Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else by James Meek - review by Martin Vander Weyer

Martin Vander Weyer

The Great Sell-Off

Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else

By

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Private Island is a fierce left-wing polemic against the core principles of what is easiest encapsulated as ‘Thatcherism’: the credo that the private sector can deliver most public services more cost-effectively than the state; that it’s better for families to be homeowners in command of their own circumstances than permanent tenants and clients of the state; and that open, flexible labour markets create more prosperity all round than those dominated by trade unions.

This is James Meek’s first non-fiction book: he has previously published five novels and two collections of short stories. He has a novelist’s eye and empathy, particularly for vignettes of personal hardship and exploitation, which he blames on ruthless capitalism in one form or another. But he is also a

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