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13 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful and exciting addition to the debate on Britain's future.
I'm not a Tory, far from it, I'd consider myself a pragmatist concerned only with promoting those ideas that work.

This is exactly what this book sets out to do, it takes 5 or 6 key failings in Britain today and looks at how other nations have solved them in the past or are currently solving them now. It is written with a sense of (justified) urgency as it sees...
Published 21 months ago by Karic31

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Re-hash of well worn arguments
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...
Published 15 months ago by R J Heath


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Re-hash of well worn arguments, 7 April 2013
By 
R J Heath (Thornbury, South Gloucestershire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity (Paperback)
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
This review is from: Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity (Paperback)
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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31 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Clueless in the Commons, 15 Oct 2012
By 
N. Jones "Nic The Pen" (Oxford, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity (Paperback)
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.72) is cited negatively for his `get rich quick' attitude which the authors claim is likely to leave him in prison or dead. If as far as these authors are concerned Tug had the socially acceptable `get rich quick' attitude he'd be getting the better of his background by working in the City, and in the fullness of time going on to stand as a budding Tory MP. The difference lies not in the end but the means by which it's achieved. This is either an argument far too subtle for these authors to grasp, or something that has no place in their psuedo-rhetoric.

In citing as they do the examples of emerging nations such as Brazil, the authors' blithe disregard for the differences in worldwide standards of living is such a glaring oversight that it must be intentional. Either they have failed to grasp the significance of those differences or they see the driving down of the British standard of living as a price well worth paying for the furtherance of their political ambitions.......sorry, maybe I could have done them a favour there and written `...for British global competitiveness' but I'd like to adhere to the truth.

Given my critique of this book, I should mention that I hold no brief for the Labour party either. My contempt for the three main political parties differs only by degrees, and I suspect I'm not alone there. But as those on the Right seem by some bizarre process pathologically incapable of seeing themselves as anything other than the embodiment of `the national interest', and those on the Left stare into the black hole that is the Labour party under Miliband minor's so-called leadership, such a stance seems abundantly justified.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More Thatcherism is the problem, not the solution, 4 Feb 2013
By 
William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity (Paperback)
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. Britain's hi-tech manufacturing produces a greater proportion of our manufactured exports than does either Germany's or France's.

They have a good chapter on the needs for higher standards in education and for more engineering, maths and science graduates. But then they deplore `protracted education' and increases in the number of full-time students. And their government attacks the teaching profession viciously and is wrecking our superb universities.

Their policies would slash wages and living conditions for the huge majority of British people.
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13 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful and exciting addition to the debate on Britain's future., 5 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity (Paperback)
I'm not a Tory, far from it, I'd consider myself a pragmatist concerned only with promoting those ideas that work.

This is exactly what this book sets out to do, it takes 5 or 6 key failings in Britain today and looks at how other nations have solved them in the past or are currently solving them now. It is written with a sense of (justified) urgency as it sees how the BRIC nations are rapidly developing their global influence - if Britain doesn't get its house in order soon then we're doomed to be left behind as a small nation on the fringes of an EU bloc from which we are isolated. The authors get this and convey it convincingly, but their sense of optimism in Britain's future is contagious. It does energise you to read it, to think that if only we tried this or that we could suddenly emerge from the recession much better placed to thrive in the multi-polar world of tomorrow.

This is not a particularly long book and is well worth a read. It's refreshing to see a reformist zeal among the next generation of Tory MPs and is something I have yet to come across from any similarly minded reformist group of Labour MPs (although I am looking and remain hopeful).

A useful and exciting addition to the debate on Britain's future.
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10 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons from Others, 10 Oct 2012
By 
M. Evans (Bristol) - See all my reviews
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Lessons from Israel, Switzerland and Brazil on how to achieve growth and, more important, greater humanity. This group, the 'Enterprise Group', have a refreshingly unparochial perspective on the plight of our indebted and welfare dependent country. In this book they highlight the way that growth-friendly policies, encouraging enterprise rather than penalising it, could yet release the energies of the British people for their own benefit. It doesn't dwell on the many negatives present after the debt-fuelled boom and inevitable bust under Labour. Instead it points relentlessly in the positive directions that have been taken by other countries that have successfully turned themselves around from socialist decline and decay.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conveying hard truths, 30 Sep 2013
Life is about more than hard work but there is only ever the chance for life to be more BY hard work, whether our own or that of others who sacrifice to give space for the broader intellectual or artistic life; the authors see this and understand the scale of challenge the UK faces - without a competitive economy everything else is endangered
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25 of 60 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars GCSE level right wing rant, 17 Sep 2012
By 
M. Deal "Mr Jangles" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity (Paperback)
Reading the early reviews about this silly so called book, it is apparent that the authors have done no authentic research and have merely quoted spurious newspaper articles. Amatuer at best, right wing cry baby rhetoric otherwise, written by a group of over privileged rich kids, who no-doubt had their mummies spoon feed them until they were in their teens. To describe British workers as 'idlers' is not only shameful and wicked, but shows a total lack of respect for those who work harder in a day than these Tory idiots and loafers do in their useless lifetimes. As for writing that we should be more like China? Well, I don't think trying to emulate one of the most brutal regimes in modern history is the best way forward. Just goes to prove that these ignorant Tory fools don't have a clue. What a bunch of wretches they must be!
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19 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Thanks, Terry Leahy, 21 Sep 2012
By 
Matei Clej (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity (Paperback)
If Terry Leahy, a man who has taken great delight in sending small businesses to the wall and ruining the landscape of Britain with his dismal supermarkets of every shape and size on every corner, thinks the ideas of this book are 'the way forward', then I take that as evidence they shouldn't be touched with a bargepole.
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Britannia unchained, 7 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity (Paperback)
I bought this item for my son who was very pleased with it. He has not had time to read it yet but it arrived well within the estimated delivery times
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Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity
Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity by Elizabeth Truss (Paperback - 13 Sep 2012)
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