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* Book: Owen Jones: The Establishment - And How they get away with it?


Pat Conaty:

"Over here in the UK the hottest non-fiction book is the latest by the young Guardian journalist Owen Jones: The Establishment - And How they get away with it? It is amazingly good and so well written. A youthful version of Sanders or Corbyn.

It has been a long, long time since an investigative reporting book has become a phenomenal best seller like this. Non-fiction books on the left rarely make the grade as he has. I was amazed at how many of the London elite he was able to interview for this. Because of his youth, doors were opened. Such a brilliant chapter in the book on the Outriders and the triumph of the neoliberals and how they pulled this off internationally when throughout the 60s and 70s they were dismissed as utterly nuts.

The final chapter is fascinating as it is all about the need for a new mode of production and the case for intensifying democracy in public-social partnership ways. His critique of the extreme centre ground of twiddle-dee and dumb is compelling. We have heard most of this before in a story here and there and some where else but the way he has condensed and set out the overall argument is a tour de force.

What is so fascinating in the analysis of Jones is that he shows that the Opinion polls of the public consistently want the banks, railways, energy companies, water companies etc to be nationalised and the taxes on the rich to soar. Even ordinary Tory voters support such ideas. The public also would support a financial transaction tax on bankers. But you can also see from the data he amasses why populism is growing on the left and right. It is the absence of practical alternative economic democracy strategies that are the missing link but also the issue is the control of the mediaocracy and the formidable group think of the extreme centre and also policed by the BBC." (email, May 2016)