Wednesday 20th May
Owen Jones heads up a panel asking ‘Have they been getting away with it for too long?’ With special guests inc. leading anti-child sexual abuse campaigner Tom Watson MP (tbc) and North West TUC Regional Secretary, Lynn Collins. Have your say on the raft of scandals and cover ups that have exposed the dark side of ‘The Establishment’.
In his latest book The Establishment and How They Get Away With It, WoW Festival favourite Owen Jones, author of the international bestseller Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, offers a biting critique of the British Establishment and a passionate plea for democracy.Behind our democracy lurks a powerful but unaccountable network of people who wield massive power and reap huge profits in the process. In exposing this shadowy and complex system that dominates our lives, Owen Jones sets out on a journey into the heart of our Establishment, from the lobbies of Westminster to the newsrooms, boardrooms and trading rooms of Fleet Street and the City. Exposing the revolving doors that link these worlds, and the vested interests that bind them together, Jones shows how, in claiming to work on our behalf, the people at the top are doing precisely the opposite. In fact, they represent the biggest threat to our democracy today - and it is time they were challenged.
[Praise for Owen Jones's Chavs] 'A passionate and well-documented denunciation of the upper-class contempt for the proles that has recently become so visible in the British class system' - Eric Hobsbawm, Guardian Books of 2011
'As with all the best polemics, a luminous anger backlights his prose' - Economist
'A bold attempt to rewind political orthodoxies; to reintroduce class as a political variable ... It moves in and out of postwar British history with great agility, weaving together complex questions of class, culture and identity with a lightness of touch. Jones torches the political class to great effect' - Jon Cruddas, Independent
Owen Jones’ international bestseller Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, was long-listed for theGuardian First Book Award and chosen as one of The New York Times top 10 non-fiction books of 2011. In 2013 he received the Young Writer of the Year prize at the Political Book Award. He is a columnist for the Guardian and a frequent broadcaster.
Tom Watson MP (West Bromwich East)
According to The Sun newspaper, Watson is a fundamentalist zealot who denounces any deviation from socialism. That’s good enough for us! Tom Watson MP played a major part in exposing the phone hacking scandal involving Rubert Murdoch’s press. He wrote book detailing his investigations and experiences, ‘Dial M for Murdoch’. He appeared at a sold out event for WoW in 2013. He has since turned his attention to issues of sexual abuse, and in particular allegations that high ranking establishment figures have engaged in sexual abuses, cover-ups, and even murder.
Lynne Collins, Regional Secretary North West TUC
Lynn Collins is the first female regional secretary for the North West TUC. Lynn, Collins began her political activity in the early 1980’s in the peace movement and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament when she organised national demonstrations and ‘rock against the bomb’ events. Lynne represents the increasingly strong women’s influence in the trade union movement. She took over in the North West at the same time as Frances O’Grady became the TUC’s first ever woman General Secretary. This new wave of women trade union leaders is changing the face of British trade unionism. The traditional stereotype of trade unionists as male, white and blue collar is now being overtaken by trade unionists who are women, of diverse ethnicity and working in the professions. Lynn and the North West TUC have been involved in campaigns against blacklisting, a practice that has deprived many trade unionists and activist of jobs. This surveillance by the police is coming under further pressure recently with revelations that Labour MP’s too were targeted.
7.30pm. The Black-E, 1 Great George Street, L1 5EW