Adam Curtis - The Mayfair Set (1999)

Four Stories About the Rise of Business and the Decline of Political Power The Mayfair Set tells the fascinating story of four men who all belonged to a notorious 1960s gambling club called the Clermont and who would ultimately shape the climate of the Thatcher years. Through the interwoven lives of Colonel David Stirling, Jim Slater, Tiny Rowland and James Goldsmith, Adam Curtis BAFTA winning series explores one of the most fundamental changes we have lived through in the past 30 years the rise to power of the financial markets and the decline of politics.

Part 1: Who Pays Wins

The opening episode, Who Dares Wins, focuses on Colonel David Stirling, the man who in 1941 invented the SAS. After the Second World War, Stirling created a private mercenary army and, determined to harness the growing power of Arab oil money, began Britains arms trade to the Middle East. His aim was to keep Britain great. But what he didnt realise, was that this money would eventually take control of him and his beloved country.

Part 2: Entrepreneur Spelt S.P.I.V.

In the 1950s, Britain was dominated by a political and financial establishment that looked down on the stock market. But a suburban accountant called Jim Slater saw things differently. He realised that if he harnessed the sleeping powers of the shareholders, he would gain immense power.

Part 3: Destroy the Technostructure

This episode recounts the story of how James Goldsmith became one of the richest men in the world by taking over some of the biggest corporations in America.

Part 4: Twilight of the Dogs

By the 80s, the day of the buccaneering tycoons was over. Tiny Rowland, James Goldsmith and Mohammed Al Fayed were the only ones who were not finished.

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