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Owen Jones

Be part of the Democratic Revolution with The People’s Assembly

By Political, ThinkingNo Comments
the-peoples-assembly-logo The People’s Assembly is against austerity, which is ideological rather than essential. It’s against Britain being run for the minority of the wealthy elite and instead advocates running society for the majority.

I learned about The People’s Assembly through reading The Establishment by Owen Jones, see my review of the book here.

The People’s Assembly has The People’s Charter (below), which gives more detail on what they stand for:


the-peoples-charter

They are not associated to any political party and instead are more like a campaign group or national forum. I encourage you all to support The People’s Assembly and be part of the democratic revolution.

Want to get involved? Here’s how:

I’ve donated and am hoping that The People’s Assembly will do what it sets out to achieve – a fairer society for all.

Write soon,

Antony

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Book Review: The Establishment – And How They Get Away with It by Owen Jones

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Political, Reviews2 Comments
the-establishment-book-cover-own-jones In The Establishment, Owen Jones starts by defining Britain’s Establishment today. Then Jones looks back at political history to how the modern day Establishment of Britain came to be, focusing on each facet, in chapters titled: The Outriders, The Westminster Cartel, Mediaocracy, The Boys in Blue, Scrounging off the State, Tycoons and Tax-Dodgers, Masters of the Universe and The Illusion of Sovereignty.

In ‘The Outriders’ Jones explains how a few wealthy elite changed societies view (the ‘Overton Window’) from one of socialism to capitalism, the free market and privatisation. Jones demonstrates how people with alternative views to The Establishment are silenced, discredited or have their lives destroyed for speaking out.

[Continued below…]

In ‘The Westminster Cartel’ Jones exposes the revolving door of MPs going back and forth between Politics, Business, the Media and Think Tanks. In ‘Mediaocracy’ Jones reveals the media’s role in propaganda both for governments and against, with the media’s agenda being those of their wealthy owners – whom have close-links with MPs from all political parties.

In ‘The Boys in Blue’ Jones describes the role the Police played in creating today’s Establishment and gives examples of Police corruption and cover ups. He explains how the Establishment eventually turned on the Police. Jones gives real examples of the inequality of Police treatment between different groups, which includes the difference in treatment between those with power and those without.

Jones writes about the real people ‘Scrounging off the State’: the wealthy elite. He writes that public assets, such as the railways, are being and have been sold off for profit. That the wealthy elite get the profits, as well as tax-payer subsidies (as well as benefits for employees on low wages, healthcare for their employees, employees educated by the state, etc.) but that the tax-payer shoulders all the risk. If something goes wrong – like it did with the Banks, big business relies on the State to step in and bail them out.

In ‘Tycoons and Tax-Dodgers’ Jones explains how the rich feel that they pay enough tax and sheds light on the complicated tax avoidance schemes used by big businesses, that are all perfectly legal – thanks to the big businesses’ Lobbyists, Accountants and PR firms. Jones exposes the toxic relationship between the Treasury and big companies. That big companies actually help to develop Tax Policy with Treasury Civil Servants and the Government.

In ‘Masters of the Universe’ Jones examines the financial sector, particularly ‘the City’ referring to London’s financial sector. Jones discusses how successive governments relaxed regulation to keep their Banker friend’s happy prior to the financial collapse in 2008. That despite the collapse and the tax-payer bailout to the tune of over a trillion pounds, there is still no real robust regulation and there’s an attitude of continue as before. That the financial sector is driven by an unregulated greed for profit, a big bonus culture and to increase the wealth of the already extremely wealthy.

In ‘The Illusion of Sovereignty’ Jones scrutinises the relationship between Britain’s Establishment, the United States of America (US) and European Union (EU). He shows that the Establishment’s mentality is international and shared with the US, by looking at the history of the ‘special relationship’. Jones looks at the history of the Britain and the EU, identifying some elements of the EU that share the British Establishment’s mentality and other elements that oppose the British Establishment’s mentality. This mix of shared and opposed views to the British Establishment, is most likely why there is a politically mixed view of the EU in the UK.

In Jones’ final chapter titled ‘Conclusion: A Democratic Revolution’ he states that the Establishment is being run for a wealthy few, rather than for the majority. He states that the majority have had enough; enough of falling living standards, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, and that the time to challenge the Establishment is now. Jones states that austerity is ideological rather than required. He identifies changes to improve society, but gives little practical advice for readers who may want to get involved with political change. This chapter was also the shortest in the book, which was a slight disappointment.

Throughout The Establishment, Owen Jones references the points that he makes, shares interviews he has conducted with people who have been involved with creating and maintaining the Establishment and gives examples to illustrate his points.

The Establishment shows the shocking level of corruption and vested interests, along with laws that protect the wealthy elite – all created by The Establishment (the wealthy elite) to balance society in their favour. It will make you think. Hopefully by Jones shining a light on the murky Establishment it will lead to the people challenging The Establishment for the political change they want.

The Establishment is an excellent and informative book about how society has come to operate today for the minority and how it can be changed to operate for the majority. The Establishment is an essential read for all, especially those interested in politics or political change.

Review soon,

Antony

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Books I’m Excited About!

By Amazon, Books & AuthorsNo Comments

the-hunted-charlie-higson-book-cover
Title: The Hunted
By: Charlie Higson
Release Date: Thursday 4th September 2014

Description

The Hunted is Charlie Higson’s sixth terrifying installment in the thrilling The Enemy series

The sickness struck everyone over fourteen.

First it twisted their minds.

Next it ravaged their bodies.

Now they roam the streets –

Crazed and hungry

The others had promised that the countryside would be safer than the city. They were wrong. Now Ella’s all-alone except for her silent rescuer, Scarface – and she’s not even sure if he’s a kid or a grown-up.

Back in London, Ed’s determined to find her. But getting out of town’s never been more dangerous- because coming in the other direction is every SICKO in the country. It’s like they’re being called towards the capital and nothing is going to stop them . . .

In the penultimate book in The Enemy series, the survivors’ stories cross with chilling consequences.

(From: Amazon, Last Accessed: Thursday 21st August 2014.)

the-establishment-book-cover-own-jones
Title: The Establishment – And How They Get Away with It
By: Owen Jones
Release Date: Thursday 4th September 2014

Description

In The Establishment Owen Jones, author of the international bestseller Chavs, offers a biting critique of the British Establishment and a passionate plea for democracy

Behind our democracy lurks a powerful but unaccountable network of people who wield massive power and reap huge profits in the process. In exposing this shadowy and complex system that dominates our lives, Owen Jones sets out on a journey into the heart of our Establishment, from the lobbies of Westminster to the newsrooms, boardrooms and trading rooms of Fleet Street and the City. Exposing the revolving doors that link these worlds, and 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.

[Praise for Owen Jones’s Chavs] ‘A passionate and well-documented denunciation of the upper-class contempt for the proles that has recently become so visible in the British class system’ – Eric Hobsbawm, Guardian Books of 2011

‘As with all the best polemics, a luminous anger backlights his prose’ – Economist

‘A bold attempt to rewind political orthodoxies; to reintroduce class as a political variable … It moves in and out of postwar British history with great agility, weaving together complex questions of class, culture and identity with a lightness of touch. Jones torches the political class to great effect’ – Jon Cruddas, Independent

Owen Jones was born in Sheffield, grew up in Stockport, and studied history at Oxford. His first book, the international bestseller Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, was long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and chosen as one of The New York Times top 10 non-fiction books of 2011. In 2013 he received the Young Writer of the Year prize at the Political Book Award. He is a columnist for the Guardian and a frequent broadcaster.

(From: Amazon, Last Accessed: Thursday 21st August 2014.)

shopaholic-to-the-stars-sophie-kinsella
Title: Shopaholic to the Stars
By: Sophie Kinsella
Release Date: Thursday 25th September 2014.

Description

Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is in Hollywood! It’s as if all her life has been leading to this moment. She’s hanging out with the stars . or at least she will be, when she finally gets to meet movie superstar Sage Seymour, whom husband Luke is now managing.

There’s so much to see and do! And getting Minnie through the hurdles for her A-list Hollywood pre-school will require some.er.help.

Becky sets her heart on a new career – she’s going to be a celebrity stylist. Red carpet, here she comes! But Becky soon finds it’s tough in Tinseltown. Luckily her best friend Suze comes over to keep her company, and together they embark on the Hollywood insider trail. But somehow…things aren’t quite working out as they’d hoped.

Then Becky’s big chance comes, and it’s an opportunity that money can’t buy. But will it cost her too much?

(From: Amazon, Last Accessed: Thursday 21st August 2014.)

us-by-david-nicholls-book-cover
Title: Us
By: David Nicholls
Release Date: Tuesday 30th September 2014.

Description

David Nicholls brings to bear all the wit and intelligence that graced ONE DAY in this brilliant, bittersweet novel about love and family, husbands and wives, parents and children. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2014.

‘I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.’

‘Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?’

Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home.

He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together.

So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.

The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.

What could possibly go wrong?

(From: Amazon, Last Accessed: Thursday 21st August 2014.)

the-year-i-met-you-cecelia-ahern
Title: The Year I Met You
By: Cecelia Ahern
Release Date: Thursday 9th October 2014.

Description

A thoughtful, captivating and ultimately uplifting novel from this uniquely talented author

Jasmine loves two things: her sister and her work. And when her work is taken away she has no idea who she is.

Matt loves two things: his family and the booze. Without them, he hits rock bottom.

One New Year’s Eve, two people’s paths collide. Both have time on their hands; both are at a crossroads. But as the year unfolds, through moonlit nights and suburban days, an unlikely friendship slowly starts to blossom.

Sometimes you have to stop still in order to move on…

Original and poignant, The Year I Met You will make you laugh, cry and celebrate life.
(From: Amazon, Last Accessed: Thursday 21st August 2014.)

Blog soon,

Antony

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