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The Triumph of the Political Class Paperback – 3 Nov 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (3 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141652665X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416526650
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.9 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A brilliant anatomisation of the reality of the contemporary situation' -- 'Guido Fawkes',

'Accusations of constitutional impropriety are supported with chapter and verse . . . Apocalyptic . . . Convincing' -- Simon Jenkins, Sunday Times

'An extremely important book' -- Iain Martin, Sunday Telegraph

'An important social text' -- Sarah Sands, Financial Times

'Compelling [and] thought-provoking . . . A powerful and troubling study' -- Nick Cohen, Observer

'Provocative and important . . . A devastating portrait of Britain's new ruling class' -- Daily Mail

'What Oborne accurately, passionately and clearly describes is the replacement of one ruling class by another' -- Sameer Rahim, Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Peter Oborne is a former political editor of the SPECTATOR. He now writes a weekly column for the DAILY MAIL, in addition to writing and presenting regular TV documentaries on current affairs.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 104 people found the following review helpful By I. Tyrrell on 3 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Oborne has produced an astonishing work that anyone who cares about how and why the cult of 'modernization' destroyed the moderating mechanisms that evolved to protect reasonable freedoms should read. It shows how, like a spreading cancer, the political class - politicians and media - centralized power and control in order to survive. The carefully nurtured systems that evolved over the last 150 years to protect us from abuses of power are now almost gone, leaving us vulnerable to the rise of a dictatorship from among a class of people disconnected from the real world. His warnings about where this might take us are timely and alarming, but make your own mind up about whether he is right or not by reading this. It's very well written and researched and as gripping as a good thriller.
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279 of 288 people found the following review helpful By Henry Berocca on 28 Sept. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Peter Oborne: The Triumph Of The Political Class (Simon & Schuster)

Peter Oborne is a columnist on the Right Wing Daily Mail, the organ of conservative Middle England. He has nevertheless written a revolutionary tract, which is essential reading for anyone who wants to overthrow Britain's ruling class.

In The Triumph Of The Political Class, he shows how that class has been transformed, largely by stealth, within the space of a generation.

Britain used to be governed by the Establishment, a network of people who knew each other (often through family) and largely shared the same social background, education and values. These values were pre-eminently Victorian: their best qualities were public service and incorruptibility, their worst were amateurism and snobbery. Their values were very strongly enforced - the monarch who rejected them, Edward VIII, was dethroned at the Establishment's behest. For about a hundred years this Establishment and its values dominated the governance of Britain through its grip on its major institutions, the home and overseas civil service, the armed forces, the judiciary and the City of London (before deregulation). They were buttressed by the monarchy, the state churches, and most of the media, especially the BBC. Although they dominated the political system, they regarded politics as a duty, rather than a career: indeed for most of the twentieth century it was almost impossible to make a living out of politics alone. People went into politics to represent their class or their locality, and they kept strong personal links with the interests in civil society which they represented.

This Establishment was remarkably adaptive.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Thomas H. Burroughes on 23 May 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I want to second pretty much everything that most of the other reviewers, especially Henry Berocca in an excellent review, have said. I have a few additional points and some quibbles:

Oborne should perhaps have written more about the role of the European Union in the motivation of this class of political leaders. It is an astonishing fact, when you think about it, that this political class craves power and yet has chosen to transfer a lot of political authority to Brussels. Why is that? It would be good for Oborne to have perhaps asked more about that. I personally think that many, if not all, of the pro-EU types are careerists who hope to jump on board the gravy train, although some may idealistically believe that we should create a federal EU state and naively expect that such a state will be democratically accountable.

Oborne also denounces the role of the media and he is right to do so. But I should point out - hardly surprising on an internet site like this - that the internet and new media are providing a necessary corrective to the craven approach adopted by the tabloids, broadsheets, the BBC and ITV. Blogs now play a role in flagging up issues that the mainstream press are too cowardly to confront. Take the blogger "Guido Fawkes", who has exposed all types of government wrongdoing, such as the cash-for-peerages affair and other scandals. The role of the internet should not be understimated.

More broadly, though, I fear that Oborne does not sufficiently realise that the rise of a political class, or new establishment, is very difficult to resist when the government grabs almost half of the national income and regulates the rest of society so heavily.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By bucksman on 16 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading "The Rise of Political Lying" also by the author. I think any reader of this book has, in my opinion, to keep in mind a desire on behalf of the author to redress the balance of what he feels is a media (especially the BBC) finely tuned into the political class mindset, and vice versa.
There isn't much I could add after reading the other reviews, but the contents of the book have affected me. I have a good friend of mine, who still has contacts within the Labour party in the North of the country, and is currently, but slowly, climbing the tree in Tory circles. I thought what he told me about what went on, on both sides, was a gross exaggeration. After reading this, it would appear not.
The book punches fairly hard in places with examples of government (mis)information and of increasing levels of manipulation of facts and figures. Those of a left wing bias will state that if the Tories were in power, they would be doing exactly the same thing with, and to, the media. This may be so, but it doesn't make it right.
What comes across is the demand for a one-type-fits-all type of political operative. A person who goes to the right university to do the right type of degree, then leaves to obtain experience of working in the political arena, parliamentary researcher, lobbyist, MP's lackey etc... a few choice political appointments are made within the party of their choice, and then they are released into the community to fight a suitable seat, which creates their path to power. "Blair's Babes" were a perfect example of this.
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