However often rehearsed, the facts remain eye-popping. Inequality has bolted out of control over the last three decades. Democracy has proved increasingly powerless to check the unaccountable runaway oligarchy that fails even to pay its taxes. Ferdinand Mount gives a lucid account of political decay alongside all this looting, a disengaged electorate and a cult of leadership in hock to overmighty media oligarchs, all ominously suggestive of the decline and fall of the Roman empire.When a Tory tells the story, it’s far more compelling than any left-winger. Mount was head of Margaret Thatcher’s Policy Unit from 1982 to 1984 and a director of the then most influential Tory think-tank, the Centre for Policy Studies.