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101 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all UK voters, 6 April 2010
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This review is from: The Silent State: Secrets, Surveillance and the Myth of British Democracy (Paperback)
I bought this book having heard of Heather Brooke through her instrumental role in breaking the MPs expenses scandal and I'm so very glad I did.

Heather lifts the lid on the rotten heart of British democracy and exposes just how little real information the electorate actually have to work with when judging the performance of their elected officials, police services and judiciary.

We pay for huge amounts of data to be gathered on our behalf and about us, and yet we are (in many cases explicitly) denied access to that data. Sometimes we get to pay for it many times over before being presented with a figure-fiddled, dumbed-down press release that bears little or no resemblance to the facts.

In many ways a lot of UK voters already suspect many of the issues raised in this book, but to see the hard facts is something of a smack-in-the-face. If you are suffering from voter apathy, this is one book that is guaranteed to stir you out of it.

Heather has a wonderfully fluid and accessible writing style that carries you through what could easily have been a dry subject with ease and humour. Her ability, and persistance, to get at the truth places her at the pinnacle of modern investigative journalism and, for me, the name Heather Brooke belongs amongst those of game-changes like Bob Woodward,Carl Bernstein and Amira Hass.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Mar 2011 02:38:50 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Mar 2011 02:44:14 GMT
S Wood says:
I read this book a few months back. I certainly would have reviewed it if i'd known of the vast number of laudatory reviews for what is a pretty mediocre piece of writing.

The tone of the writing is shrill and strident, lurking just below the surface is a miserable political outlook of a decidedly right-wing cast. It's as if the writer was flavouring her work with a view to it being serialised in The Daily Mail. Her unfavourable comparisons with the situation in the United States ought to grate with anyone who has any knowledge of for example, U.S. campaign funding, the Bush 2 administration or Enron.

I should make it clear that i was as disgusted and appalled as most people were at the corruption, fraud and general feathering of nests that this book exposes. But i think that this issue has eclipsed many others that are at least as important such as the large amount of money making its way from the City of London to Conservative party coffers. The ability of wealthy interests to buy political influence is possibly of far greater import than any number of deluxe duck ponds? And i think it a fair bet that the self satisfied author of "The Silent State" isn't going to be covering these issues any time soon, though i'd love to proven wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2011 21:06:05 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Apr 2012 13:14:02 BDT
Sadly the points you raise about right-wing corruption to counter the left-wing corruption revealed by The Silent State only serve to show that it's the whole system which is terminally corrupt Mr Wood, not just any one part of it. When the Shah's regime sank to a similar level, the Ayatollahs ushered in a national/cultural rebirth based on the Islamic Faith. The really serious problem facing today's Europe is that we simply don't have a comparably powerfull and untainted alternative ideology that could possibly do a similar job. WWI discredited the old Christian aristocratic oligarchies, WWII discredited Fascism/Nationalism and Marxist/Communism went bankrupt! That's the reason Islam is such a 'threat' to the modern West; because although the liberal/socialist system has outlasted all other Western political and/or religious opposition by several decades, that same liberal/socialist ideolgy is itself deeply flawed, self-centred, greed/abortion fuelled, politically/financially corrupt and inherently self-destructive.
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