A Cabinet Of Public School Types

Mick Hall thinks public school types are heavily overrepresented in the British cabinet. Mick Hall is a Marxist blogger @ Organized Rage.
  • When a Prime Minister appoints a cabinet in which 53% of its members went to Public Schools a lack of social mobility is inevitable
Christ Church, Oxford: The Oxbridge college which has 58% of its students coming from public schools when these schools only have 7% of UK child population attending them..
For what good it will do, yet another report is released this week by Blairite Alan Milburn, the so called Tory government's social mobility Tzar. It highlights the UK's lack of social mobility between classes. No surprises there for it's become increasingly obvious the gross inequalities which exist in the UK today are a direct consequence of the institutional class prejudice which runs through all the main institutions of the British State: including the monarchy, Westminster parliament, civil service, universities, military and secret state, all of which play a pivotal role in charting the course of the ship of state.

How could it be otherwise when David Cameron, the Prime Minister sees no contradiction between the lack of social mobility and appointing a cabinet in which 50% went to elitist Oxbridge universities, and 53% went to Public Schools. (Fee paying)? When in the nation at large the numbers of children attending such schools make up only 7% of population.

Britain is a class prejudiced swamp which lacks social mobility because we have a prime minister and government which wishes it to be so. The British ruling class have for centuries ferociously ring fenced its power and privileges by locking-out from sources of power the working classes and a section of the middle class.

The UK is run by a group of mainly white upper middle class men, who attended public schools and Oxbridge universities. The annual fees at Eton, Cameron's old school, are £31,000, ($48,500) and that is not an unusual sum for a so called 'top tier' public school. To put this into perspective to understand just how elitist this is, the average annual earnings of a British worker is a mere £26,200.
In the post WW2 period a real attempt was made to stamp out such class prejudice and advantage. However the Labour Party refused to take on it's main bastions, the monarchy and House of Lords, Britain's unelected second parliamentary chamber, plus the public schools and elite universities like Oxbridge. Both of which churn out Little Lord Fauntleroy's who are groomed to believe they have a god given right to rule, which has been handed down through generations.

To help understand this class prejudice and the post war attempt to reduce it, throughout history only eight British Prime Ministers have been educated at non-fee-paying state schools; these include five Prime Ministers to hold office in the post WW2 period. (Wilson, Heath, Callaghan, Thatcher, Major).

Once Cameron became leader of the Tory party he has carefully and consistently reversed the trend for more social mobility in the Tory party, State and Nation. If anyone doubts this they need only look back at the reports Milburn has released since becoming part of Cameron's window dressing. Year after year Milburn in his inane way, reports social mobility in the UK is getting worse, not better.

If the Blairite had a hint of moral fiber he would never have taken the job, or at the very least long ago resigned. Even he must realise he has been ineffective when is comes to increasing social mobility, indeed in all probability that was Cameron's aim when he gave him the job. Although there are benefits for being a prime minister's PR shield. *

Cameron, ever the PR man understands the value of having such a pliable fellow in the job. Asked what he was doing about the lack of social mobility he once said in having appointed Alan Milburn he has the right man in the job to increase social mobility. (Which must have brought the house down in howls of laughter at the next old-boys dinner of the Bullingham Club.) He continued:
I want a Britain where social mobility is unlocked; where everyone, regardless of background, has the chance to rise as high as their talents and ambition allow them.
Note the sting in the tail; for due to their upbringing, education, and class bigotry, people like Cameron do not believe working class people have the ability or talent to hold high office, whether politically, in business, or the media, they must leave that to their betters. The proof of this particular pudding is the make up of his own cabinet.
As Siobhan Courtney wrote in an Aljazeera article:
Our governing elite will never understand the true meaning of austerity, and their only association with the minimum wage will be reading it in a press release.

But this argument is absolutely not about begrudging those who have the wealth to afford a private education. This argument is about questioning whether people that have only been accustomed to a life of privilege and patronage are suitably qualified to run a country where this categorically is not the norm.

Just seven per cent of the English population is privately educated. However, within that miniscule seven per cent, one can find 70 per cent of High Court judges, 54 per cent of FTSE 100 chief executives, 51 per cent of top medics, 32 per cent of MPs, and 24 per cent of university vice chancellors. There is no clearer illustration then that the stranglehold of "top jobs" in the UK are dominated by former "public schoolboys."
When those who govern lack empathy with the overwhelming majority of the population, is it any wonder inequalities have increased and life in the UK is so disheartening and yes, brutal.
* How the system works is illustrated if we follow the trajectory of Milburn after taking up Cameron's offer of the job. He was gifted a number of well paying jobs in the private sector. He joined Price-Waterhouse-Coopers (PwC) as chair of its UK health industry oversight board, whose objective is to drive privatisation in the health sector, and assist PWC in growing its presence in the NHS 'health market.' He is also chair of the European advisory board at venture capitalist Bridgepoint Capital, and on the healthcare advisory panel at Lloyds Pharmacy. Kerching a snout now well and truly in his master's trough.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

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