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The Establishment de Owen Jones
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The Establishment (original: 2014; edição: 2015)

de Owen Jones (Autor)

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4621140,062 (4.05)16
The question of who really rules us, and what they are up to, matters more than ever. Today, at the heart of our democracy, lurks an all-powerful network of people. They are unaccountable and unchallenged. They are making huge profits at our expense. They are the Establishment. Lifting the lid on this shadowy and labyrinthine system that dominates our lives, Owen Jones sets out on a journey into the depths of the Establishment. From off-the-record chats in the lobbies and back streets of Westminster, to posh lunches with bankers and boardroom meetings in towering corporate headquarters, he explores the centres of Establishment power and encounters some of its leading figures. In doing so, he reveals how today's Establishment is bound together by a common mentality, a set of ideas that helps it rationalise and justify its behaviour, from the scandal of MPs expenses, to private companies' scrounging off the state, to the cosy connections between accountancy firms and tax authorities. He shows too how, with no meaningful opposition in its path, the Establishment is amassing wealth and power in a way that has no precedent in modern times. Going through the revolving doors that link these worlds, and exposing 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. It is, he urges, up to us to do so. 'This is the most important book on the real politics of the UK in my lifetime, and the only one you will ever need to read. You will be enlightened and angry.' Irvine Welsh 'Owen Jones may have the face of a baby and the voice of George Formby, but he is our generation's Orwell and we must cherish him.' Russell Brand 'Owen Jones displays a powerful combination of cool analysis and fiery anger in this dissection of the profoundly and sickeningly corrupt state that is present-day Britain. He is a fine writer, and this is a truly necessary book.' Philip Pullman… (mais)
Membro:mjallen
Título:The Establishment
Autores:Owen Jones (Autor)
Informação:Penguin Books Ltd (2015), 384 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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Detalhes da Obra

The Establishment: And how they get away with it de Owen Jones (2014)

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» Veja também 16 menções

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g ( )
  eoinmoran1 | Mar 8, 2021 |
Starts out saying it's not about the lizard people, it's about the organisations and then follows on with stories about lizard people. Apparently unions are the only way to fight lizard people. I would've thought fire to be more effective. Clearly these are asbestos lined lizard people. ( )
  TeaTimeCoder | Dec 23, 2020 |
The Establishment... Everyone knows what you mean when you talk about it, but do you actually know what it is?

Sometimes though to be the aristocracy, or the political elite, in this book Jones aims to shine a bright light into the dark recesses of this shady group of people that run or control the country. Under that light we find politicians, peers of the realm, as you would expect but standing alongside them, looking shifty, are newspaper magnates, business leaders, the police, the oligarchs and civil servants. All of these groups subscribe to the neo-liberal, free market thinking that advocates the rolling back of the state, the reduction of the tax burden, control over the people and dissent, whilst doing everything to avoid paying their dues to society.

I am not going to say much about the contents of this book, as I think that you need to read it and make your own mind up, in particular if you:

Vote

Pay tax

Care about this country

More importantly, when you have read it, do something about it.
( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Where Chavs looks at how the people at the bottom of British society have suffered under recent governments, in this book Jones turns his focus on the other side of the same coin, the way that it has become effectively impossible for anyone with power and influence in Britain to argue for any other kind of policies than those which exacerbate inequalities in society, put money and power into the hands of the already wealthy and powerful, and leave the poor struggling to survive.

Jones looks at the development of neo-liberal free-market ideology, championed by intellectuals and think-tanks he calls "the outriders", mavericks who were mocked and despised in the post-war decades, but have found themselves in a robust position close to the centre of power since the rise of Reagan and Thatcher. He interviews several of the leading figures, and clearly has a lot of respect for them and the way they fought to promote their unfashionable ideas, even if he detests the ideas themselves. Whatever set of ideas eventually supplants the "tyranny of the markets", Jones suggests, will have to work its way into the mainstream the same sort of way, and we would do well to study how the neo-liberal think-tanks operated.

But the main part of the book is an analysis of the unhealthily close relationship between business, media, parliamentarians and government in Britain. The political class have almost no links with working-class people any more, and it is all but impossible for someone from a poor or even lower-middle-class background to get into politics, whilst wealthy business-people often become MPs, and MPs and government ministers frequently do consultancy work for business whilst serving, and move into well-paid senior posts as soon as they leave politics. Few MPs would have any motivation to vote for policies that might be considered disadvantageous to business or to people on high incomes: as Jones point out, successive governments have cut the top rate of income tax, a move the overwhelming majority of voters on all sides of the political spectrum disapprove of.
The free press is supposed to keep politicians under scrutiny, but almost all British newspapers and TV stations are the personal property of Rupert Murdoch and a handful of other wealthy individuals, and run stories that serve the interests of the oligarchs. The BBC has long ceased to be an independent voice, not least because the government holds its purse-strings. And of course there is also an active revolving door between politics and the press (vide Boris Johnson and George Osborne). Even the Observer isn't entirely free of that particular taint, it seems.

Jones argues strongly that the "small-state" ideology is inherently hypocritical: the same business people who call for the "rolling back of the state" rely on that same state to provide them with all kinds of things necessary for their businesses to function, including infrastructure like roads, police to protect their possessions, education to train their future workers and provide child-care for their current ones, and most especially social security benefits that allow them to get away with paying absurdly low wages as employers and charging ridiculously high rents as landlords.

Jones also talks about how the police have come to be seen as the enforcers of government policy, since the miners' strike, and are suffused with the idea that poor people, especially if black, are the major threat to the welfare of the nation. He also draws attention to the unhealthy relationship between the police and the media, where journalists have frequently been caught making payments to police officers for information, and officers caught feeding journalists false stories that serve the interests of the police. A relationship that must have caused some awkward moments when the police had to investigate the phone-hacking scandal that brought down the News of the world, and the same editors who were under investigation were taking senior police officers out for meals.

As he also pointed out repeatedly in Chavs, he reminds us that the amount of tax wealthy individuals and companies avoid paying is many times greater than the small amount estimated to be lost to benefit fraud by the poor, but somehow the tycoons never seem to end up in jail. Could this be because the same big accountancy firms that advise them on their tax strategies are also employed as consultants by the government when devising new tax law? Surely not.

As in Chavs, there isn't a huge amount here that will be new to anyone who regularly reads the Guardian, but it is quite impressive seeing it all assembled together in one place like this. I'm not sure how useful it is: even though Jones ends with a call to action of sorts, and has been involved in setting up various groups to fight back against the evils he discusses, it's difficult not to be pushed into despair and start feeling that the dominant ideology will always get you in the end. Especially if you look at what happened to Jeremy Corbyn. ( )
  thorold | Jan 31, 2020 |
Enlightening. The book cover reviews said it would make me angry; not an experience I've had from a book before but the description was right - it did. The manner in which Jones draws together the threads of establishment rhetoric and behaviour; media activity and behaviour; the role of 'think tanks'; police behaviour, etc. portrays a country being very much sold to the highest bidder for the highest bidder. Most of us are seemingly being left to go to hell in a hand cart -if that doesn't provoke the bile I really don't know what will. ( )
  mnorfolk49 | Aug 9, 2017 |
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The question of who really rules us, and what they are up to, matters more than ever. Today, at the heart of our democracy, lurks an all-powerful network of people. They are unaccountable and unchallenged. They are making huge profits at our expense. They are the Establishment. Lifting the lid on this shadowy and labyrinthine system that dominates our lives, Owen Jones sets out on a journey into the depths of the Establishment. From off-the-record chats in the lobbies and back streets of Westminster, to posh lunches with bankers and boardroom meetings in towering corporate headquarters, he explores the centres of Establishment power and encounters some of its leading figures. In doing so, he reveals how today's Establishment is bound together by a common mentality, a set of ideas that helps it rationalise and justify its behaviour, from the scandal of MPs expenses, to private companies' scrounging off the state, to the cosy connections between accountancy firms and tax authorities. He shows too how, with no meaningful opposition in its path, the Establishment is amassing wealth and power in a way that has no precedent in modern times. Going through the revolving doors that link these worlds, and exposing 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. It is, he urges, up to us to do so. 'This is the most important book on the real politics of the UK in my lifetime, and the only one you will ever need to read. You will be enlightened and angry.' Irvine Welsh 'Owen Jones may have the face of a baby and the voice of George Formby, but he is our generation's Orwell and we must cherish him.' Russell Brand 'Owen Jones displays a powerful combination of cool analysis and fiery anger in this dissection of the profoundly and sickeningly corrupt state that is present-day Britain. He is a fine writer, and this is a truly necessary book.' Philip Pullman

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