Coleman wrote this book in 2007 just as Gordon Brown left HM Treasury to become the unelected Prime Minister of Britain. The 'credit crunch' hadn't happened at the time of writing yet Coleman was already providing copious amounts of evidence that Gordon Brown was destroying the British economy and was accusing him of being the man who "has ruined our nation".
This book is a fairly short, but thoroughly comprehensive, compendium of Gordon Brown's ruinous economic and social policies and he scores twenty-two direct hits on Brown in twenty-two, fact-packed, riveting chapters. Coleman's criticisms of Brown's crude attempts at Stalinist social engineering, Viv Nicholson style economics and left-wing fascism give the reader a glimpse of how future history books are likely to record the era of Gordon Brown.
Plenty of simple, thought provoking arguments are laid out here for anyone - no matter what your political persuasion - and it's an easy read laid out across just 150-odd pages. Learn how Brown fiddled the inflation figures so he could falsely claim Britain had low inflation - a claim which allowed him to stoke up the biggest debt-fuelled bubble in British history. How Brown's box-ticking target culture has destroyed the public services. His deliberate expansion of state dependency as a means to an end. The precipitous decline of manufacturing under his stewardship and how New Labour's indulgent, kid glove treatment of globalised big business and big money was in sharp contrast to their treatment of Britain's small business sector which they have strangled to death with Soviet levels of red tape, regulations and bureaucracy. Over taxation, under investment, public and personal over indebtedness and tens of billions of pounds of central and local government waste. Bearing in mind what was to happen within months of Coleman finishing this book, Chapter 6 "The Imprudent Chancellor and the Worst Budget Deficit in Western Europe" makes some spookily prescient points.
Sadly, what makes this book essential reading for anyone who wants to know how the country got into its present mess and what makes Coleman's case so difficult to dispute, is that many of the things he predicts will happen actually did happen and within just months of the book being published. If you take into account Brown's time as Prime Minister his legacy becomes even worse than it was at the time Coleman wrote this book. Under Brown's Labour government we have seen the national debt double [and forecast to double again to £1.4 trillion by 2014/15], the budget deficit go through the roof [to the point where the government is now borrowing one pound of every four pounds it spends] and Brown personally engineering what must be the largest transfer of wealth from poor to rich in British history when he bailed out the banks. Thirteen years of Brownonomics has also saddled Britain with the widest gap between rich and poor since the Second World War. As Coleman says of the New Labour government..."If they had deliberately set out to destroy the country they could not have made a better job of things".