parading his pro-British credentials, Digby-Jones is a great believer in the City-inspired obsession that `ownership doesn't matter' - which is one reason why we have so very few remaining `national champions' - having lost so many former blue chip giants such as ICI, GEC, Marconi, Hawker Siddely, Lucas, Rowntrees etc etc.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory reading.
All MP,s should read & re-read this;it should be their bed-time companion. They should be taken out of their cosy,co-cooned world.G.South.
Published 6 months ago by graham south
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - a must read
Excellent - should be compulsory reading for all poiticians, bankers, careers advisors and economists. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Yvonne Frances McIntyre
4.0 out of 5 stars Digby Jones on fixing broken Britain.
In Fixing Britain Digby Jones highlights what he sees as the critical national and international business and social issues facing Britain, and suggests what can be done to... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Gordon Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars Very astute writer
This should be required reading for anyone interested in the British economy. Well thought through and researched. Also very well written.
Published 19 months ago by nigelh
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth at last
Having had the privilege of hearing Digby Jones speak several times, I was most interested to read this book. Read more
Published on 26 Sep 2011 by Green Artichoke
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone in the UK should take notice of Digby's wish to tell it like...
From the outset I should declare that I am a fan of Digby, now Lord Jones. In `Fixing Britain... The Business of Reshaping Our Nation' he makes his views with clarity and... Read more
Published on 19 Sep 2011 by Phil Hicks
5.0 out of 5 stars Great but depressing read
Digby Jones for Prime Minister please. He tells government like it is which is cliquey, indolent and self-serving. Read more
Published on 28 April 2011 by M. Coleman
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing insight
Like most people my view of the world and the UK is what is fed to me primarily via the media.

This book 'turns the lights on' to reveal the horrendous shortcomings of... Read more
Published on 13 April 2011 by MarkS
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What if ... Britain DOESNT get 'fixed' ?? 0 21 Sep 2013
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