The Establishment by Owen Jones

Have you ever been mildly irritated that there is a class of people in this country who simply can’t lose? More likely you’re boiling with rage at the fact. Casino Capitalists in the City of London can’t lose. When times are good they’re trousering fortunes. When times are bad, the tax payer bails them out. Polititians of all hues enjoy the gravy train of ‘expenses’. Make no mistake, the ‘elite’ at the top of society are relentless in maintaining their power, wealth and status. The ‘Old Boy Network’ is very much alive and flourishing.

In The Establishment (4 Sep 2014) Owen Jones (, author of the international bestseller Chavs (2011), offers a biting critique of the British Establishment and a passionate plea for democracy.

The summary is as follows. Behind our democracy lurks a powerful but unaccountable network of people who wield massive power and reap huge profits in the process. In exposing this shadowy and complex system that dominates our lives, Owen Jones sets out on a journey into the heart of our Establishment, from the lobbies of Westminster to the newsrooms, boardrooms and trading rooms of Fleet Street and the City. 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. I wouldn’t recommend this book for anyone with high blood pressure. It’s bound to make you very angry.

Read this along with Jeremy Paxman’s 1991 book Friends in High Places: Who Runs Britain? Available at or check with your local library. Published 23 years ago, nothing much has changed except that the rich are richer still, and the poor securely held back. It could have been written yesterday.

368 pages in Allen Lane

First published 4 Sep 2014

ISBN 978-1846147197

Owen Jones

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