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About the book
  • Published: 15 February 2015
  • ISBN: 9780099578314
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $22.99

A Quiet Word

Lobbying, Crony Capitalism and Broken Politics in Britain




An explosive and revelatory account about the British lobbying industry and how it affects us all at every level of our lives.

Q. What’s worth £2,000,000,000, answers to no-one and operates out of public sight?
A. Britain’s influence industry

The corporate takeover of democracy is no conspiracy theory – it’s happening, and it affects every aspect of our lives: the food we eat, the places we live, the temperature of our planet, how we spend our money and how our money is spent for us. And much more.

A Quiet Word shows just how effectively the voice of public interest is being drowned out by the word in the ear from the professional persuaders of the lobbying industry. And if you’ve never heard about them, that’s because the most effective lobbying goes unnoticed.

A Quiet Word shines the brightest of lights into one of the darkest and least-understood corners of our political culture. It is essential, urgent, authoritative reading for anyone interested in our democracy and where this country is heading.

And by showing how influence is constructed, it puts power back in your hands.

  • Pub date: 15 February 2015
  • ISBN: 9780099578314
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $22.99

Praise for A Quiet Word

“Fascinating… [Cave and Rowell] lay bare the tricks of the trade, from "astroturfing" (whipping up what looks like grassroots protest against new regulatory threats, but is in fact a front for industry interests) to using thinktanks as "wonk whores" that can push helpful ideas”

Gaby Hinsliff, Guardian

“Indispensable”

George Monbiot, Guardian

“Demonstrates beyond doubt how lobbyists distort democracy and ensure that elite opinion crowds out public views”

New Statesman

“A chillingly accurate description of how presentation and spin trumps substantive argument in the upper echelons of power... A Quiet Word is important and, generally, right”

Mark Leftly, Independent on Sunday

“A timely account of how voters are conceding power to a silent industry”

JP O'Malley, Mail on Sunday

“Makes a very persuasive case for much more openness in lobbying”

Douglas Osler, Scotland on Sunday

“This book shines a bright light on the murky dealings surrounding politics, PR, big business and journalism... Revelatory and disturbing”

Tim Holmes, Open Democracy

“Fascinating… The discussion of the “commercial influence industry”…is thorough, illuminating and instructive… A very useful introduction to a complex subject”

Anne Griktis, Public Service Magazine

“Highly recommended”

Roger Backhouse, Barkingside 21


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