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Squandered [Paperback]

David Craig
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 April 2008
Over the last ten years, New Labour has boosted public spending by around a trillion pounds – that’s £1,000,000,000,000 of our taxes – over £50,000 for every household in Britain. But what have we got for our money? Effective and responsive public services that are the envy of the world? Or the creation of a vast, self-serving bureaucracy that has presided over the greatest waste of money in British history? With so much money, a tsunami of extra cash, being thrown at public services – health, education, policing, defence, social services and public administration – there have been some successes. Nevertheless, the results of the Government’s tidal wave of extra spending have been worse than pitiful. In department after department, it is the same sorry story – a triple whammy of incompetence, cover-up and cuts that have all but decimated public services, while those responsible have lavished money and honours on themselves. David Craig exposes the sometimes tragic, sometimes comic story of how New Labour’s years of mismanagement have led to a bureaucratization of Britain that has squandered almost unimaginable amounts of taxpayers’ money, caused irreparable damage to all our lives and rewarded the man responsible with the keys to Number 10.

Frequently Bought Together

Squandered + Fleeced!: How we've been betrayed by the politicians, bureaucrats and bankers - and how much they've cost us + The Great European Rip-off: How the Corrupt, Wasteful EU is Taking Control of Our Lives
Price For All Three: 23.03

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Constable; First Edition, First Printing edition (7 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845298322
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845298326
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 352,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Craig spent most of his career working for some of the world's best and worst management consultancies. After writing two whistleblowing books, "Rip-Off" and "Plundering the Public Sector", about how consultants take millions from businesses and government departments while delivering little of value, he was blacklisted and so left the profession.

Since then, he has written several books about government corruption, incompetence and waste, including "Squandered: How Gordon Brown is wasting over one trillion pounds of our money" and "Fleeced: How we've been betrayed by politicians, bureaucrats and bankers", both of which won the Hammond Whiteley journalism award. He is also the author of "The Great European Rip-Off" and "Pillaged! How they're looting £413 million a day from your savings and pensions".

He is the founder of the Taxpayers Party - www.votetaxpayers.org.uk

Product Description


'Read this book and prepare to weep.'
-- Jeff Randall, Daily Telegraph

Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Telegraph
`...David Craig's chilling audit of government spending for the last 10 years - a book much more readable and entertaining than it sounds...a genuinely important book. It is no exaggeration to say that if the right people read it, take it seriously, and take appropriate action, this book could not only save the taxpayer billions, it could save lives....This is a terrifying book, but a brilliant and necessary one. Please read it
-- Daily Telegraph, April 2008

Book Description

How New Labour are wasting over one trillion pounds of our money.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Since the recent local elections, there's been much speculation about why New Labour got the sort of pounding normally reserved for Rocky Balboa's opponents. The answer lies inside this book. David Craig lays out in painstaking detail just how we've been taxed so punishingly and why all that money has had little or no effect on improving our country. It's a splendidly researched book. Even as a veteran Private Eye reader, I found plenty here I wasn't aware of.

I know, I know - you're thinking this could easily be dry and boring, it's about politics and economics after all but I promise you it's anything but boring. Craig's prose is very readable and he makes you laugh loud and often, usually with disbelief at how our money is indeed being squandered. The chapters on the EU and the fate of half our gold reserves will make your jaw hit the floor. Other parts of the book, those dealing with the treatment of the elderly, patients in the NHS and our troops fighting Blair's wars will make you want to throw something.

As the previous reviewer said, this is not Tory propaganda - Craig is quite scathing about the Tories in places. His opinions seem neither left nor right wing really. He argues against pointless government expansion and pointless privatisation with equal gusto, demonstrating how both waste our money. You may not always agree with him on everything but he makes his points well. His main point is of course that New Labour has been a disaster for this country. It would take an extremely loyal and self-deluded New Labour fan (probably with the last names Blair or Brown) to finish this book and disagree with him.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Squandered 1 Aug 2008
David Craig assembles data that, when assessed across the total New Labour period, points not just to outrageous incompetence, but to structural problems in how the country is run that suggest that the UK government simply cannot deliver its leadership role. The book is an indictment of New Labour but it also shows how the Tories and the civil service contributed to what is now an economy in free fall.

David Craig's figures speak for themselves. The message is clear. more and more of our money is being taken from us to create a class of inexperienced, incompetent and unaccountable parasites who are not only doing nothing to advance the cause of the people but who have become ulcers, draining life from the economy and constraining the creativity of the British people.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its true! 22 Dec 2008
If you read a decent UK newspaper you'll be familiar with a lot of this book although to read about so much waste in one sitting is still pretty appauling.

For me what really sticks in the throat are the quangocrats - the hundreds of unelected public bodies set up to monitor this or review that. They are paid fortunes and duplicate questionable work sometimes 5 times over.

If the government had the slightest interest in saving money they could save billions here either by cutting pay or doing away with these non-entities altogether. There is little risk of striking and if there was - who would notice? - we're not talking nurses or teachers here.

I don't doubt they tried to make things 'get better' but boy have they messed it up.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll suddenly want to withold your taxes 26 July 2008
There's a quote from a review printed on the book itself along the lines of "It's impossible to read this without becoming angry" and that pretty much sums it up. Most of us are all too aware of how governments of all stripes waste vast sums of our hard earned money, but to have such a catalogue of incompetence set out before you in such stark terms really will make you want to devise a way - any way - of keeping more of your money out of the hands of a self-enriching political 'elite'.

It's not really addressed in this book, but if we moved to a new monetary system - one which didn't allow privately owned central banks to create money out of thin air and lend it out at interest - the ability of the government to plunge us all so deeply into debt would be severly curtailed.

The negative reviews of this book basically accuse it of being polemic and biased at that. However, although many of the references cited are indeed to newspaper articles, there's nothing to stop the interested reader checking the facts for themselves. What 'Sqandered' does do is set out in a short, eminently readable format, the dire state our public finances are really in and the colossal waste that continues to undermine them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, I would l really welcome a sequel to cover the...
David Craig is on the few authors whose books I buy upon general principle. This was the first book of his that I read and it captured my imagination to the extent that I went away... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tarka
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't know where to start
If only 1% of the incompetencies in this book are true it would be appalling. Our grandchildren are going to ask us why we let it happen and we've got no answers. Read more
Published 20 months ago by ebbw
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book....unless you are British.
Very well researched covering many institutions in the UK. However, deeply depressing if you see the sheer waste, corruption and incompetence of the UK civil service and political... Read more
Published on 2 July 2012 by Rustygecko
5.0 out of 5 stars Squandered. David Craig
I first bought this book in an airport going on holiday, once i had got to my destination and started to read this book sat in the sun relaxing i was unable to put it down, it is... Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2010 by P. Stawrowski
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth about government waste
Depressing read on how the government of the UK throw our taxes around like confetti and mess around with our lives in general. Read more
Published on 5 Feb 2010 by Daveyah
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book Every Voter and Taxpayer Should ReadA MOST
A MOST enlightening read. After reading it, my first reaction was "How do they get away with it?", it is almost unbelievable, how our elected representatives, and the top civil... Read more
Published on 8 April 2009 by Tiller
1.0 out of 5 stars Could Do Better
Essentially, this is a disappointing book - much less focussed and insightful than the author's previous writings about consultancy and IT procurement. Read more
Published on 25 Mar 2009 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A little lazy, but engrossing
Having read Plundering the Public Sector, I was no less taken with Squandered.

Whilst it could be argued that the reliance on the British right-wing press for references... Read more
Published on 18 Jan 2009 by F. G. Lelliott
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this book without reservation and urge everyone to read...
I bought "Squandered" and I finished it recently. I whole-heartedly recommend this excellent, very detailed and well-researched book.

I hope it will be more widely read. Read more
Published on 21 Oct 2008 by Margaret Wilde
5.0 out of 5 stars A real eye opener
This is one of those books that I thought at first would be another boring book about politics written by another dry academic. It couldn't have been further from the truth. Read more
Published on 29 Sep 2008 by Mrs. C. A. Veasey
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