The Establishment: and How They Get Away with It – Owen Jones

Discussed January 2016, this review by Sue Kortlandt May 2016

Owen Jones defines the modern Establishment as a powerful but unaccountable network of people who wield massive power and use it to maintain their wealth and position. His starting point is ideas promulgated by right-wing economists, taken up by Margaret Thatcher and friends.  This neo-liberal philosophy became the “norm” and moved the balance of public opinion to the right.

Through a series of interviews, Owen Jones charts the links between various groups – ideological, academic, personal – from the lobbies of Westminster to the newsrooms, boardrooms and trading rooms of Fleet Street and the City, and including the police, who were so essential to Thatcher’s project.   Of particular interest to Labour Party members is the section on Blair and his ministers, some of whom did very nicely! Exposing the revolving doors that link these worlds, and the vested interests that bind them together, Jones shows how, in claiming to work on our behalf, the people at the top are doing precisely the opposite. In fact, they represent the biggest threat to our democracy today – and it is time they were challenged.