Aeron Davis has spent 20 years researching Britain’s elite, interviewing more than 350 leaders in business and politics. His conclusion? Their failings are not only damaging society, but undermining the foundations of the establishment itself
In his 2014 book The Establishment, Owen Jones explained how and why Britain’s unequal, class-ridden system would always prevail. It was written at a time when the elite seemed to be thriving, despite having recently helped to trash the global economy. After a few lean years for “Davos man”, bank debt had effectively been nationalised. No one in power had gone to jail, while most of them seemed to be getting richer and richer. As Jones explained, the establishment was as dominant as ever.
Developments since then have sorely tested that view. After the vote for Brexit, David Cameron and George Osborne were suddenly cast adrift, while the Bank of England and captains of industry found themselves wondering who to support. The Conservative party – their political party, the only one they had ever supported – was following a course of action they thought would wreck the economy. Sterling and the FTSE 100 index plummeted. Shareholders began revolting and bankers relocating.