In The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It, journalist Owen Jones takes a look at who and what exactly make up The Establishment in Britain and lays out the long con that has been played on a British public that has swallowed hook, line and sinker, the lie that the Establishment only wants the best for our country and that the blame for all of our problems lies squarely with the disabled, unemployed and immigrants, rather than the shower of greedy shits at the top who continue to line their pockets even as large swathes of Britain line up at food banks.
Jones may well be preaching to the choir with me, but he’s an excellent preacher nonetheless, laying out his case clearly and passionately, taking aim at governments who are playing for the sole benefit of giant, tax-avoiding corporations and their shareholders, the corporate elite who are given copious opportunities to become ‘advisors’ to the government who often take up employment with them once they’re out of Parliament, the police who enforce the whims of The Establishment, kettling and even on occasion killing protesters and making our right to protest a very dangerous one to exercise, the fucking financial sector who are happy to take billion pound handouts from the taxpayer whilst paying themselves astronomical bonuses and resisting any form of regulation, and the media who claim to be the voice of the people but are actually the mouthpiece of the megalomaniacs who own them and who regularly campaign and stoke up fury against the very people who buy their fucking rags and keep them in canapés.
As you can probably tell from the above, The Establishment is an incredibly rage-making book, so it was probably not the greatest idea for me to pick this up at the beginning of December, making sure that instead of feeling goodwill to all men I wanted to stamp through Downing Street and The City, kicking down doors and laying out everyone within. I ended up taking a hiatus the week before Christmas so that I could at least buy presents without ranting at whichever poor sod was on the till, or hectoring my family whilst they tried to choke down turkey.
If you’re at all interested in politics or social issues, this is an excellent book for you to pick up. It’s also heavy enough to use as a club on the next person who starts bitching about how their unemployed neighbour has an iPhone.