I came across this book having had the author's excellent bantheballot website and blog recommended to me. It's a kind of fishy Animal Farm dealing with such well-versed themes as avaricious bankers and self-serving, ineffectual politicians but in an original, engaging and witty way. It's amusing and has an enjoyable storyline but is also pretty hard-hitting and devasting in its critique of the powers that be.
The Carp Club really appealed to me because I, like many others, am feeling utterly depressed about the forthcoming election - Labour have got to go, even if the Conservatives committed themselves to any policies I wouldn't want them in charge and the Lib Dems have failed to seize the initiative in what should have been their golden opportunity to take politics in a different direction. That only leaves a protest vote for the Greens or someone as a viable option for me but there's no point really. One or the other bunch of R.S. Holes will get into power but not voting for any of them is not going to feel much better because it won't change anything.
However, the book is more than the rant of an aging, disenfranchised, fishing-mad eccentric. It contains cogent and balanced arguments looking at why the current system doesn't work and is full of references to polictical history, both old and recent. Best of all, Barr actually proposes a practical, workable solution to the current morass which would divest us of our feeling of powerlessness. I won't give it away here but it does make a lot of sense. To be honest, I can't think why his proposal has not been thought of by more mainstream commentators. Of course, the policiticians would not countenance it because it is not in their interests - but then nor was reforming the expenses system until public opinion made it untenable.
You never know, the Carp Club may be the seed that leads to the fundamental reform the British political system to make politics fairier and politicians more accountable. The current crop of politicians have failed to suggest any real improvement to the system - make sure you read it here first before any of them claim the credit for it! Then spread the word.