Its is intriguing that a group of people like Patel, Truss, Raab, Kwarteng and Skidmore who are now presenting themselves as credible members of the next Government (if their party gets a majority of seats) sat down and wrote a book together seven years ago. The book was titled Britannia Unchained and the piece by Dominic Raab on work ethic was fascinating, begin with the words “Once they enter the workplace, the British are the worst idlers in the world. We work among the lowest hours, we retire early and our productivity is poor. Wheras Indian children aspire to be doctors or businessmen, the British are more interested in football or pop music” At the time that Raab wrote that and his colleagues stated their views, all five of them had been MPs for two years so while they were relatively new to Parliament, they were not naïve and new to politics. One assumes they were wanting to be seen as credible by their then coalition Government and they have since then all served as Ministers in their Governments as we approach the third election since they wrote the book. It is useful as we approach that third election in seven years which will impact many parts of our nation by disrupting all of our District, Borough and Unitary Authorities and cost us around £100m to arrange, to remind ourselves of these views from people who often criticise other people including non politicians.
At the time the book was published a review of it was placed in the Financial Times written by the FT’s executive comment editor with the following words:
In any case, for the authors, “the malaise lies deeper than government policy can address”. They argue that the country’s plight is sociological, not economic: “Britain has …suffered from a diminished work ethic and a culture of excuses.” Cushy benefits, celebrity worship and reality television have left Britons idle, the MPs say. Although David Cameron has flirted with strident moralism, his “Big Society” was ultimately an optimistic vision. In Britannia Unchained, the country is going to hell in a handcart full of Iceland frozen food….An irony of Britannia Unchained is that many of the countries it lauds, such as Singapore, Brazil and Israel, have states that are far more interventionist than Britain’s. Another lesson from the developing world could be that “state capitalism” works. Britain is a rightly liberal country but it wouldn’t hurt the government to have a strategy.
Of course since then the incompetence of their party has been high, but it does demonstrate how out of touch these people and their political party is from the real world in which we are living.