Kaelan Ratcliffe ▪ كايِلان راتكِليف's Reviews > The Establishment: And How They Get Away with It

The Establishment by Owen Jones
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Essential, and Crucial for Britain

This book surprised me. I've seen it displayed in bookstores, charity shops and - surprisingly given the topic the author highlights - supermarkets like Tescos.*

Looking back, I believe that it's because of The Establishments massive popularity that I've allowed myself to sleep on it for so many years. I allowed the title to put me off, mainly due to it projecting the equvilant of an article that has 'clickbait' elements to it. I just didn't believe a book so widely available, and popular, would be as searingly accurate in it's direction of criticism toward the state of power in Britain.

My mistake. I should be grateful for my local charity shops initative to place books out at my nearest train station. I would have never have picked this up otherwise.

I've read enough by social critics on the fringes of society to have developed a healthy scepticism for any book, or author remotely forgiving of power in its many incarnations. So I was immensely surprised by Owen Jones bravery for going in straight for the jugular of the Establishment (had to use the title at least once) in this work. I'll be clear; certain topics covered are key indicators - at least for me - of how far Jones goes. Below:

1) The UK political system is beholden to corporate power.
2) New Labour and The Conservatives had little ideological difference due to point no.1 (Labour has changed now with Corbyn at the helm... for now...) and both were / are in pocket of big business.
3) There is a rotating door between the corporate world and the political world that sees figures from big business, the financial sector and the media move in and out of politics.
4) The majority of the mainstream media is rigged to support the wealthy and demonise the poor.
5) Neo-liberlalism has bound the establishment to a common ideology that has allowed for stronger social ties, and more effective defence of those in powers self-interest.
6) Socialism for the rich exists.
7) Corporations, politicians and banks leech off of the state they apparently despise.
8) The police need reforming.

For further clarity, if this were less popular I wouldn't be so surprised at the above mentioned, I have a hoard of books that are probably more detailed in analysis and critical in description of the elite, however for such a well publicised book in Britain to hit these key indicators is a promising sign.

Here's the laughing matter, most of what Owen talks about in this text has already been documented and written about. The so called Establishment has had its critics, and their movements and dealings are being criticised. However, where other authors / journalists lack, I simply cannot fault this man's ability to clearly simplify such a complicated topic. For anyone who needs to understand Britain's current state from the 1970's onwards in a straight forward prose, I would happily hand them this work. It simply cannot be explained in a more lucid manner than here.

Cliche closer: Every school in Britain should have this book.

* I'm still trying to figure out how on earth something so unbelievably critical of modern day politics ended up in Tesco. The owners of Tesco really are the example of what's described here.
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Reading Progress

July 23, 2018 – Started Reading
July 23, 2018 – Shelved
July 23, 2018 –
page 15
July 24, 2018 –
page 30
July 30, 2018 –
page 135
July 30, 2018 – Shelved as: civilisation-critique-of
July 30, 2018 – Shelved as: class
July 30, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites
July 30, 2018 – Shelved as: politics
July 30, 2018 – Shelved as: horror
July 30, 2018 – Shelved as: classic
July 30, 2018 – Shelved as: the-issues-of-our-time
July 30, 2018 – Shelved as: radical-history
July 30, 2018 – Shelved as: corporation
July 30, 2018 – Shelved as: united-kingdom
August 3, 2018 –
page 200
August 8, 2018 –
page 250
August 8, 2018 –
page 250
August 10, 2018 – Shelved as: activism
August 10, 2018 – Shelved as: history
August 10, 2018 – Shelved as: race
August 10, 2018 – Shelved as: social-movements
August 10, 2018 – Finished Reading

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