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Head of Zeus
Esler’s urgent exploration of British political system in peril goes to Head of Zeus

Journalist Gavin Esler’s Britain is Better Than This: Why a Great Country is Failing Us All has been signed by Head of Zeus.

Publisher Neil Belton acquired world all-language rights from Andrew Gordon at David Higham Associates for publication on 21st September in hardback and e-book.

The book is described as “an urgent and timely exploration of a British political system in peril and what we must do to save it”. “[It] explores the constitutional and structural failures at the heart of this political system, sheds light on a culture of lies, mistrust and corruption, reveals fundamental flaws in core institutions, including the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and draws on events such as the MP expenses scandal, Brexit and Partygate, and the farcical premiership of Liz Truss,” says the synopsis.

“But it also looks ahead, offering practical solutions and a positive outlook, and asks the question: what can we do to build a better future?”

Esler said: “Britain is better than this. We all know it, yet every day we are confronted by news stories that make us wince or leave us scratching our heads trying to figure out why this extraordinarily creative and lovely country is in such a mess. How many times have you heard friends witnessing the shambles at Westminster and saying ‘how on Earth do we get these people?’

“How do we end up with people you would not trust to babysit your children reaching key positions in a modern, wealthy, advanced democracy of 68 million people? Britain Is Better Than This examines the root causes of the British malaise in the 2020s and what we can do about it before it’s too late.”

Belton said: “Gavin Esler is a lucid, engaging and honest writer who is addressing, in a very accessible way, the deepest questions about how Britain is governed: its non-existent constitution, its archaic, often dubiously democratic, institutions  and the state’s unresolved relationships with the nations that make up our less and less United Kingdom. It’s wonderful to work with a writer who cares so much about his country, and who is so energetically focused on making it better.”

Esler was a main presenter of the BBC current affairs show Newsnight for 12 years until 2014. Since then he has been a public speaker, a political commentator and journalist, and the Chancellor of the University of Kent. His previous books include How Britain Ends, which was published by Head of Zeus in 2021.