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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars essential reading
a brilliant, insightful book, but it may make you want to cry! The scale of the kleptocracy & incompetence is mind-boggling (if you are reading this you probably thought this anyway). Some really good, practical ideas are also contained within the book on how to immediately start making an impact into reducing the UKs debt mountain & future, unpayable financial...
Published on 7 Jan. 2010 by Ken Grew

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Very simplistic
A thought provoking book let down by the 'must sell' style of writing
Published 8 months ago by Lamu Hermit


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars essential reading, 7 Jan. 2010
By 
This review is from: Fleeced!: How we've been betrayed by the politicians, bureaucrats and bankers - and how much they've cost us (Paperback)
a brilliant, insightful book, but it may make you want to cry! The scale of the kleptocracy & incompetence is mind-boggling (if you are reading this you probably thought this anyway). Some really good, practical ideas are also contained within the book on how to immediately start making an impact into reducing the UKs debt mountain & future, unpayable financial commitments, but the self-serving political classes will avoid all of them.

Another book that should be compulsory reading for all the electorate prior to the election, not just to kick out the moronic excuse for a Gvmt that we are lumbered with, but we need commitments from other parties about what they intend to do to solve the problems highlighted in this book. People need to understand exactly how bad our finances are & to get angry with the political class. They ALL need to change, and public apathy will suit these self-serving hyenas.

This book should be the start, but I wish that they had given more direction on the best ways for readers to take action, or even how we can start working together AGAINST the political class.

Wholeheartedly recommended.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When are we going to wake up?, 31 Oct. 2009
By 
HuddsOn (Huddersfield, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fleeced!: How we've been betrayed by the politicians, bureaucrats and bankers - and how much they've cost us (Paperback)
This book would have benefited from more and better referencing and perhaps a list of suggestions for further reading, especially concerning the state of the NHS, education and how the banking system works. With such a wealth and diversity of material crammed into a mere 280 pages (including tables and charts), you will certainly feel better informed than you did before, but you may end up feeling you know "a little about a lot". Despite these deficiencies, it's a book I would highly recommend for anyone who cares about the future of Britain. It is written in a refreshingly punchy, direct style and the authors cite many reputable statistical sources to back up their arguments.

Fleeced! consists of twelve chapters grouped into four main sections, entitled "Making Us Poorer", "The "Bureaucratisation of Britain", "The Untouchable Elites", "Fighting Back".

In chapters 1-4, the authors start by putting our current national woes into the context of the global economic crisis, while making it brutally clear that this does not absolve the UK government. They explain how persistent low inflation and low interest rates led to banks and large investors being tempted by risky financial products in search of higher yields, small investors going into buy-to-let, and consumers and governments alike embracing "lend-and-spend" culture. The authors are sceptical about the value of the banking bailout and predict rough times ahead, as banks squeeze both borrowers and savers in order to build up their capital reserves and continue to flog various over-hyped investment products to the unwary. As if that's not enough, stocks and shares may well continue to provide poor returns, sapping the performance of private pensions.

Britain's economic boom of 2000-2008 was, according to Craig and Elliott, largely illusory - in contrast to some industrialised countries like Germany, very little real wealth was created. But there was nothing illusory about Gordon Brown's spending splurge or the borrowing binge that underpinned it (chapters 5-7). Public spending more than doubled in the period 1997 to 2009, and, even more incredibly, the Government managed to spend more than it gathered in tax in every financial year since 2001. The authors make the shrewd observation that if increased public spending is properly prioritised and coordinated, a self-reinforcing positive spiral should set in, the end result being that taxes can be cut. For instance, if extra funds for education are wisely spent, this ought to mean a better educated workforce, leading to more competitive industries, higher exports and more wealth creation; less youth unemployment meaning less spending on benefits, and so on. Most of this is, as we know, is the exact opposite of what's happened.

So where has all the money gone? Part of the answer lies in the increasingly bureaucratised nature of our public services. Amazingly, the number of managers in the NHS has doubled, contrary to Labour's pre-1997 pledge. Unnecessary new quangos and regulatory bodies are created that duplicate each others' functions, and we have witnessed the endless proliferation of highly remunerative "non-jobs" at both national and local level (Heads of Transformation, Directors of Vision - how the devil did we manage without these people before?). Alleged efficiency gains in the civil service usually turn out to be feats of creative accountancy, and conceal hidden costs such as massive redundancy packages.

In chapter 7, Craig and Elliott succinctly demonstrate why publicly-funded projects have an inbuilt tendency towards wastefulness and budget-busting in a way that private enterprise doesn't. In a nutshell, the reason is that "wasting public money never affected a civil servant's career, but acting to prevent waste can be hugely detrimental" (p118-120). The Millennium Dome is the best-known example, but there are even more scandalous instances of "domeonomics" to be found, notably the 2012 Olympics which are already 500% over budget, and the fiasco of the NHS computer system.

Chapters 8 and 12 revisit the banking meltdown, casting a spotlight on the disgraceful complicity of regulators, auditors and politicians, and in chapters 10 & 11 we are given a full account of the MPs' expenses scandal; at the time of writing, still fresh in our minds but in danger of being forgotten.

So, what is to be done? In the last two chapters, some radical measures are proposed that may help to return us to fiscal sanity and give us value-for-money services. These include halving the number of MPs and councillors, putting all public-sector managers on a four-day week, and giving localities more control over service delivery. But what we need even more, according to Craig and Elliot, is a change in political culture from the bottom up. Although Britain has spawned numerous campaign groups devoted to the environment, animal welfare and eradicating Third World poverty, what we so far lack - and desperately need - is citizen's activism on regular, nuts-and-bolts political issues. This doesn't necessarily mean US-style tax day tea parties, but it does mean finding ways to use corporate manslaughter laws, the Freedom of Information Act and even the Human Rights Act to turn the tables on the smug, self-serving political/managerial elite who treat us like peons.

So will we take their advice on board? Or will we get fleeced again . . . and again . . . and again?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When you read this you won't trust politicians again, 25 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Fleeced!: How we've been betrayed by the politicians, bureaucrats and bankers - and how much they've cost us (Paperback)
This is a thoroughly researched assessment of just how the last Labour government mismanaged the UK economy, allowed a culture of greed to thrive, wasted obscene amounts of taxpayers money on excessive bureaucratic control and failed social and economic policies, failed to stop bankers and financial speculators from gambling away the nation's wealth and then enriched themselves at our expense. And the sad thing is there's no light at the end of the tunnel. Its hard not to read books like this without understanding what motivates people to embrace more radical politics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting read, 26 Nov. 2010
By 
H. Evison - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fleeced!: How we've been betrayed by the politicians, bureaucrats and bankers - and how much they've cost us (Paperback)
This book is extrememly detailed, interesting and to a large extent scary. I have read quite a few books by David Craig and Matthew Elliot and this book has definitely lived up to expectations. If only we could send these men into parliament and point all these facts out to these money grabbing politicians and bankers. An essential read if you really want to know where our money went under New Labour.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chronicles Britain's final decline and fall, 25 Oct. 2009
By 
Emteq "Emteq" (Down where the drunkards roll) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fleeced!: How we've been betrayed by the politicians, bureaucrats and bankers - and how much they've cost us (Paperback)
Given the author's previous books, predictably excellent account of how 12 years of NuLabour has wrecked Britain, impoverished millions and rewarded the few beyond the dreams of avarice.

The gravy train you just knew existed but could never get on is laid bare and the Fabian nomenklatura in the 'big tent' are identified.

Every day now, the papers uncover more corruption, cronyism and theft amongst the elite who for years have sneered at the 'little people' they've crushed under the tax burden. (The unlucky ones having been killed by medical bungling or MRSA).

Brown's 'scorched earth' policies will mean the incoming Tory government will inherit the worst economic situation for in a 100 years, having left NuLabour one of the best in 1997.

If anyone has doubts about the wisdom of fleeing bust, broken Britain then buy this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary., 20 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Fleeced!: How we've been betrayed by the politicians, bureaucrats and bankers - and how much they've cost us (Paperback)
As someone in my thirties I find it quite worrying looking ahead at where this country seems to be going. 30 years of "yes men" politicians who are too precious about their careers has meant that too many promises have been made to the electorate. This culminated in New Labour, which was a massive shame for our democracy. Blair could have done anything with his majority when he entered parliament in 97, and yet we can't point the finger at any progress, on any level or in any department of government, that he and Brown has left us! Now, we are left with the symptons of their misrule presenting itself: banks, BBC, police, media. Every section of public sector society/service seems to be in the hands of morons who foul up and walk away with a pension, unpunished. £15 billion on an NHS IT system? What happened to that then?

Sigh. It's enough to drive one to extremism.

Now, where did I put my guillotine?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fleeced, 3 Dec. 2012
By 
Alan M. Hill (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fleeced!: How we've been betrayed by the politicians, bureaucrats and bankers - and how much they've cost us (Paperback)
The authors describe a disgraceful and, (I think), true situation in government and banks but, unfortunately, as these organisations are self-perpetuating and self-serving despite their protests to the contrary there is little one can do about it. Even widespread disruption, as in the general strike,way back, would have little effect on the status quo because of the self-interest. I was pleased with the content but depressed as I read it because there appears there is so little we can do about it. Actually, I am back in UK now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robbed, 26 May 2013
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This review is from: Fleeced!: How we've been betrayed by the politicians, bureaucrats and bankers - and how much they've cost us (Paperback)
I have not quite finished this book on the financial malfeasance of the last Labour government. As it says on the cover, it should not be read by anyone suffering from high blood pressure.
The sheer waste of hard earned public funds and the inflated salaries for senior civil servants has to be seen to be believed and as for the quangocrats, well read it for yourself to understand where our money went.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Craig Gem., 21 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Fleeced!: How we've been betrayed by the politicians, bureaucrats and bankers - and how much they've cost us (Paperback)
I make no apology for stating that this is my favourite author of the truth. Not 'one sided', no 'left wing' 'right wing'. Each chapter backed up by reference to sources of information. Another 'must read', Be prepared for more shocks before you start reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It is a sad fact that more people haven't read and understood how ..., 6 Nov. 2014
By 
A. Howard (Ferndown, Dorset, England) - See all my reviews
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It is a sad fact that more people haven't read and understood how much we have been robbed.

The bastards are all at it, as this book clearly shows.

Read this book and despair - or let your MP know you won;t vote for him next time.

Thanks you Mr Craig for enlightening us so well.
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