Brexit is a British Establishment Breakdown: Can Labour Save Us?

Anthony Barnett

6-8 pm, 21st February

RHB 137a

As UCU prepares to strike, the links between Brexit and Tory efforts to intensify the marketisation of everything become more obvious. But at the same time the UK is in the grip of a Great British nationalism, impervious to economic arguments, and Labour seems paralysed over how to respond to the 2016 referendum. Why is there this excruciating implosion of the governing class? And what needs to happen now? Anthony Barnett, founder of openDemocracy and author of (2017) The Lure of Greatness: England’s Brexit & America’s Trump, debates these questions with Aeron Davis, author of the forthcoming Reckless Opportunists: Elites at the End of the Establishment, and Natalie Fenton, Co-Director of Goldsmiths Centre for Global Media and Democracy.

Some responses to The Lure of Greatness:

“Brilliant”, Suzanne Moore, “Blistering”, Zadie Smith,

“The best book about Brexit so far… brilliantly caustic, there is some comfort in that Barnett has been right about so much before.” Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times,

“overall this is a dazzling, all-encompassing, big picture analysis of the Brexit vote, easily the best of its kind in print, brilliantly written and endlessly thought-provoking. Do read it.” Andrew Sparrow, Editor, Guardian Politics Live


Anthony Barnett is a writer and campaigner. He was the first director of Charter 88, Co-Director of the Convention on Modern Liberty and the Co-Founder of openDemocracy. He is also a multiply-published author, editor and comment writer in the national media.

Professor Aeron Davis is Co-Director of Goldsmiths PERC and author of the forthcoming (March 2018) Reckless Opportunists: Elites at the End of the Establishment.

Professor Natalie Fenton is Co-Director of Goldsmiths Centre for Global Media and Democracy and author of (2016) Digital, Political, Radical


This event is open to all and no registration is necessary. To find Goldsmiths, click here.