The Rotten State Of Britain
PDF EBook by Eamonn Butler
EBook DescriptionFor anyone who thought John Major’s Britain of the nineties was a time to despise, a new book shows Brown and Blair’s Britain is far, far worse. The Rotten State Of Britain PDF EBook
Every so often a book comes along that captures the mood of the country, the zeitgeist. Back in 1995 Will Hutton’s book, The State We Are In did just that, chiming with how the public was beginning to view the Conservative- PDFrun Britain as the wheels came of John Major’s government.
Hutton railed against the state of the public services, the economic mismanagement and a socially dysfunctional state. The blame was firmly pinned on Thatcher and Major and the foundations laid for Blair and Brown’s New Labour onslaught that brought them victory in the 1997 general election. There was a mood of relief and optimism in the air as a seemingly socialist-lite Labour party came to power with the D:Ream’s song Things Can Only Get Better telling us all how it was going to be.
That was twelve years ago but the wheels came of New Labour a long time ago. If anyone doubts this then they should pick up a copy of Eamonn Butler’s latest book, The Rotten State of Britain, which does to Blair and Brown what Hutton did to Thatcher and Major – puts them firmly in the dock, charged with making Britain worse in about every respect than when they took charge in ’97.
Butler’s clarity of writing coupled with a strong sense of irony make easy reading of what is a damning collection of facts about all aspects of British life under the Labour duopoly. Butler has a justifiable reputation for the accessibility of his economic tracts, such as the excellent primer on Adam Smith published by the Institute of Economic Affairs, so one would expect ‘The Rotten State’ to be forceful in that sphere – and it is. The book goes far further, however, looking at the creeping authoritarianism of Britain’s justice system, the growing intervention of ‘Nanny’ in the minutiae of our lives and the failure of the public services in education, health and welfare.
How on-the-spot fines have grown exponentially as part of a performance-related bonus system for police commanders wishing to present impressive clean-up rates; download; how Britain has a quarter of the world’s CCTV cameras; how state officials now have 1,043 powers of entry to your home; how nearly half of the 722,464 DNA samples taken in 2006-07 were of children under 15 – these figures and many more are all revealed.
As we go into a deep recession it is sobering to realise that only just over a quarter (28 per cent) of British workers are qualified to apprentice, skilled craft or technical level – compared to over half (51 per cent) in France and two-thirds (65 per cent) in Germany, meanwhile 5 million British people of working age are drawing out-of-work benefits. Unemployment is expected to reach 3.3 million next year, which given the explosion in people on incapacity benefit under Labour, points to a scandalously high level of true unemployment that should shame the Labour Party.
One of the common themes is how Blair and Brown’s Britain has failed the poorest whilst clobbering the middle class. How many people are aware that taxes have risen by 51 per cent since 1997 – in real terms adjusted for inflation? The number of people paying the top rate of tax, originally meant for only the highest earners, has increased by 50 per cent to 3 million as thresholds have been held down. Now teachers and police officers can fall into the tax’s reach too. Similarly, Gordon Brown’s housing bubble made many people liable for inheritance tax as it’s threshold was held down while property values rocketed. Butler often has a succinct turn of phrase, especially in dealing with Brown saying, “We were promised an end to boom and bust. But we got both.” Amen to that.
Of course we have been led to believe by the spinmeisters (also covered) that we have enjoyed great wealth – and yet by 2007 some 21 million people were claiming state benefits compared with 17 million in 1997. By 2007 39 per cent of us were receiving one or more of forty state benefits and credits compared with 24 per cent in 1997.
Want to know about the gold reserves sale fiasco and how other countries made billions out of the British? Need the details of the shocking state of our national pensions – public and private? The government’s borrowing and public debt? It’s all in here, but more digestible than any Conservative Campaign Guide. Indeed budding opposition politicians – of all parties – could do worse than picking up a copy of Butler’s book to read on this summer’s vacation. With a general election destined for June next year at the latest, every candidate’s bedside cabinet should have one.
As a New Labour cheerleader of the nineties, Will Hutton has a lot to answer for. If ever there was a book he should read it’s Eamonn Butler’s The Rotten State of Britain. Like this book? Read online this: State Of Britain's Mammals, The, Guide to the Materials for American History, to 1783, in the Public Record Office of Great Britain - Volume I. the State Papers.
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