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  • Published: 27 June 2024
  • ISBN: 9781529932409
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

Great Britain?

How We Get Our Future Back

  • Torsten Bell

A thrilling and forensic examination of our state of chaos, and a hopeful manifesto for a different future, by one of our most influential and profound thinkers on the British economy.

Things have not been going great for Britain. Wages are flatlining, taxes are rising, and public services are collapsing. Our children can’t afford to buy houses, our parents aren’t receiving the social care they need and our neighbours are reliant on foodbanks. We are all yearning for a way out of the financial crises, generational wars and political dysfunction that dominate our lives. Most of all we want our future – and Britain’s – back.

There are few who are better placed to investigate Britain’s plight than Torsten Bell, Chief Executive of the Resolution Foundation. In Great Britain? he offers both a clear-eyed diagnosis of the problems facing our country – a uniquely toxic combination of huge inequality and stagnant economic growth – and a hopeful, bold vision for the alternative. As he shows, the Britain of today contains the raw materials to build a better Britain tomorrow – an investment nation of good work and secure homes, and a society in which both burdens and prosperity are shared.

This treasure trove of enlightening and original analysis is a much-needed antidote to the pervading sense that Britain’s decline is inevitable or irreversible. Torsten Bell argues that our era of chaos and cynicism needs neither utopianism nor nostalgia, but a practical patriotism to raise living standards and create a more equal country. He passionately points us towards a Britain that we can actually build – a future worth fighting for.

  • Published: 27 June 2024
  • ISBN: 9781529932409
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

Praise for Great Britain?

Torsten Bell is an extraordinarily accomplished economist and thinker who not only speaks lucidly about what ails the British economy, but also offers upbeat, relentlessly sensible ideas for making things better.

Stephanie Flanders, Head of Economics and Government, Bloomberg

How and why did the British economy become both stagnant and unequal? What must be done to transform its current plight for the better? This book gives thoughtful and provocative answers to both questions. Anybody interested in securing a better future for the country should read it.

Martin Wolf, Chief Economist, Financial Times

Finally – an exciting, positive agenda to restore growth, reduce inequality and rebuild the social contract in Britain.

Minouche Shafik

This is stellar: brilliant, incredibly pragmatic and serious about the country we are. It presents a wonderful opportunity for an incoming government.

Rory Stewart

An incisive, challenging and brilliantly researched agenda to deliver what Britain needs: inclusive and sustainable growth.

Gordon Brown

Torsten Bell has produced a brilliant analysis of the politics of pessimism in which the UK is currently mired and shows us how we can begin to arrest, then reverse, our dispiriting torpor. He is also that rare thing – an economist who can write for non-experts. The country must cherish him – and ask for more.

Peter Hennessy

Spiced with wit, this is a masterful, fact-packed indictment of modern Britain after its decade of decline. But there is also hope and optimism in its practical prescription for a great social and economic restoration.

Polly Toynbee

This is a sobering but optimistic book. It paints a brutally honest portrait of Britain’s decline, but wisely shows us how to take action and get our future back.

Professor Dame Diane Coyle, University of Cambridge

Compelling, engaging and meticulously researched. Excellent stuff.

Tatton Spiller, Simple Politics

No one has done more to re-inject sanity into our national policy debates – Torsten Bell writes with optimism and clarity about the things we are getting right, as well as the stuff we should be desperate to improve. Authoritative, forensic and humane – a critical voice for our troubled times.

Emily Maitlis

A forensic, sometimes merciless, critique of what lies behind Britain’s headlong economic decline – and hopeful, feasible proposals for turning it around. One of the most impressive and readable books in a growing body of work that together is arguing for a radical change of direction. We can’t go on like this.

Will Hutton, author of, This Time No Mistakes: How to Remake Britain

A dose of Torstenomics is the only thing that can give us hope

Amol Rajan

An economic blueprint for a Starmer administration

New Statesman

Bell is an excellent writer with a talent for putting things so clearly and crisply that they lodge easily in the brain ... Although Bell is pretty bleak about Britain’s condition, he is refreshingly optimistic about our chances of catching up with our peers

Emma Duncan, The Times

Bell[’s]… a creative thinker whose ideas are often ahead of his time and focus on those others overlook: low and middle-income earners, not the wealthier middle classes, and renters, not homeowners … required reading for the new intakeits real achievement is in creating what he calls some "hardheaded believable hope" of better days aheadThere are original ideas here for everything from helping the low-paid build up emergency savings to making shiftwork less precarious, and perhaps most radically, for shifting the burden of tax from income to wealth.

Gaby Hinsliff, Observer

A roadmap to the new normal … surprisingly hopeful … required reading for the new intake … this is an incisive, upbeat vision of how a Labour government could turn things around even in difficult times

Gaby Hinsliff, Observer

"Essential background reading" doesn’t do justice to the brilliant Torsten Bell. Everyone - Labour or not - should read this book if they care about our country.

Tom Baldwin, author of Keir Starmer: The Biography

An economic playbook for the incoming UK government

Professor John Turner

A devastating account of the moth-eaten state of Britain. But it’s not all gloom. We can fix this, he argues.

*Summer Reads of 2024*, Sunday Times

Fascinating stuff - recommended reading

Henry Mance

Pragmatic … Great Britain? is full of policy detail Bell makes the argument for immediate, concrete change on both principled and political groundsBell argues convincingly that Labour needs to go further and faster to deliver concrete improvements in people’s lives. As he concludes, "Problems will not vanish overnight – yet, as we start investing in our own future, the clouds that hover over Britain will lift far more swiftly than we might realise." Keir Starmer should listen.

Jonathan Portes, Guardian

Pretty cool … the think tank work I raved about on The Rest Is Politics has morphed into a book!!

Alastair Campbell