ITV's political editor explains what the f--- happened and what happens next in today's uncertain political climate.
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 election 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?
As in his bestsellers, Who Runs Britain? and How Do We Fix This Mess?, Robert Peston draws on his years of experience as a political, economics and business journalist, to show us what has gone bad, and gives us a manifesto to put at least some of it right.
WTF is a trenchant, often entertaining account of the recent past. It is also a call to action, giving hope to all of us who believe that taking back control is not only vital, but possible.
About the Author
Robert Peston is ITV's political editor, presenter of the politics show Peston on Sunday and founder of the education charity, Speakers for Schools. He has written three books, How Do We Fix This Mess?, Who Runs Britain?, and Brown's Britain. For a decade until the end of 2015, he was at the BBC, as economics editor and business editor. Previously he was City editor at the Sunday Telegraph, political editor and financial editor at the FT, a columnist for the New Statesman, and at the Independent in various roles. Peston has won more than 30 awards for his journalism, including Journalist of the Year from the Royal Television Society.
'Richly argued and brilliantly written... a deeply thoughtful analysis that should be mandatory reading for anyone seeking to understand where we have gone wrong.'
--Vernon Bogdanor, Financial Times
'Read the book, everyone. It's a superb analysis of the state we're in and what we can do about it. WTF?'--Cole Moreton
'An unbuttoned and vitally even-handed analysis that takes in everything from the decline of social mobility to the tyranny of social media.'--Metro
'Informed, personal, angry and funny: Peston lets rip in an immensely readable and thought-provoking book.'--Eddie Mair
'Elegant analysis of long term forces driving our politics (inc some solutions). Also a moving tribute to his dad.'--Paul Waugh, Huffington Post
'Robert Peston's WTF is a work of meticulous analysis that is also an inspiring, and often moving, manifesto for change. Beautifully-written, it is a manual for our times that everyone should read.'--Matthew d'Ancona
'This gripping and persuasive account of the mess facing liberal democracy ends with some optimism that politicians will rise to the challenge of responding to the tide of hopelessness.'--i newspaper
'This is a more radical, more passionate, swearier book than I would have expected from Peston - and the better for it... WTF is a great primer on how we ended up here. To escape this mess, we must first understand that.'--London Evening Standard
'The chapters on Tony Blair's and Gordon Brown's approach to borrowing, the handling of the banking crash and the failure to address economic inequality in its aftermath are well worth bookmarking.'--Guardian