Posh Ministers and social mobility

Welcome to UKHIppy2764@2x.png

UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • I debated whether or not to put this in current affairs but i would prefer it to be in philosophy as i am trying to discuss the nature of our society. However, if a Mod wants to move it i do not object.


    I recently had a look on Wikipedia to find out a bit more about our new cabinet of ministers, mainly focusing on their background. This is what i found out-
    There are 31 members of the full cabinet, incuding ministers without portfolio who can attend meeting. This from Wiki.
    16 went to private/independant/boarding school
    4 went to grammer school
    6 went to a compehensive school
    1 (william hague) went to both a grammer and comp school
    1 (ian duncan smith) went to an army school
    20 went to oxford or cambridge uni. Many studied a degree which included politics. The next most popular was buisness/management degrees.
    only 4 are women
    only 1 is from an ethnic minority.


    In the general population 7% went to a private/independant school.


    From looking at the biographies of the ministers only 1 appears to be from the working class- Patrick Mcloughlin, the new clief whip. His parents were miners.


    How important is this? does it matter that we are seing a reduction in social mobility, especialy in our politicians.
    One of the things that surprsed me is that in the new lib-con cabinet there are not many people who got rich as entrepreneurs. There are a few who worked in the city but they started out with a bit of money. The tories in the 80s saw themselves as the party of the yuppie, promoting free enterprise and a fantasy of equal oportunities to get rich. Now they appear to be going back to being the party of old money, the ruling class.


    I think this does matter. The working class poor begining to believe there isno potential for social mobility. This leads to frustration and disenfranchisement. This is the reason for the rise in extremist politics.

  • My thoughts are put the best person for the job in the post regardless of their position of the social scale.....there would be no point in putting an uneducated person into a job that requires management and other skills and I, for one, wouldn't be happy to see it.


    Unlike the old days where you got on in politics because maybe you had good connections and not a lot of sense, these days we should expect those running the country to have a decent education.

  • I suppose it depends on how important social mobility is to people and what it is that they really want from a government? I am by far on the lowest income of all of my friends (and family), have the fewest possessions, the scruffiest house and the oldest car. I also have far more time than any of them and a really lovely relationship with my son that a lot of my friends don't have with their children. For me, being upwardly mobile would essentially mean having to go to work full time, having to send my son to school and juggling a variety of different things, some of which I might not particularly enjoy. Whilst more money would make life easier, I don't think I'd be prepared to sacrifice my current lifestyle for it.

    I would like to see more 'ordinary' people in politics but I don't think having a good education and going to a private school necessarily means someone is out of touch with the reality of some people's lives. I don't know that I would agree that there's no potential for social mobility - I just think that we were all fed the 'you can have it all' theory when I don't believe you can. I think there's also the perspective of how you judge yourself in terms of how you live - do you look at your income and whether or not you own your own house, or do you look at your personal qualities, how happy you are, how well you are developing emotionally and so on? I personally found living under a Labour government terrifying - their seeming obsession with eroding civil liberties was incredibly intrusive and the growth of power within the public sector was really frightening. Whether that will change under a Conservative/Lib Dem government remains to be seen.

    It's a very interesting thread, it will be interesting to see what different members think.

  • How important is this? does it matter that we are seing a reduction in social mobility, especialy in our politicians.


    To my mind it does matter, the downturn in social mobility could be argued to be a result of a) poor education for the lower classes, b) lower classes being subjected to lower living standards, and finally, c) ghenerations of families (usually lower classes) being subjected to a) and b)....
    I personally know two people who do come from working class backgrounds, who have become Mp's (Dave Nellist and Tommy Sheridan), and I do think it is important that the voices of the working class is heard in Westminster, but I would say that women and ethnic minorities are also under represented. Personally, I think that we have all suffered as a result of having governments that are so homogenous.



    I think this does matter. The working class poor begining to believe there isno potential for social mobility. This leads to frustration and disenfranchisement. This is the reason for the rise in extremist politics.


    I totally agree with what you say here. I come from an estate, my mother never worked, and my dad was unemployed for years. If I for one second thought that was all I could achieve I would be frustrated. As I know I can achieve more. And yes the lack of social mobility does lead to extremisim, in both white and communities that are Muslim for example. If the major political parties are mainly etonians they cannot ever envisage how it feels to be living in conditions that are often violent, unsuitable, crowded. They cannot understand how stressful it is to have to choose between paying bills, or buying food. If the poor feel like they are being overlooked in this way, it stands to reason that thet willembrace politicians that say they will address this...

  • Social Mobility :rolleyes:


    Well its not a level playing field to start with


    Education
    The Public School system is wonderful :eek:
    Who wouldnt want to send ones child to small classes and excellent facilities
    of course they get good results on average each child get £20,000 a YEAR more spent on them than any child in the state system - at that expenditure I'd expect great results.
    How ever the advantage of public school might get you in to a good university but it doent help you get a good degree!!!
    However even if you are bright enough to get a scholorship to a Public school I dont think it is enough to "make you one of them". But it does help to raise their stats on exam results. Most middle class parents cant afford to send their children to good public schools, boarding school fees are about £30,000 a year it is upper class people that can send their children to public schools and it is difficult to fit in to thier society.


    Its not just about social mobility - its the fact that money buys priviledge and untimaletly influence - and continues the old boy network.
    It also means that the "brightest" dont always get a chance to get into those positions of power and influence - and lets face it - it would be best if the brightest men and women rose to the top whether it be in politics or business. Rather than the sons of the rich?

  • I think the biggest problem with education is the postal code lottery, where house prices can be double if you're in the right catchment area. The result is that rich people go to good schools and poor people can't afford the housing cost and have to send their kids to crap schools. That this is the case after thirteen years of a "Labour" government is absolutely damning.

  • [quote='SmilingMum','http://ukhippy.com/freakpower/forum/index.php?thread/&postID=945586#post945586']I suppose it depends on how important social mobility is to people and what it is that they really want from a government? I am by far on the lowest income of all of my friends (and family), have the fewest possessions, the scruffiest house and the oldest car. I also have far more time than any of them and a really lovely relationship with my son that a lot of my friends don't have with their children. For me, being upwardly mobile would essentially mean having to go to work full time, having to send my son to school and juggling a variety of different things, some of which I might not particularly enjoy. Whilst more money would make life easier, I don't think I'd be prepared to sacrifice my current lifestyle for it.

    I would like to see more 'ordinary' people in politics but I don't think having a good education and going to a private school necessarily means someone is out of touch with the reality of some people's lives. I don't know that I would agree that there's no potential for social mobility - I just think that we were all fed the 'you can have it all' theory when I don't believe you can. I think there's also the perspective of how you judge yourself in terms of how you live - do you look at your income and whether or not you own your own house, or do you look at your personal qualities, how happy you are, how well you are developing emotionally and so on? I personally found living under a Labour government terrifying - their seeming obsession with eroding civil liberties was incredibly intrusive and the growth of power within the public sector was really frightening. Whether that will change under a Conservative/Lib Dem government remains to be seen.

    totally agree

  • My thoughts are put the best person for the job in the post regardless of their position of the social scale.....there would be no point in putting an uneducated person into a job that requires management and other skills and I, for one, wouldn't be happy to see it.


    Unlike the old days where you got on in politics because maybe you had good connections and not a lot of sense, these days we should expect those running the country to have a decent education.


    Agreed, completely. Well said. x

  • I guess the point is that a really good standard of education should be available to all, rather than an elite few, so maybe public/private schools should be taxed more to help finance non-fee paying schools(outcry from the rich about paying 'twice'? Absolutely, but tough.)


    Baroness Warsi is the daughter of an immigrant mill-worker. Her family are from Dewsbury near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. I guess she knows what it's like to not be 'privileged'.


    And, to be fair, her experience shows that people can rise through the ranks, but I agree - it's so very much harder without that network of contacts and familial expectations...

  • It isn't just education or the money though is it? It's the whole old boys' network. They make introductions and shake hands and receive their place in Chambers or whatever else they need to move upwards.


    If our politicians have never lived in the real world, how on earth can they govern it?

  • It isn't just education or the money though is it? It's the whole old boys' network. They make introductions and shake hands and receive their place in Chambers or whatever else they need to move upwards.


    If our politicians have never lived in the real world, how on earth can they govern it?



    With a nod and a wink and a back-hander, same as always I guess :(


  • Unlike the old days where you got on in politics because maybe you had good connections and not a lot of sense, these days we should expect those running the country to have a decent education.


    But do they have management experience? David Cameron left posh school then went to a posh university. He joined the bullingdon club where he practiced being privaliged, getting drunk with posh mates and enjoying themselves. He studied politics and when he left uni he was employed by the comservative party as a researcher and political theorist. He then became an MP. Where in this biography is there evidence of a good education? Because he went to Eton does not mean he got a good education. He got to hang around with other people from the power elite and was able to make good networks with people in power.
    A lot of the cabinet have similar biographies. There is very few with real world experience, managing large budgets and large groups of people.

  • I really can't understand this constant fixation with the word 'Posh' why does it matter what school they went to or how well educated they are....the bottom line is that they were voted in as members of parliament and have a job to do - if people didn't want them they wouldn't have voted for them.

  • I really can't understand this constant fixation with the word 'Posh' why does it matter what school they went to or how well educated they are....the bottom line is that they were voted in as members of parliament and have a job to do - if people didn't want them they wouldn't have voted for them.



    I didnt vote for them


    A Public school education followed by Oxford or Cambridge means you are out of touch with the world that most of us inhabit. And out of touch with the people they are trying to govern ...........

  • ok..I went to private school.. or to be correct public school:D...I didnt go to university.. I didnt keep in touch with my school friends...in general ... a bunch of city twits.

    One thing you can't teach is common sense..and to an extent I find graduates have less common sense than most.

    This tends to be why elections are contested on a daft impossible list of promises..that, once elected, they find out can not be done.

    Politicians are far less powerful and important than we.. and indeed than they think... they just tend to take a few years to work it out.

    In short the background of the cabinet is of no major importance..because.. the cabinet is of no major importance.

  • I beg to differ, Whilst I am not a David Cameron "fan", he is clearly very privileged to have been able to recieve the very best in education.
    So what if he enjoyed getting drunk with his "posh" mates (really!?!). We could all sit here and pretend that public and state schools have the same levels of success with grades etc, but unfortunately that is just not the case statistically.




    But do they have management experience? David Cameron left posh school then went to a posh university. He joined the bullingdon club where he practiced being privaliged, getting drunk with posh mates and enjoying themselves. He studied politics and when he left uni he was employed by the comservative party as a researcher and political theorist. He then became an MP. Where in this biography is there evidence of a good education? Because he went to Eton does not mean he got a good education. He got to hang around with other people from the power elite and was able to make good networks with people in power.
    A lot of the cabinet have similar biographies. There is very few with real world experience, managing large budgets and large groups of people.

  • Cameron didn't get his education because he's bright though, he got it because his parents were loaded. He probably went to a posh prep school, where they made sure he passed his entrance exams to secondary school, and the secondary school made sure he put in all the work to get to oxbridge....

  • Cameron didn't get his education because he's bright though, he got it because his parents were loaded. He probably went to a posh prep school, where they made sure he passed his entrance exams to secondary school, and the secondary school made sure he put in all the work to get to oxbridge....


    Yep exactly. Not debating how bright he is. Just that he was blessed to be able to have the best education.

  • I beg to differ, Whilst I am not a David Cameron "fan", he is clearly very privileged to have been able to recieve the very best in education.
    So what if he enjoyed getting drunk with his "posh" mates (really!?!). We could all sit here and pretend that public and state schools have the same levels of success with grades etc, but unfortunately that is just not the case statistically.


    But why did Dave get to attend Eton? Because he was born into a wealthy family. If he had gone to a comprehensive then would he be PM today? very unlikely.
    I am not so deluded to think that we will ever get to a place where all people are born with equal oportunity, with equal access to quality education. But our current society appears to be moving away from this ideal rather than towards it.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm…licschools.publicservices

  • Maybe his family had a work/education "ethic" which led them to succeed and put their first priorities on his education and their wealth.
    I like you am all for equal oppourtunities. But in reality it is not that simple with matters like this.


    But why did Dave get to attend Eton? Because he was born into a wealthy family. If he had gone to a comprehensive then would he be PM today? very unlikely.
    I am not so deluded to think that we will ever get to a place where all people are born with equal oportunity, with equal access to quality education. But our current society appears to be moving away from this ideal rather than towards it.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm…licschools.publicservices

  • I beg to differ, Whilst I am not a David Cameron "fan", he is clearly very privileged to have been able to recieve the very best in education.
    So what if he enjoyed getting drunk with his "posh" mates (really!?!). We could all sit here and pretend that public and state schools have the same levels of success with grades etc, but unfortunately that is just not the case statistically.


    Methinks you may have missed the point... What most of us are saying is that even though Cameron et al all have a fantastic level of education, they have no real experience in how the vast majority of us live. Another point is that the level of education that is reserved for those who can afford it, should be available to all... That way issues such as the downturn in social mobility is addressed (to some degree). I don't think anyone here is bashing the 'posh' (although I have often been mistaken as coming from an upper-middle class family as my vocabulary and diction is quite good), what we are speaking against is that the voice of the majority (statistically speaking) is not being represented in our Parliament, I thought that the House of Lords was reserved for the Etonites, whereas Parliament was supposed to represent everyone, not just the privileged. ;)

  • Regardless of Cameron's parents work ethic, the sums of money involved in paying for a private education are so far beyond the means of the average person as to be in the realms of fantasy. How many people do you know who have £30,000 a year spare to spend on sending ONE child to Eton?

  • What most of us are saying is that even though Cameron et al all have a fantastic level of education, they have no real experience in how the vast majority of us live.


    Is such necessary for running a country?

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • When that actually happens. I will be amazed! Hopefully it will one day.


    Lol! same here, although it is true that more MP's in the past came from families that did not have the spare cash to send them to Eton...


    Quote from coyote

    Is such necessary for running a country?


    Why would it not be?

  • Post by tekno ().

    The post was deleted, no further information is available.