15 thoughts on “The Establishment by Owen Jones: A review”

  1. Posted 08/09/2014 at 15:30 | Permalink

    I wonder how large a proportion of the national income could be spent by the government and it still be possible to claim we have a ‘free market’ economy? Surely Christopher Snowdon is right to suggest that anything like 50 per cent is far too high a proportion? If indeed 40 per cent of national income is the highest proportion that can be collected in tax revenues and if the British government aims not to run a budget deficit, then presumably no more than 40 per cent? In his foreword to Sharper Axes, Lower Taxes’, Philip Booth suggested less than 30 per cent. (Perhaps Colin Clark’s suggested maximum of 25 per cent? Or even lower? …) Hayek’s words in ‘The Road to Serfdom’ [page 45] are worth bearing in mind: ‘Where, as was, for example, true in Germany as early as 1928, the central and local authorities directly control the use of more than half the national income (according to an official German estimate then, 53 per cent) they control indirectly almost the whole economic life of the nation. There is, then, scarcely an individual end which is not dependent for its achievement on the action of the state, and the “social scale of values” which guides the state’s action must embrace practically all individual ends.’ That is hardly a free market economy!

  2. Posted 08/09/2014 at 17:52 | Permalink

    Jones is the left-wing media’s equivalent of an English Premiership player: grossly over-paid and over-egoed, whilst being seriously under-skilled, uneducated, and of limited talents outside the bedroom – where he has none.

  3. Posted 09/09/2014 at 07:54 | Permalink

    I cant help thinking that Jones’ destiny is to end up at 65 as a reactionary bellicose Express columnist ranting against sexual and ethnic minorities.

  4. Posted 09/09/2014 at 09:34 | Permalink

    Owen Jones isn’t old enough to remember when policemen were human, this would be pre-1975, when you could actually stand and converse with them. Where do you see police actually living in the community, as in Heartbeat’, after 1975? He also fails to mention, the miners were beaten by ‘Army’ and Militia dressed up as Police, this was Maggie’s war on society.

    Cast an eye over our history (the West) and see just when all Police forces changed attitudes, it seemed to be around 1975, just after the break-up of the Bretton Wood agreement, when Richard Nixon reneged on $35 dollars an ounce for gold and ripped off half of Europe. This is when the EEC (now EU) started getting a foothold, then we had the UN calling for reports and implementing policy, that set in motion the destruction of society as we know it! Agenda 21.

    From 1992 onwards, our policemen have grown to resemble combat soldiers, why? Our democratic rights are being slowly eroded and taken from us, the EAW, being a prime example. Under this we lose Habeas Corpus, Trial by Jury and Innocent until proven Guilty. On the up side, via TTIP, Corporations will gain everything, including dictating policy, if their ISDS is left in the agreement?

    The future doesn’t look very promising, because of EU free movement of labour, we will never see ‘full employment’ and a constant stream of cheap labour, will never allow wages to rise. This brings me back to the Agenda 21, whereby Corporations rule the world and we are their slaves!

  5. Posted 09/09/2014 at 09:42 | Permalink

    Owen Jones is a fool.

  6. Posted 09/09/2014 at 10:07 | Permalink

    A much better expose of the failings of freemarket economics can be found here in
    Prof Alexanders book,

    The Globalisation of Addiction.

    A very balanced book.

  7. Posted 09/09/2014 at 13:23 | Permalink

    I wouldn’t call the Daily Mail an establishment paper – the predominant tone of its commenters is one of powerlessness.

    The entire post-68 British “left” are paper tigers, running dogs of capitalism. No one’s profits are threatened by the SWP, the modern Labour Party or any of the far-left groups.

    If they were really a threat to capitalism, they’d be harassed by the State, find it hard to get bank accounts, have vexatious legal actions against them. Laws would be changed to make it harder for them to operate. Their public sector members would be dismissed. Wealthy individuals would fund groups solely devoted to giving them a hard time – up to and including physical assault. Members on their way to demonstrations would be ‘preventatively’ arrested, held until the demo was over, then released.

    Now does left-wing politics attract that kind of reaction? Why not, if it’s such a threat? In the past left activists were imprisoned, transported, harassed and worse. Today the only parties who get that treatment are those which wish to restrict immigration.

    Now that IS a threat to profits, as working wages have been pretty much static (and declining in real terms) ever since A8 accession.If you can’t get the staff, don’t raise wages – import some more !

    The UK left is so cosy in the elite’s warm embrace that the majority of their activists come from the public sector, and a disproportionate number from the higher education sector. If they’re so dangerous to our rulers, why aren’t they all worried about being fired? I don’t think they lose too much sleep on that account.

    “The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class”

    The post-68 Left social agenda has almost completely triumphed in the UK – witness Cameron joining the “antifascist” group Hope Not Hate and campaigning for gay marriage.

    At the same time the Left economic agenda has been so utterly defeated that terms and conditions for the average worker are being driven down remorselessly – even as total remuneration for the top few percent accelerates into the distance.

    Haven’t any of these educated lefties wondered why this might be? So much success in one sphere, so little in another?

    Why, it’s almost as if there’s an inverse relationship between the two!

  8. Posted 09/09/2014 at 14:12 | Permalink

    What suspicious death of black men in custody, the MPA or the IPCC/CPS have said they’ve either been lawfully killed,or unlawfully killed and Pre Chris Adler, there has t been proof to prosecute, as for Ian Tomlinson, he was unlawfully killed, different pathologist gave different results, as such a jury found it wasnt beyond reasonable doubt, that it was manslaughter, the IPCC found the police didn’t say the things the press claimed they’d said such as first aid was applied and the police suffered attacks from bottles while it was happening,PlebGate and whether PC Rowland’s did hear Mitchell ay that is on going.

  9. Posted 09/09/2014 at 15:08 | Permalink

    The lack of paragraph formatting in these comment fields is most vexing.

  10. Posted 09/09/2014 at 15:23 | Permalink

    Why does this fool get so much press? He talks so much nonsense and has the debating skills of a simian.

  11. Posted 09/09/2014 at 16:09 | Permalink

    It is interesting that you criticise Owen Jones for linking together various police scandals when Teresa May did the same in her speech to the police federation. And of course there is a link between the police scandals, the bank scandals over rigging the libor rate, the Rotherham sex abuse issues, parliamentary expenses and many more. The link is that when institutions are not open and accountable they make decisions and take actions in their own interests and not those of citizens. The problem is, as Owen Jones recognises, that democracy in Britain is highly flawed.

  12. Posted 09/09/2014 at 17:19 | Permalink

    Jones is further proof of lower standards in education, and is, or should be, an embarrassment to Oxford University. If i didn’t know otherwise, i would have rated him a graduate of ‘Chad Valley’ university…….but he is the darling of the wretched BBC, as much as is Galloway, another, excuse my language, gobshite.

  13. Posted 09/09/2014 at 18:09 | Permalink

    Laban (14:23) is spot on. A broader version of much the same case is made in Walter Benn Michaels’ *The Trouble with Diversity*, which argues for a hard connection between galloping wealth inequality since the 1970s, and the rise (and triumph) of the social diversity agenda. Michaels’ examples are all (I think) from the US (where he is a literature professor), but many would carry across to British and European settings. As he points out, diversity asks relatively little of us, other than that we respect a person’s race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.. Equality, in the economic sense, is a much taller order, because the poor don’t want our respect, they want our money. The left has, of course, surrendered that fight. Instead, it takes up causes which are delightful in themselves — gay marriage is a wonderful thing — and which cost precisely nothing. How pleasing it must be to the undertaxed billionaire community to see the left busy itself with such matters, instead of floating vexatious proposals about wealth redistribution and the like. I’m reading (well, skimming) Mr Jones’ book now, and on every page I’m struck by its naivety in respect of its own critical discourse.

  14. Posted 10/09/2014 at 09:56 | Permalink

    I suspect much of Mr Jones’s out put is based on “What me dad told me”.
    As I understand it, his father was a public sector employee (Stockport MBC) in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and a member of the SWP.
    As one living through those days and not too far from that area, I have to say that Mr Jones Sr would have been Part of the Problem.

  15. Posted 10/09/2014 at 10:22 | Permalink

    Personally what annoys me is that Private Eye has been covering the existence of this Establishment for years before Squeaky Jones decided to do his rehash. Anyone who isn’t aware of its existence really has to be really naïve.

    To try and prove the Establishment doesn’t exist by suggesting ‘well we haven’t reached free market utopia yet’ is risible. You haven’t achieved because barely any humans want it. For example only the rich want to get rid of the NHS.

    Nonetheless by creating a neo-lib consensus that has pretty much died outside Westminster, this Establishment is making our democracy look more like a corporate dictatorship. Exactly why Scotland is voting Yes – it’s the least nationalistic vote for Independence ever.

    The Mitchell comments are equally ludicrous. This was carried out by some disgruntled officers at the a low level. It is at the high level where the establishment’ element is found and evidence is there in Hillsborough, miners and hacking.

    I suppose IEA also consider the US has also fallen short of ‘full free market’ – this place where the sick can’t afford to be treated and cities go bankrupt. Live the dream!

    And although you argued for banks to fail, what of the those people who had savings? And what of the people who ran the banks? Those bank bosses would still be enriching even if the banks had been allowed to fail. So I do not recognise that as meritocracy.

    It seems to me we are divided quite evenly along one axis. Those who really hate humans and wish to live as individuals in an economic-apartheid state and those of us who think that whatever our difference, actually we can all get along just fine and actually we have an obligation to do so.

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