Greater: Britain After the Storm
Some news! While I was out of government I wrote this book which is being published today. It is about our country, who we are and what we need to do next. All proceeds will be going to good causes.... It is dedicated to the people of my home city who have taught me so much. Huge thanks to everyone who has supported.
Greater: Britain After the Storm by The Rt Penny Mordaunt MP and Chris Lewis out on BiteBack Publishing.
A new book dedicated to Portsmouth seeks to galvanise support from around the world and across political divides to ensure that Britain’s best days lie ahead. Its sale will raise funds for local projects to help charities and social enterprises.
Portsmouth and the nation have come together over the last 15 months in a national mission to save lives and halt Coronavirus. Huge numbers of people have volunteered, made sacrifices for others and stepped up to serve their communities. Our community is stronger than ever. As we look to the recovery, we need to reflect on what we have learnt.
Greater- written by Penny Mordaunt in late 2019, and updated by her co-author over the last 15 months when Penny came back into Government- is designed to “buck us up and cheer us up”.
It is backed by a large number of people including, Sir Ben Ainslie, Bill Gates, Sir Elton John, The Prime Minister and Tony Blair.
Greater lays out a plan for Britain after the storms of the financial crisis, Brexit and Covid. Delving into our history, our institutions and our culture, it explains how we arrived at this point and how the British character points the way towards practical national missions.
It is peppered with people and organisations from Portsmouth, many of which contributed to a 100 strong panel surveyed as part of the research for the book.
Featuring a foreword by Bill Gates, it explores Britain’s role in the world and how to balance global and local priorities; makes the case for the United Kingdom based on the mutuality that binds us; and calls for modernisation in politics, government and markets. It describes the role of social media in culture wars and calls for a relentless focus on aspiration and a social enterprise revolution. Above all, it reminds us of the many reasons we have to be optimistic.
The ideal book for those who want to understand how Britain can make progress and a powerful argument for co-operation, unity and modernisation.
The book has been supported by a large number of people at the top of their fields including scientists, artists, sports professionals, business leaders and politicians from all parties.
“Everyone has been through so much in recent years. I want our country to come out of the pandemic strongly and for us all to unite behind some things we can all agree on. That requires a vision and for us to put local people in the driving seat. I have been really inspired by so many people who are doing amazing things, many from my own city. People are frustrated at politics not only because it often fails to deliver, but also because it stops them for helping.
“My hope is this book will help galvanise that spirit and also provide some funding to help support our local community organisations. We are an amazing country, and I do believe our best days lie ahead. But that success won’t happen without us modernising Parliament, Whitehall and Townhall and finance.
“I dedicated the book to this city because for me it has always represented the best that our nation has to offer the world.”
PRAISE FOR GREATER
“Self-belief and self-awareness are needed to achieve any goal. This book provides a plan and perhaps more importantly, restores pride in our country and each other. When we are united and focussed, there is nothing we cannot do.” – Sir Ben Ainslie CBE, Gold Medal Winner at four successive Olympic Games and winner of the America’s Cup
“At a time when our Nation faces the huge strategic change of leaving the EU it needs a clear strategy to guide its policies, both external and internal. In that regard, the authors are to be complemented on their analysis, conclusions and proposals that play to our national strengths and characteristics. I agree with them that we ourselves, our friends and indeed the world itself need a radical, front footed and inclusive approach to be taken by the UK” – Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, former First Sea Lord
“A much needed and very enjoyable reflection on where we are and how we got here. This is a vision for what we should be doing in the 2020s in our Re– set Britain. Hopeful, yet challenging, insightful and uplifting, and above all accessible and optimistic. Full of nostalgia, fun, honesty and inspirational ideas that will appeal to the curious, creative and all of us who seek to better understand ourselves, our culture and values, and as modern Britain.” – Steve Frampton MBE, President, The Association of Colleges, former Principle at Portsmouth College.
“It is an axiom in navigation that you prepare properly for your voyage, know where you are starting from, have a clear idea of your intended destination, and finally how to get there. The future is always uncertain, no more so than at present for our country, but one can think about where we want to go, and that is what this book seeks to stimulate.” – Sir Robin Knox– Johnston CBE RD
“Penny Mordaunt and Chris Lewis present an insightful and spirited vision for a new Britain that is both global and local, resilient and bold, building on the best of its traditions and the strengths of its diverse people. At a time of great shifts and changes, it’s an utterly uplifting and inspiring read.” Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin.
“Hi–de–hi captured beautifully the quintessentially quirkiness and eccentricity the British are so renowned for. Always willing to have a go, participating, even though we may look daft, joining in with warmth and generosity of spirit, always celebrating the underdog and fighting for fairness. These are qualities defined and honed through our history and passed on through generations because they represent what ‘goodness’ is and any nation would be proud to possess them. Greater is a timely reminder of the truth of this.’ – Su Pollard, Actress
“This book is timely, provocative and funny. Even the most sceptical and curmudgeonly will surely see the value of Britain regaining its confidence and playing a leading part in building a sustainable global future.” Sir Michael Barber, Institute for Government
“The past two decades have taught me that the world can out– innovate its greatest problems so long as there are nations who are willing to devote both their money and brainpower to the task. I am glad that people like Penny and Chris are making the case too.” – Bill Gates, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“At the core of most scientists is the determination to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by facts and experiment. Our brilliant Oxford scientists working with our outstanding care sector have made a massive contribution to combatting Covid. As this book points out, these are some of our most treasured professions.” Professor Sir John Bell Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University
“This is a really important book. Because whatever disagreements there are about the recent political past, there is no doubt at all that the spirit Britain needs for its future is one that is optimistic, outward-looking, innovative and inclusive. And that is the spirit of the book Penny and Chris have written, which makes it both uplifting and highly readable.” Rt Hon. Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the UK
“This really readable and funny book reminds me of so many of the things I love about the UK – so much pride in things of the past and present – and it gives me high hopes for the future.” Richard Curtis
“This is required reading for public office. It combines some of the best thinking from all sides, written with understanding and love for who we are and still can be.” Iain Dale broadcaster, political commentator and author
“How can Britain be better? Penny and Chris make a thoughtful, passionate, affectionate and surprisingly funny attempt to answer this central question. How do we heal divisions, forge a common future, create a modern national narrative and remind ourselves that we have more in common than that which divides us? A necessary book, lightly written. Bravo.” Rt Hon. Ruth Davidson MSP
“This is a delightfully crafted love letter to those queer folk we call the British. It’s eloquent, eccentric, hugely entertaining, at times impossibly argumentative and, above all, bloody good fun.” Lord (Michael) Dobbs of Wylye, author of House of Cards
“I’m deeply proud to be British, not least because of the extraordinarily brave, funny, brilliant, kind and talented people who call these small islands home. In particular, I’m proud of Britain’s history of engaging in the challenges people face, not just at home but around the world. A book examining what it means to be British, and Britain’s potential to be a force for good in the world, is timely. Penny and Chris should be congratulated on seizing the opportunity to look forward in this interesting and enjoyable book.” Sir Elton John
“A pre-match pep talk for Brexit Britain - loving and invigorating, and delivered with characteristic wit.” The Rt Hon Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
“In her maiden speech to Parliament my sister Jo Cox MP said, ‘We are far more united and have more in common than that which divides us.’ Sadly it hasn’t always felt like it in recent years. Britain is great, but we know to our cost that it can be greater. The themes explored in this excellent book give us all an opportunity to reflect on what we can do to play our part in the journey to make it so.” Kim Leadbeater MBE ambassador for the Jo Cox Foundation.
“After three decades in the European Union, for better or worse, we are out and on our own. But geography, and neighbours and common risks do not depart. We urgently need a route map for the future which will unite our fractious people. This book and its two experienced and insightful authors have given us a serious contribution to the great debate our country needs to have.” Rt Hon. Lord (George) Robertson of Port Ellen, former Sec Gen NATO.
“I really enjoyed reading this. Smart, thoughtful, passionate and funny, it injects a welcome dose of optimism into the debate about Britain’s future. Probably nobody will agree with every word, but that’s one of the book’s great virtues: it makes you think. Anybody interested in our political and economic future, our global cultural impact or simply the lasting significance of Norman Wisdom will find it an enormously provocative and engaging read. And above all, it’s great fun, which is the most important thing of all.” Dominic Sandbrook
Britain will need a clear vision and renewed hope for the decade ahead. This book offers them – arguing it has the reasons for confidence and the resources to meet the challenges. After five years of division and turbulence, here is a path to a better future.” Sir Anthony Seldon
“Penny Mordaunt and Chris Lewis have written an essential book about some of the most important issues we face as a country today. It’s a hugely entertaining read that tackles some vital questions, including how we can reunite our polarised country and how our local communities can become even stronger. After a turbulent few years, this is exactly the optimistic, patriotic and ambitious book that our country needs.” David Skelton
“Penny Mordaunt and Chris Lewis have an ability to simplify concepts that are important as we envisage what lies ahead. They blend politics, economics, culture, anthropology to provide us with a different way to think about Britain and its future. This book is full of new ideas and hope as well as a good dose of humour. A must read for all of us who care about this country.” – Helen Alderson, International Committee of the Red Cross
“With all great change comes great opportunity. In fact, change isn’t an impediment to business, it’s a necessary condition. It’s an attitude thing. You need to be flexible, agile and innovative. Above all else, you need to be determined. That’s why Pret became such a success. Innovation is nothing without hard work.” – Sinclair Beecham, Founder, Pret a Manger
“This is an important and well written book. I like it a lot.” – Professor Jeremy Black MBE, senior fellow at the Center for the Study of America and the West at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia
“In difficult and troubling times , trust in public institutions and in the democratic process is more crucial than ever. The analysis and narrative provided in this book should give pause for thought to all who devise or drive public policy. Those of us who are optimistic for our country’s future will very much enjoy this important new account.” – Sir Stephen Bubb
Director, Oxford Institute of Charity
“In setting out their path for forging Britain’s future the authors’ are hardly lacking ambition. But Penny Mordaunt and Chris Lewis succeed admirably. For anyone seeking to make sense of how Britain should move on from a decade of financial crises, Brexit and Covid this is an essential read. Well researched, original and profound the authors develop their argument with an underlying humour that guarantees to keep you engaged. Highly recommended.” – Professor David Brown, Lancaster University Management School
“At a time when Global Britain is launching into even more uncertain waters than was first imagined, it needs far sighted politicians, of experience and humanity, to remind us that what is important is what we do for the world, not what the world does for us. It also needs leaders who work collaboratively with others, taking ideas from outside the sometimes narrow environment politicians inhabit. Penny Mordaunt and Chris Lewis achieve this fusion, for all our benefit.” – Rt Hon Alistair Burt, Pro-Chancellor Lancaster University and former Minister
“The UK is at a crossroads of framing our future as a country, with the triple challenges of Covid, the impending economic crisis and Brexit. This book provides a roadmap to help us navigate not only these challenges but also to refresh our vision of the future unencumbered by the past. This is a ‘must read’ for all of those who want a better and more harmonious future for Britain.” – Professor Sir Cary Cooper, CBE, ALLIANCE Manchester Business School, University of Manchester
“A compelling vision of a nation unlocking all of its talent and creating a new and inclusive economy where those with the most diverse backgrounds are recognised for the crucial part they play.” – Professor Francis Davis BA MSc MPA FRGS, Professor of Religion, Director of Policy, Edward Cadbury Centre, University of Birmingham
“This is a delightfully crafted love letter to those queer folk we call the British. It’s eloquent, eccentric, hugely entertaining, at times impossibly argumentative and, above all, bloody good fun.” – Lord Michael Dobbs of Wylye, Author of House of Cards
“Truly impressive – expect to see this book in any international commentator’s shelfie! As a new era of US leadership dawns – this is a timely blueprint for what Global Britain should be all about. Eminently qualified to report from the frontline of politics and business, Penny Mordaunt and Chris Lewis raise the bar on Britain’s aspirations” – The Right Honourable Tobias Ellwood MP, Chairman of the Defence Select Committee
“This is a brilliantly written book that holds our hand and guides us with humour and elegant prose through the distorting lens of nostalgia towards a more realistic, measured and confident vision of who we are now and what we are capable of achieving next.” - Professor Russell Foster CBE, FRS
“The great national missions called for in this book would pull the country together and lever all it has to offer to get the job done. It is a powerful case for more effective, inclusive and fit for purpose politics. With compassion and humour, it cuts through the fluff and nonsense. It is a reminder of what is possible. It is a reminder of what is required.” – Baroness Sally Greengross
“Penny Mordaunt is one of the freest and most independent spirits in British politics. She forms a really fruitful partnership with Chris Lewis. Not even high ministerial office can sap her verve and the stimulus she can bring to the national conversation. This book brims with it.” – Lord Peter Hennessy
“A thorough and thought– provoking examination of Britain's future security environment could not have come at a more opportune time. As the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries wrestle with deep divisions and fragmentation – both at home and abroad – few people are better– placed to propose a practical path forward than Penny Mordaunt and Chris Lewis.” – Karin von Hippel, Director General, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies
“Lewis and Mordaunt move effortlessly through British culture and countryside from Goodwood via the Wombles and Felicity Kendal to the intricacies of the off– side rule. A Tour de force. A really good read.” – Edmund King OBE
“The British are a practical people, as this book correctly reminds us, they rightly judge you by what you do. They know the truth when they see it. This book is timely. It points out the challenge for our political systems. That they are run by a generation impressed by theorists of the left and right, rather than people who can actually make things happen.” – Lord Andrew Mawson
“This is a helluva book. The prose blazes and sets fire to many of our prejudices. The book might be a love letter to Britain and its future, but above all it is a tremendous shock to the system, which our often complacent, frequently lazy society desperately needs.” Tony Palmer, theatre, film and opera director
“The great British cartoonist, Norman Thelwell, observed in his drawings what he called, “the endearing lunacy of human behaviour”. Lewis and Mordaunt’s wonderful dissection of the British character, is in the spirit of the great cartoonist Pont, and unpicks and lays bare our idiosyncrasies. Our celebrated caricaturists and cartoonists (from Hogarth and Gillray, to today’s Steve Bell, Matt and Peter Brookes), inimitably convey what people really thought, what we really think about our politicians, our royalty, and today, about our dystopian times. Their drawings say more than words can ever express in the weighty newspaper columns of the day, and their social observation is a record of Britain’s changing attitudes and social behaviour. Greater lays bare our foibles and could almost be a reference dictionary of source material for cartoonists – it is funny and insightful and shows us a visionary plan for the nation’s future.” – Oliver Preston, Cartoonist and co– founder of The Cartoon Museum
“The book is a breath of fresh air which should appeal to all those aware of our past and concerned about our future. From the first sentence, the authors capture the reader’s attention and then it is full speed through the analysis of Britain and how the British see themselves.” – Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG QC
“This book lays out a clear vision for Britain. It says we need a plan. It says we need to modernise, socially, culturally and economically. It says we need to be more inclusive and offers fresh thinking based on solid research that also understands the British character. It’s funny and informative and I cannot recommend it highly enough.” – Jacqueline de Rojas CBE President techUK
“A glorious combination of honouring the timeless values that have built the foundations of this great nation, whilst smiling at our idiosyncrasies!” – Baroness Philippa Stroud
“Greater tells us about the reflexive and reciprocal relationship between democracy and capitalism and shows that, without trust, corporations cannot claim to serve their communities whilst concurrently undermining them. Whether it be tax avoidance, transitioning to a carbon neutral economy or the disintermediation of data, British charisma has a distinct role in facilitating the contours of our collective psyche. – Bill Thornhill, Global Capital
“Chris Lewis and Penny Mordaunt have succinctly outlined a much needed set of priorities for Britain’s success in the years ahead. Understanding the priorities and psyche of America’s most important ally is critical for the formulation of sound policy that benefits both nations and the world. This work should be required-reading for policy and decision makers on both sides of the Atlantic.” Kenneth Todorov, Brig Gen, USAF (Ret) and Sector Vice President, Northrop Grumman Defense Systems
NOTES TO EDITORS
The book has been cleared by the Governments Propriety and Ethics Team and four Government departments. The Prime Minister has been sighted on it and is supportive.
All royalities from the book will go to good causes.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Penny Mordaunt (@pennymordaunt) is the UK Member of Parliament for Portsmouth North. She is a former Secretary of State for Defence and for International Development and a former governor at the World Bank. She served as an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve and is now Honorary Commander of 2nd Mine Countermeasures Squadron. Before her election, her career spanned the public, voluntary and private sectors.
Chris Lewis is an award-winning author. He is a donor and volunteer for medical research charity Bravo Victor, the Cartoon Museum, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the International Rescue Committee, the Royal Society and many others. He splits his time between the UK and America. He has helped Portsmouth College with their work to inspire the next generation.
For more information please contact Suzanne Sangster on email@example.com or call 07818 810173