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Head North

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781398719736

Price: £22

ON SALE: 7th March 2024

Genre: Society & Social Sciences / Politics & Government

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Gordon Brown: ‘A path-breaking book by two dynamic leaders, whose ideas on the future deserve all our attention.’

Picked as one of Waterstones’ Non-Fiction ‘Books You Need to Read in 2024’
Picked by the Financial Times as one of ‘The Best New Politics Books’
Picked by iNews as one of ‘The Best New Books to Read in March 2024’

Britain is more unequal than ever before. If we’re ever going to fix this, we must take the power out of Westminster.

Looking North could change this, and the Labour Mayors of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region, Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram are leading this fight. For the first time, they share their experiences of modern British politics, from how the Hillsborough disaster shaped them and their time as MPs in Westminster witnessing its systematic flaws, to leaving to become Mayors up North, battling Boris Johnson during the Covid-19 pandemic, and creating a new vision for what Britain could be.

In Head North, they propose an ambitious ten-point plan to rewire and reimagine our country beyond the Westminster bubble. A timely discussion around Northern voices and culture, devolution and the failed promises of ‘levelling up’ from successive Tory Prime Ministers, Head North is an essential read ahead of the 2024 General Election, as it outlines how we can spread political and economic power throughout the UK and push forward for a fairer future.

The North will not sit on the sidelines any longer. It’s time for real change – and this is how we can achieve it!


The Observer: ‘Not since Tony Blair 30 years ago have politicians advocated for the north from a place of understanding’.

Reviews

Radical proposals... the most moving parts of the book bring this project down to earth... It isn't even just about the north. It's a brutal reality of British state power that can befall us all... if the book has a singular achievement, it's that it makes a persuasive case for why a range of doorstep issues - especially those that speak to regional inequality - are in fact constitutional problems, and can't be addressed without revolutionising what is an overcentralised political system.
Craig Gent, Novara Media
Two of the very few MPs who are genuinely concerned about the welfare of their constituents, have a basic decency, strong principles and a genuine humanity... they argue strongly for a different kind of politics that would address the stark inequalities in Britain and the north-south divide... Burnham and Rotheram should certainly be congratulated on addressing our dysfunctional political system... as well as renewed hope to a country in the process of self-destruction.
John Green, Morning Star
Head North makes a passionate case for restructuring politics with the regions and regional devolution at the heart of a transformed political system that works for the many... Head North reads like a call to arms against the status quo.
Andy Walker, Labour Hub
A moving and fascinating look behind the scenes of our political system; the important story of two politicians from working class backgrounds, who set out to change lives and do the right thing.
Kwajo Tweneboa, Social Housing Activist
It's powerful. This is humanity and politics brought together... And the result is no pie in the sky wishlist. The 10 points are practical ideas based on the inner workings of Britain's establishment... they provide something in short supply at the moment, hope. Large sections of Head North are rage-inducing, there's no doubt about that. But closing the final page, I felt more optimistic about the possibility of real change in Britain than I have for a long time.
Anna Caig, The Sheffield Star
Radical proposals... the most moving parts of the book bring this project down to earth... It isn't even just about the north. It's a brutal reality of British state power that can befall us all... if the book has a singular achievement, it's that it makes a persuasive case for why a range of doorstep issues - especially those that speak to regional inequality - are in fact constitutional problems, and can't be addressed without revolutionising what is an overcentralised political system.
Craig Gent, Novara Media
Head North unpicks many of the reasons for the challenges we face in the North of England and suggests solutions... a book whose arguments will be attractive to many.
Peter Sagar, North East Bylines
well-argued... strong ideas.
The Liverpool Post/The Manchester Mill
The Hillsborough families know more than anyone that this country does not treat all people and all places equally. We also know our experience was not an exception: the same pattern of injustice keeps on repeating down the decades. The Head North Plan, with a Hillsborough Law at its heart, is the change our country needs.
Margaret Aspinall, Former Chair of the Hillsborough Families Support Group
The pair's study of the neglect of northern regions carries persuasive ideas for their renewal and a reminder that history favours the brave... offering a clear plan to improve living standards... Their vision for equality appears workable and deceptively simple... Not since Tony Blair 30 years ago have politicians advocated for the north from a place of understanding, while also acknowledging that there is no actual single "north"... Overseen by journalist Liam Thorp, who brings brevity and order, Head North ultimately offers hope to the northern regions when it is most needed.
Benjamin Myers, Observer/the Guardian
It is a compelling argument for regional devolution from two of its foremost practitioners.
Christopher McKeon, The Irish News
This is a path-breaking book by two dynamic leaders working together to transform not just the north of England, but our view of what's possible in the north of England, and whose ideas on the future deserve all our attention.
Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Head North calls for a real levelling-up, as opposed to the recent hollow farce. Burnham and Rotheram make a strong case for a new, green industrial revolution.
Ian Martin, Unherd
At once a fascinating insight into the squalid inner workings of Westminster politics and a programme of optimism for the complete overhaul to tackle Britain's social, economic and constitutional malaise, the book is one of the more thought-provoking to have emerged from British politics.
Marcus Barnett, Tribune
A heartfelt, ambitious plea to tackle structural factors behind Britain's glaring regional inequalities from one of Northern England's most prominent political double-acts.
Brian Groom, Author of Northerners: A History
Against the backdrop of devastating critiques of what deregulation and privatisation have done to some public services in both their patches and beyond, the two Labour leaders call for maximum devolution of powers in a federal political union.
Financial Times