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John Bowers KC for Downward Spiral: Collapsing Public Standards and How to Restore Them

Thursday 27th June

Topping & Company Booksellers of Bath, York Street, Bath, Somerset BA1 1NG
Doors Open
Start Time

The Johnson era will be remembered for a series of scandals that severely eroded trust in the British government. From questionable PPE tenders and public appointments to the ‘partygate’ fiasco, every aspect of public life seemed tainted. How did this downward spiral begin, and what can be done to reverse it?

John Bowers KC presents a fearless examination of the decline in ethical standards before, during and after the Johnson government. He focuses on the institutions responsible for holding the government accountable, exposing how they have been bypassed by prime ministers determined to impose their agenda.

Through interviews with political insiders, Bowers provides analysis of scandals such as Partygate, Greensill and the revolving door with the private sector. He shines a light on a culture of favouritism, where standards are upheld based on little more than the assumption those in power can be trusted to behave.

Rishi Sunak entered Number 10 on the promise of restoring integrity, but it is clear major problems remain. Confronting the failings of the current system, Downward spiral presents concrete proposals for creating an alternative that is more transparent and accountable.

‘John Bowers has written a very timely book that exposes the damage being done to society by a ruling class that governs without recourse to standards in public life. Downward spiral is a wake-up call to all those who care about the future of a fair and accountable political system.’

Robert Verkaik, author of Posh Boys: How English Public Schools Ruin Britain

John Bowers KC is Principal of Brasenose College, University of Oxford. He was called to the Bar in 1979 and took silk in 1998. Described as ‘an employment law rock star’, he is the author of fifteen books, including Bowers on Employment Law, The Law of Industrial Action and Trade Union Recognition and Whistleblowing. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Whistleblowing charity Protect. Since 2005 he has been a Bencher of Middle Temple.