It is rare for a serving senior Minister to publish a book while in office, and what a book it is. Before you even reach the first chapter, there is a veritable Becher’s Brook of bedazzling “names” saying how wonderful it is – Boris Johnson, Tony Blair, Elton John, Richard Curtis, Ruth Davidson, Peter Hennessey, Ben Ainslie, and Bill Gates wrote the Foreword. Leap past this guff, body swerve the foreword, and head straight to the introduction; this is where the serious engagement starts. The scene is set.
Penny Mordaunt and Chris Lewis’s questions boil down to what’s going on in Britain today; how did we get here, and what can we do to fix it? The book’s premise is that Britain needs sorting out. Who can challenge that essential thesis? Answers and practical examples come aplenty in the chapters that follow. No sector, institution or group is left unanalysed. This is not one of those tomes that outline how awful things are without the authors knowing what to do. Mordaunt and Lewis are proud of Britain and want to see it do better.
Mordaunt is a brave politician with a compelling personal backstory. As a leading Brexiteer her decision to back Jeremy Hunt in the Conservative leadership campaign probably cost her a seat in the Cabinet. Boris Johnson’s willingness to provide a quote for the book is a sign that the breach has healed. Greater: Britain After The Storm provides the first serious post-Brexit vision for Britain. That alone makes it a book of note. Its prescription is ambitious, maybe at times beyond reasonable achievement, but it’s a book full of hope and ambition and worth spending time with.
This review was first published in Reaction https://reaction.life/books-digest-china-intimacies-and-greater-britain-after-the-storm/