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Michael Goldfarb looks at why Britain's narrow and elite establishment keeps stumbling from crisis to crisis.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, in an emergency debate in Parliament following this summer's riots, revived a line from his general election campaign. "Britain is broken", he said.

In this two-part series, the award-winning American broadcaster and author Michael Goldfarb challenges the assertion with a question: Is Britain really broken? If it is, then it is broken at the top.

From the City, to the police, to the press, to Parliament, and in cultural institutions including the nation's universities and even the BBC, a narrow elite, drawn from the least-diverse backgrounds, make the rules, socialise, and define what is and is not permissible among the nation's leaders.

The phone hacking scandal, described as the 'thuggish collusion between the media, the police and politicians', is just the latest example of the British Establishment being caught out.

The credit crunch, the ensuing outrage over executive pay as well as the MPs' expenses scandal, have all shown them to be tone-deaf to popular concerns.

Available now

25 minutes

Last on

Sun 23 Oct 2011 13:05GMT

Broadcasts

  • Tue 18 Oct 2011 08:05GMT
  • Tue 18 Oct 2011 12:05GMT
  • Tue 18 Oct 2011 15:05GMT
  • Tue 18 Oct 2011 19:05GMT
  • Wed 19 Oct 2011 01:05GMT
  • Sat 22 Oct 2011 22:05GMT
  • Sun 23 Oct 2011 13:05GMT