The Book Club

Simon Kuper: How a Tiny Caste of Oxford Tories Took Over the UK

46 min listen

In This Episode

My guest in this week’s Book Club podcast is the writer Simon Kuper, whose new book – Chums: How a Tiny Caste of Oxford Tories Took Over the UK – argues that to understand the social and psychological dynamics of our present government, you need to understand the Oxford University of the 1980s, where so many of those now in power first met. He argues that the PM’s love of winging it was nurtured in the tutorial culture of his Balliol days, that the dynamics of Tory leadership contests are throwbacks to the Oxford Union, and that Brexit – the grand project of this generation – was at root a jobs-protection scheme for the old-fashioned ruling class. Can that be the whole story? He tells me why he thinks we need to decommission the UK’s rhetoric industry and learn to be more like Germany.


A blooming good offer

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers by getting the next 3 months for £3.

Already a subscriber? Log in