There has been a people’s revolt against the way the West has been run. Brexit, Trump, the recent British and French elections saw millions of people shouting that they were sick to death of things never getting better. In WTF? Robert Peston gives us his highly personal account of what those who have ruled us for years got so badly wrong, and what we need to do to mend the terrible fractures in our society.
Peston wrote WTF? because the elections of Trump, the Corbyn surge, the vote for Brexit all challenged how he thought the world could and should be run. With characteristic passion and clarity he looks at how and whether it is possible to make a success of leaving the EU, what the lessons should be of the appalling Grenfell Tower tragedy, whether robots can be stopped from taking our work, what can be done to staunch the widening gap between rich and poor, how to raise living standards for all, and what must happen to prevent democracy being subverted by technocratic geniuses with the ability to manipulate social media.
These are the challenges of our age, because the combination of economic stagnation and a technological revolution is killing jobs, enriching the few and undermining the institutions we used to trust as the foundations of the state. What and who can we believe when it is almost impossible to know whether posts on Facebook and Twitter are hard news or the fabrication of a Russian agent?
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