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Drawing on the author's qualifications and career experiences in teaching, local government, and senior management in political environments, it is not partisan, but shows how a lifetime in the public service at the political interface can radicalize opposition to the State among indigenous, law-abiding professionals, such as this particular "Jobsworth".
Neither a textbook nor a work of personality politics, the book aims to be a thought- provoking polemic for intelligent laypersons, students, and professionals in both the public and private sectors, argued from scientific, rational, and philosophy standpoints. It is essentially pessimistic about the human condition and the likely outcomes of politicians' even altruistic efforts to ameliorate it, citing as it does a plethora of barriers and complexities sadly not usually over-considered during political life .It is critical of all institutions, defeatist about how we might escape from ideologies, and points up the many weaknesses of even the most systematic attempts to make social progress. It is corrosive on the subject of the political class, whilst also concluding that public attitudes and behaviour contribute in no small measure to our getting the very many quite mediocre politicians we probably deserve.
The book is lively, and likely to polarise opinion, both winning converts and engendering opposition. It seeks for the truth, which is often less than comforting. In so doing it draws on many an illustration from the current political scene. Much of the discussion is topical, and all is germane to building the (perhaps mythical) good society. This has to be founded on massive restructuring to eradicate the terrible and inhumane weaknesses of contemporary capitalism, as well as the development of a genuine democratic society, where a reformed public sector could play a respected and morally significant role. Its relevance is likely to endure for many years to come.