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The Rotten State Of Britain: Who Is Causing The Crisis And How To Solve It [Hardcover]

Eamonn Butler
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Gibson Square Books Ltd (2009)
  • ASIN: B00AV5OX66
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
By Bezza
On one level, this book wouldn't look out of place as an extended Daily Mail or Telegraph leader, albeit significantly better written than most. On another level, given the credentials of the author and his closeness to the affairs of government, it has to be taken as more than a reactionary rant or the sounding off of a golf club bore. Dr Butler has clearly thought this through and worked out his argument in fine detail, even allowing for his occasional divergences into personal diatribe.

What he expresses is what many of us sense, without access to the sources that he has to verify our instincts. It's a pretty damning condemnation of what has been a wretched and deeply wasteful regime. Not before time and not without very good reason.

I recently emigrated with my family from the UK to Germany. Aside from the personal reasons behind the move, at least a part of the final decision was made for us by the self-evidently parlous state of education, health and welfare provision in the UK. In short, it was obvious to us that (unless we were willing to take a chance on the local state schools - we weren't) a decent education for our son was going to cost us the thick end of 100K - money we neither had nor wished to invest in that way - that public health provision was a demonstrable shambles, and that any attempt we made to provide for a comfortable retirement was very less than certain to be successful. This much was blindingly obvious from personal experience, even without Dr Butler's informed analysis.

So we left, taking ten of thousands of pounds worth of UK tertiary education with us, for a country that has already achieved much of what Dr Butler puts on his wish list at the end of this intriguing book.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dr Butler has written an book whose passion does nothing to take away from its cool-headed analysis. His demolition of the Blair/Brown years embraces not merely New Labour's well-known failings: spin over substance, the nanny and surveillance state, stealth taxes and wasted money, but illustrates the emptiness of its proudest boasts: "no return to boom and bust", "education, education, education", "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime".

He makes no bones that Blair and Brown built on weaknesses already present, in particular Britain's chronic over-centralisation, but also points to New Labour's doleful record of undermining checks on executive power in the civil service, parliament and elsewhere.

He concludes with a well-judged call for central government to retreat from responsibilities which it cannot discharge. His book is far better qualified to set a pre-election agenda (and far more moral) than Will Hutton's 1996 diatribe, from which it takes its name.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every citizen of the UK should read this 5 Mar 2009
By Adam S
The Rotten State of Britain successfully analyses the past 15 years of Britain's economic, political, and social history in an effort to get to the root of the country's current overriding problems. This is a book that every citizen of the UK should read, for it speaks not about policies foreign to the average taxpayer but issues that affect daily life. From the overwhelming state of surveillance to the rising absence of civil liberties, not to mention the soaring taxes, which are too often wasted on failing programs and companies, most of the topics get right to the effects on the citizen. Even more daunting are his alarming studies in healthcare, education, and the state of welfare. The Rotten State of Britain is not a book on cynicism but realism, and if the rest of the country becomes aware of these follies, the problems may become easier to correct. An excellent read from beginning to end and a work that people from every background can enjoy, it is thorough, concise, and riveting.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and thought provoking 3 May 2009
You don't have to agree with every single one of Eamonn Butler's opinions - and I didn't - to get something valuable from this book. The range of issues he addresses is broad, so most of us will find something with which to disagree: he's a sceptic when it comes to wind farms, whereas I'm not, for example. But if you are at all worried about the erosion of individual liberty in Britain today, you are likely to find much in the book that will have you nodding in agreement. It's also well-written and a thoroughly entertaining read.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rotten Britain 1 Mar 2009
The Rotten State of Britain, by Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute, describes the decline of the British political system under New Labour and details how a party which has traditionally been a strong supporter of civil liberties has set about creating a surveillance state through a massive erosion of traditional British freedoms.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking! 11 April 2009
A succinct, well written and thought provoking book on the awful state of modern Britian.

We've permitted politicians to drag us down and seem content that in the main, of whatever complexion the political system appears weighted in favour of the idle and shiftless and is manned but certainly not managed, by trimmers and the avaricious who moreoften lack the courage of their convictions. Much legislation is arbitrary and eye catching rather than considered and well thought through and we are much concerned about the greater than ever erosion of citizens' rights. Over burdensome taxation and inflation are worrying and the police are getting younger!

If it weren't so worrying this would be a great read! I enjoyed it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars but a useful reminder of Gordon Brown's perfidy
A really depressing read, but a useful reminder of Gordon Brown's perfidy. I live for the day when newsreel shows this miscreant being dragged from his home and carted off to... Read more
Published 6 hours ago by Raymond Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY INFORMATIVE
An excellent read which highlights the problems succesive governments have caused to Britain's economy and services over the years. Makes you feel very angry after reading it.
Published 10 months ago by brian grimsby
4.0 out of 5 stars Reminds us how we got into the mess we're in now
I couldn't finish this book it made me so angry about how the Labour years ruined this country. Recommend blood pressure pills to accompany its reading.
Published 23 months ago by Newton
1.0 out of 5 stars Daily Mail Supplement
This book could have come straight out the pages of the Daily Mail with its philosophy of public bad privatisation good. Read more
Published on 4 Mar 2012 by Mr B Tonks
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 'State of the UK'
A really good analysis of what is wrong with the UK, and some sensible ideas about how to put it right. Read more
Published on 22 Mar 2011 by R. A. Chard
4.0 out of 5 stars I am persuaded by this assessment of New Labour
This is essentially a very readable and pacey summary of how New Labout went about destroying valuable aspects of British life with their over-regulation, incompetence, bad... Read more
Published on 25 Feb 2011 by Neil Kernohan
4.0 out of 5 stars Who left him in charge?
An excellent book really, on an important subject. We know historically that every time a Labour administration leaves office, it leaves a mess and the 'New Labour' of Blair and... Read more
Published on 17 Feb 2011 by Ian Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Book review -- Rotten State of Britain
Very informative, a frightening indictment of just how our politicians cannot be trusted with money and doing what is right for this country. Read more
Published on 27 Dec 2010 by Colin Tyler
3.0 out of 5 stars Diagnosis Not Cure
This is one of a number of books heavily and, in my view, justly critical of the Blair-Brown years, others which come to mind being Fantasy Island, The Gods That Failed and, from a... Read more
Published on 15 Oct 2010 by Ian Millard
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes some good and insightful points
I enjoyed reading this book, not because it taught me anything new particularly, but simply because it tells-it-like-it-is. Read more
Published on 21 May 2010 by Keith
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