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102 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarity at last
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...
Published on 3 Oct 2007 by I. Tyrrell

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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fluently written, informative, but wrongly argued
In The Triumph of the Political Classes, Peter Oborne makes a common error. He correctly diagnoses an important problem (that is, the worrisome state of politics in this country), and draws entirely the wrong conclusions from it (claiming that it is all the fault of New Labour). Oborne fluently outlines many of the problems facing our political sphere: the revolving...
Published on 11 Sep 2010 by Steve


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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and highly readable, 26 Jan 2014
This review is from: The Triumph of the Political Class (Paperback)
Mr Oborne takes an important subject and makes it fascinating and readable without sacrificing anything to over-simplicity. I picked it up and read nearly 200 pages before I had to put it down again.

If I had to venture a criticism, it's that "Political Class" is used in a less than empirically pure way, thus allowing Mr Oborne to include all kinds of things as classic hallmarks of the "Political Class". But that doesn't stop it being a cracking read.

If you're interested in politics generally or just want an understanding of why British politics is in its current state, this is a must-read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A persuasive analysis of what's basically wrong with British politics, 25 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Triumph of the Political Class (Paperback)
I always enjoy Peter Oborne's critiques of New Labour and modern British political life. Of course, he writes from a centre-right Daily Mail/Spectator perspective but he still provides some very convincing conclusions about how we have ended up with a rather morally bankrupt political culture in the UK, created by career politicians who are mostly out to either serve themselves or at least preserve their own power centres in perpetuity. Whatever your political viewpoint it's hard not to agree with Oborne that the current political parties have not best served the cause of democracy in this country during the past decade. The lies, spin, over regulation, waste, economic mismanagement and incompetence is becoming transparently obvious.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An oustanding account of the rise of the political class in Britain, 31 Dec 2009
By 
C. Koernig (Munich, Germany) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Triumph of the Political Class (Paperback)
I greatly enjoyed this impressive and facinating account of the rise of the political class in Britain. This book illustrates in the most persuasive and entertaining fashion how a new breed of politician has been systematically undermining the democratic values and institutions of the British state for no other reason than to monopolise political power for personal ends. There are many comparisons to be drawn with similar developments taking place in other European countries (Germany in particular). Essential reading for anybody who wants to understand the underlying motives that determine both policy and decision making under New Labour.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, 5 Oct 2009
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Mr. J. Hudson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Triumph of the Political Class (Paperback)
Fairly interesting in places but most of it is just a re-hash of tried and tested opinions which have been published over the years. The author seems to be implying that the new ruling class is somehow different from the old ruling class; the only difference is that the old ruling class put a thin layer of veneer over their corruption and arrogance. This book is just another example of the upper classes bleating about being deposed by a bunch of upstart teddy-boys who are more vicious and amoral than they were. The problem with these establishment knockers is that they dance around the safe subjects and avoid the nasty ones. The author goes on at length to tell us that the new ruling class expect to act above the law and get away with breaking it. I saw no mention of the fact that the police have mysteriously granted themselves the exact same privilege; with political approval ... of course. Highly repetitive and boring .
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5.0 out of 5 stars It appears to be more relevant with every passing day!, 13 Sep 2014
By 
C G Hillman (Southampton, Hants, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Triumph of the Political Class (Paperback)
A fascinating read that uncovers the success of the political class in taking over the running of the country.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars remain sane. don't read it, 24 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Triumph of the Political Class (Paperback)
I was attracted to Peter Oborne's little polemic as a result of the glowing reviews that litter the front cover and inside pages. I should really take more care. This book represents all that is wrong with the British commentariat - poorly researched, heavily biased and opinionated beyond parody. Now, there's nothing wrong with opinions just as long as the author doesn't then pass them off as some sort of received wisdom and truth. The triumph of the political class is a subject that deserves serious examination and debate but this book adds nothing and, dangerously, detracts from the seriousness of the subject. A catalogue of half baked anecdotes and misdirected accusations does nothing to enhance political life and speaks volumes about those who report politics, such as Oborne. On the front cover, Tribune is quoted as saying that this is "Easily the most entertaining book of the year". I now understand the irony - entertaining, maybe; informative, factual or important - never.
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23 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy-to-read rant by disillusioned journalist, 28 April 2008
By 
William Cohen (London) - See all my reviews
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I'm fascinated by politics and social groups, so I had no trouble finishing this book in about three sittings. For about ten years I took a close interest in the Conservative Party and I actually joined the Labour Party from 1995-1997. So this broad and encompassing perspective on our political class gave me loads to think about.

I found that when I was an adolescent, everything in the media and politics seemed real and true, then, when I experience these worlds as an adult, I found an awful lot of it was corrupt and untrue. But now I'm reaching 40 I see that reality and truth do exist, but getting to it is very personal, you frequently get it wrong, and it's very difficult to put it into neat packages.

This is a rather long preamble to say that Oborne has a rather romantic view of what politics, England and our institutions should be about. Rather like a hero in a Balzac novel, he's seen it up close, and it actually all seems to be run by dishonest, money-grubbing cabals.

But I have personal experiences which suggest to me that Oborne generalises too much. He says Ed Vaizey is part of the privileged political class, pampered by luxury offices and copious expenses. But I sat in Vaizey's office once. I looked at the enormous number of emails he was getting, the pile of invitations to tedious events, and the horrible pokiness of his room, which he had to share with a researcher, and I felt glad that I hadn't signed up for such a life.

Similarly, I was really impressed by New Labour when I joined them. They were well-organised, polite and effective. They hosted events in modern venues, they seemed to understand the problems that faced the country. When I went back to the Conservatives, they were stuck in the 1980s, arrogant, condescending and pompous. I've got to know many Conservative politicians, and a lot of them I think are bad-mannered, complacent and snobbish. People trying to sustain a backward and moribund organisation. However, I find Labour characters like Karen Buck and Oona King, pleasant, competent and easy to talk to.

Oborne laments the lack of deference shown by New Labour towards the monarchy. I tried really hard to stick up for the monarchy in 2002. I organised a Golden Jubilee Party in Westbourne Terrace in London, and learnt a lesson. Many of the well-to-do middle-class English people decided to go on a long break in Europe for the weekend. My party was attended by the lonely, the old, foreigners and the mad. I enjoyed it, but I realised the emotional attachment to the monarchy changed in the 1990s, and however ghastly Tony Blair might be, he understood that.

The things Oborne gets angry about are not all led by the new Political Class, they reflect the changing nature of society. Nobody is really bothered any more by arguments between the PM's office and Black Rod, or whether the Treasury or Downing Street is sensitive to Royal protocol, except angry men on the Spectator who haven't fulfilled their adolescent dreams.

Oborne's argument that the British Establishment of the 50s and 60s with its stiff-upper lip and notions of public service was some sort of Golden Age is just silly. It was a time when women had to stay in unhappy marriages and had to accept lower wages, the police were racist, schools turned a blind eye to sexual abuse and corporal punishment, there was incredible hypocrisy over homosexuality, politicians like Reggie Maudling were extremely corrupt and everyone tugged their forelock to their elders and betters.

At one point Oborne draws pschoanalysis into his general rant about everything that has gone wrong with society. He says R.D Laing "lifted the responsibility for psychological problems off the shoulders of the individual and attributed it instead to the malign effect of the family and society." Well, I don't think Oborne has read enough about these things. I recommend The Psychology of Military Incompetence by Norman Dixon. It explains, using the insights of psychoanalysis, how institutions fail, but sometimes succeed, too. The Political Class can be as cavalier as it likes, but their actions will eventually have consequences, which will impact upon the lives of millions of people. And if they are bad, that Class will eventually perish.

If Oborne were to read Games People Play by Eric Berne, he might get a sense that his book is about playing the game, 'Nowadays'. The purpose of the game is to suggest that things aren't what they used to be. It's a time-wasting pastime played by parents, the old and young fogies.

This book is like a good long article in a Sunday newspaper, fun to read, thought-provoking and shocking in parts. But dropped in the bin and forgotten about by Wednesday.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It will make you seethe with anger., 2 Feb 2013
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Disturbing - every British citizen should read this before they vote for ANY politician.
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14 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unreliable Book, 8 Jan 2008
A few inaccuracies render the whole book unreliable. I just hate when authors can't get their facts straight. Consider this sentence from Chapter 9 of the book ("The Monarchy and the Political Class"): 'The Treasury moved fast to remove the royal coat of arms from its logo and drop the initials HM from its official title. The change was said to 'reflect a modern image under Gordon Brown's stewardship''. (pg. 195, paragraph 3).
Now go to HM Treasury website....only to find that 'HM' it still there in the department's official title, and the royal coat of the arms is also there.
If you research the subject on the internet, you'll find an old article published in 'The Independent' on January 7, 2001, where it says that the Treasury 'is considering proposals' to change its logo, and drop the letters HM from its title; however, obviously, the author failed to do a follow up on the issue in question and went ahead with publishing his book in 2007 containing this erroneous information.
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The Triumph of the Political Class by Peter Oborne (Paperback - 3 Nov 2008)
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