The Establishment and how they get away with it – Owen Jones

I picked up this book on a whim at my local library and thought I would give it 25 pages to grip me or discard. Well it gripped me.

I knew some of Owen Jones work through Guardian articles, and politically we are not an obvious match. Before reading this, I would have placed him on the left of Labour and myself on the right of Lib Dems. But he writes well, no rants, just well researched viewpoints that while I don’t always agree with, they made me think and question my own viewpoints.

The basis of his argument is that there is an ‘establishment’ alliance of people, companies, political and legal organisations who dominate the laws and wealth of the UK. Through a mixture of post war accidents, planning and self interest right wing individuals and enterprises unfairly enjoy most of the wealth, legal decisions and tax breaks in the country whilst blaming the poor ‘working class’ when things go wrong.

My business experience in financial services has convinced me that the promotion and protection of the established order of things (banks, politics, laws, commerce, lobbying, media) is more chaotic than the book makes it appear. But nevertheless, there is a strong underlying collective interest for powerful wealthy individuals and organisations to protect and promote their interests, regardless of others.

The book covers far right pressure groups with revolving doors into politics, business, banking and law. It puts Westminster, the media, police, banking and investment, benefits and tax dodging under the microscope. All of it well researched with examples. And it calls for a democratic revolution.

Hugely enjoyable and challenging. I recommend this book to anyone with an open mind about the state of the UK and what can be done to move forward.