James Ball and Andrew Greenway’s ‘Bluffocracy’ immediately appealed to me. The concept of Britain as a nation dominated by bluffers, with a system set up to perpetuate the Bluffocracy, very much rings true and the analysis contained within argues the case convincingly.

If anything exemplifies the British Bluffocracy in action, it’s David “essay crisis” Cameron and Brexit. Cameron bluffed his way through his premiership as if it was another PPE course, right up until his final bluff failed; when he accidentally ruined his career, his legacy and fundamentally altered the UK’s future for the next several decades. Oops!

Then, when it came to actually implementing this complex project, it was sleepy old David Davis who took charge. Starting from a terribly low knowledge base (exemplified by some appallingly ill-conceived articles he wrote on Brexit) he strived to ensure that he never had to add to that knowledge, winging it from beginning to end, before walking away when it all got a bit hard and compromise became necessary. The Bluffocracy, it’s how David Davis became Brexit Secretary and it’s why Liam Fox is in charge of our trade policy despite knowing nothing of value about trade.

Bluffocracy describes the three pillars of the system; the government, the civil service and the media. The book works so well because its authors are self-aware – it takes a bluffer to know a bluffer. Their analysis is convincing precisely because they draw from personal experience and share a similar profile to the people they describe.

Clearly Britain is not the only country that is dominated by an elite churned out by its most prestigious universities, but the world described here does seem to be a particularly small one. Reading about how a single degree course, PPE, produces so many of our leading politicians, journalists and officials, makes Britain seem like a truly absurd and small place. The course encourages bluffing, hones the skills of the bluffer and then sends them off to be civil servants, journalists and politicians, all working in institutions which are similarly set up to allow bluffers to prosper.

Frankly, it’s no way for a modern, advanced liberal democracy to be run. There is already an awareness of some of these systematic issues, but Bluffocracy really forces the reader to confront their absurdity. These are genuine problems that need addressing. The high turnover of ministers, for example, does not make for good governance. Government departments are already run by people with shallow knowledge of their brief, the fact that they are often moved on within a year makes matters worse.

One the most important and beneficial suggestions Ball and Greenway make is that Ministers should not have to be MPs. This clears the way for a Prime Minister to appoint experts, which in turn should encourage long-term thinking and longevity in the job.

The authors are not completely anti-bluffer and don’t endorse technocracy, but they make the case convincingly for the need for more experts and specialists across the board. Bluffocracy is concisely argued, keeping the spirit of the 18th century political pamphlet alive – it’s an important and timely book that makes you think.

Bluffocracy, James Ball and Andrew Greenway, Biteback Publishing, £10