The Establishment: And how they get away with it Kindle Edition
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|Length: 334 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
I say "both sides of the spectrum," but a clear left-right division is a fairy tale -- at least in the UK, the area that chiefly concerns this book. A chapter is devoted to the influence of US and EU power brokers, but Owen Jones remains mainly interested in affairs at a national level.
Chief takeaways from this book:
1.) Thatcher's influence was astronomical, and today's Labour party is its biggest victory -- by moving accepted discourse so far to the right that voters essentially had the choice between "right wing" and "marginally less right wing."
2.) Laissez-faire capitalism in modern Britain is only for poor people: they're the ones expected to pull themselves up by their bootstraps -- gumption, personal responsibility and all that. Nanny state socialism is only there for megacorps and banks: if they stumble, it's the state (and as a result, the tax-payer) that ends up paying for it.
3.) Mainstream media reporting is almost wholly done by those middle class and up, and is subject to such crazy deadlines that they're often just slightly editing corporate/barely disguised corporate-sponsored think tank press releases.
There's tons more in this great, great book, and I suggest you pick it up post-haste before the post in your haste gets bought up by a Qatar concern.
Where I think the author is too soft is in attributing this simply to a set of values shared by establishment members. I cannot agree. There have been conspiracies to undermine public services in order to prove their inefficiency and lower their value before quickly selling them, for example. The last chapter of the book, about the democratic revolution, is also a bit naïve in my opinion.
But overall the book is excellent and made me understand a lot about what's going on in Europe and the world.