WTF: What have we done? Why did it happen? How do we take back control?
There has been a people's revolt against the way the West has been run. Brexit, Trump, the recent British and French elections saw millions of people shouting that they were sick to death of things never getting better. In WTF Robert Peston gives us his highly personal account of what those who have ruled us for years got so badly wrong, and what we need to do to mend the...more
Part autobiographical, part political, economic and social commentary prior to 2016 and its aftermath. It is a very personal book (to R.P.), in large part in the form of a letter to his recently deceased father, an economist, teacher, great influence and friend. I found this cloyingly distracting at times.
The book is balanced and a very useful commentary on events of recent years in the UK and beyond, particularly in the USA. Especially u ...more
Very moving. Very frightening. If you want to understand Brexit and Trump, then this is an evocative book for your reading list.
1. an analysis of how the Brexit party managed to win, even if this so-called victory goes against the interest of the United Kingdom. BTW, the kingdom does not seem to be very united, with talks of Scotland jumping ship and Norther Ireland probably not too happy, either. The most terrifying part of this sad chronicle is the fact that the younger ge ...more
The book is a must-read for anyone interested in UK politics and social evolution.
The format in the first and last chapters as a note to his late father was different and quite touching, but it ended up having a bit of an intellectually snobbish air to it ...more
His North London Jewish background is so familiar to me from my own history and native place. He's my kind of political commentator, too, and in this book (bracketed by a letter to his much-loved late father) he addresses the problem of why the world has gone 'bonkers'. How come the world's most successful, wealthy democracies are throwing themselves into the arms of mad populist leaders, and voting for such lunacies as Brexit and Trump?
Peston's analysis and pres ...more
At no point did the author slate opposing views though, and gave a good empathy to why others would feel or vote the way they do.
A worthy read if you want to make sense of the wo ...more
That said, there were glimmering moments of enjoyment. For example: the analysis of May's leadership and disastrous strategy in the 2017 General Election; the data prowess of the Leave Campaign i ...more
Really thought provoking.
WTF acts as a reasonably insightful book on the potentialities we have in our ever-changing world. It focuses mainly on an Anglo-American point of view with the influx of identity politics such as Trump, but also Britain and the Brexit vote the country is following through with. Enabling the re ...more
It's always good to get different perspectives on events and certainly on an event so momentous as Brexit. There is much that I agree with and much that I don't.
The insight of how social media shaped the result was facinating. For economic reasons, the Leave camp did little campaignin ...more
The analysis of what caused Brexit and indeed why many cozy Lon ...more
It also touches on a few of the future challenges ...more
I didn’t used to have a lot of time for ITN’s Mr Sex, but I’ve slowly c ...more
Peston wonders what went so horribly wrong, and what can be done about it. While many of the specifics are uniquely British, many of the more general conclusions are fairly universal. The Quantitative Easing, which was supposed to get the economy up and running after the 2008 crisis only inflated asset prices and further exacerbated the gap between the well-off and the rest. It was only natural for people to look for easy scapegoats, such as immigrants, and ...more
I have to deduct one star for going along with Brexit 'because people voted for it'. There's no need to bend over backwards, Robert. Your comfort-guilt shouldn't blind you to the facts about the fraudulent campaign and the dire results of playing in Putin's hands. Have you not been listening to #3BlokesinaPub? We can ...more
My one, very minor, gripe would be that the writing style feels a bit dumbed down on occasion. I know he's writing for a wide audience, but when you've got a few chapters of (light) economic analysis alongside commentary of ...more
He also offers some interesting ways of moving forward. For instance a tax on assets to ease the widening wealth inequality. He is clearly a big fan of Keynesian economics and I will have to read some of Keynes myself to better understand his position. I usually find myself on the free mar ...more
There's a promise of hope at the beginning of this book that a pampered member of the London liberal elite might have shed his bigotry. But, all that's happened is he's moved from mean spirited criticism of working class people to patronising tolerance of their choices. Robert, you need to take the next step and understand that the choices made by working class people are the right choices for them and for the country. Don't write another book until you underst ...more