JAMES MEEK discusses his latest book, Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else, at the 18th Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair
Saturday 25 October 2014 at 2.30pm
Out of the Blue Drill Hall
30-38 Dalmeny Street
This event is supported by Capital and Class.
Admission Free! Donations Welcome!
"One activity in which Britain leads the world is privatisation. From Thatcher to Cameron, prime minister after prime minister has flogged off our public assets at rock bottom prices to the private sector. The result has been massive returns for investors and middle men, poorer services for the public – and a downgrading of our entitlements as citizens. All this is detailed by James Meek in a book that stands as one of the most powerful critiques of the mess that is Britain’s economy." Aditya Chakrabotty
"Meek’s range, humour and boldness are a joy." Observer
"One of the country’s finest writers." GQ Magazine
"Entertaining, vastly intelligent." New Yorker
How the British government packaged and sold its people to the world
In a little over a generation the bones and sinews of the British economy – rail, energy, water, postal services, municipal housing – have been sold to remote, unaccountable private owners. In a series of brilliant portraits James Meek shows how Britain’s common wealth became private, and the impact it has had on us all.
In a series of panoramic accounts, Meek explores the human stories behind the incremental privatization of the nation over the last three decades. As our national assets are being sold, the new buyers reap the rewards, and the ordinary consumer is left to pay the ever rising bill. Urgent, powerfully written and deeply moving, Private Island is a passionate anatomy of the state of the nation for readers of Chavs and Whoops!.
JAMES MEEK is a Contributing Editor of the London Review of Books. He is the author of six novels published in the UK, US, France and Germany, including The People’s Act of Love, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Ondaatje Prize and Scottish Arts Council Award. We Are Now Beginning Our Descent won the 2008 Le Prince Maurice Prize and The Heart Broke In was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Prize. In 2004 he was named the Foreign Correspondent of the Year by the British Press Awards and he contributes regularly to the Guardian, New York Times and International Herald Tribune.