Waiting for the Etonians: Reports from the Sickbed of Liberal England

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9780007308927: Waiting for the Etonians: Reports from the Sickbed of Liberal England

Do you remember what life was like before the crash?

  • When level-headed couples were still taking mortgages five times their joint income.
  • When the middle class was divided between the haves and the have yachts.
  • When Her Majesty's Government boasted that their 'light-touch regulation' of finance had abolished boom and bust, and laughed hysterically at anyone who disagreed.
By Christmas 2008, eight banks had been part-nationalised, Woolworths had disappeared, unemployment had reached nearly two million and the country's debt had hit record levels. We are now a bankrupt nation.

After the Great Crash of 2008, Americans could at least blame an incompetent right-wing government. But when the money ran out, Britain was ruled by left wingers who had grown up despising the 'funny-money' men. And yet, like the most gullible investors on Wall Street, New Labour prostrated themselves before the snake oil charmers of financial capital.

Since they came to power in 1997, Nick Cohen has been taking the pulse of what has turned out to be the longest period of left-wing government in British history. Over a decade later, he reports from the sickbed of liberal England as battered and broken voters contemplate a remarkable shift. With splendid outrage and great compassion, Waiting for the Etonians, is an account of a country that, for the first time since the end of the Empire, is considering embracing the old ruling class it has despised for decades.

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Review:

'Nick Cohen is a scourge of New Labour whose writings are a breath of fresh air in political journalism.' Sunday Telegraph

'Social class put back at the centre of political thought.' Fred Inglis, Independent

'In his assessments of British party politics he is often careful, sharp and persuasive, deftly taking apart the false impressions sometimes left by headlines.' Robert Murphy, Metro

Praise for ‘What’s Left?’:

'A roaring polemic of outrage against the moral and political crisis of the liberal tradition. It is already one of the most discussed current affairs books of the new year…At the very least it forces anyone on the left to think carefully about where their movement has ended up in the modern world.' The Guardian

‘The book is a superbly sustained polemic.' Sunday Times

‘This is a brave, honest and brilliant book. Every page has a provocative insight that makes you want to shake the author's hand or collar him for an argument. Who could ask for more?’ The Observer

‘Exceptional and necessary…Do not feel you have to be a leftist or liberal to read it, because it engages with an argument that it crucial for all of us, and for our time.’ Christopher Hitchens, Sunday Times

'(He writes with) a genuine passion and human sympathy about people who have experienced appalling suffering.' Michael Burleigh, The Evening Standard

‘Undoubtedly controversial and provocative “What’s Left?” is, as its title suggests, a bleakly witty but perhaps dimly hopeful examination of what it means to be liberal in an age where the lines that have been drawn in the sand are in danger of being washed away.’ Waterstones Books Quarterly

‘One of the most powerful denunciations of the manner in which the Left has lost its way…Cohen's is a brave voice.'
Michael Gove, The Spectator

'Nick Cohen explains how contemporary liberals have lost their way with his usual polemical brio.' The Observer

'An essay of wide reference and great brilliance.' John Lloyd, Financial Times

About the Author:

Nick Cohen is a journalist and commentator for the Observer and Evening Standard. He is also the author of ‘What’s Left?’ – the most important and provocative commentaries on how the Left lost its way.

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