Socialist Worker

Report says inequality is elitist ‘social engineering’

Issue No. 2419

Those at the top of society are overwhelmingly educated at Cambridge or Oxford (above) universities

Those at the top of society are overwhelmingly educated at Cambridge or Oxford (above) universities (Pic: Steve Evans on Wikimedia Commons)


Inequality in Britain is so structured that it could be called “social engineering”, according to a new report.

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission study looked at the people “running Britain”. 

It said that those at the top are overwhelmingly educated at public schools and went to Oxford or Cambridge universities.

The most detailed study of its kind looked at over 4,000 people in top jobs in areas such as government, the judiciary, business and the media.

Just 7 percent of people in Britain go to public school—but they have a grip on our major institutions. 

School

Some 71 percent of senior judges were educated at public schools, as were 62 percent of senior army officers and 55 percent of permanent secretaries in Whitehall.

Over 99 percent of people in Britain did not go to Oxford or Cambridge. But graduates from those universities make up 

75 percent of senior judges and 59 percent of cabinet ministers.

Labour shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said the study showed the Tories were failing to tackle inequality. 

Labour has signed up for many of the Tories’ policies and is committed to sticking to its spending cuts if elected.


Football fans delivered a great response to the nasty Benefits Street programme last Saturday.

They unfurled a banner at a Middlesbrough football match reading, “Being poor is not entertainment”.

A second series of the Channel 4 show is being filmed in Stockton, Teesside. One fan, Steve, said, “Shows like this demonise working class people.”


Tory army plans off target by 39 years

Life is tough for young, working class people­—but not dire enough to push them into the army.

The Ministry of Defence spent at least £2 million on an advertising campaign trying to sign people up to the Territorial Army, or Army Reserve.

Just 140 signed up in the first six months of this year.

The Tories want more reservists to make up for cutting the regular Army by 20,000. But it would take 39 years to meet its target at the current rate.


Millions of voters may be perplexed to have received yet another voter registration form from their council.

But it makes sense for councils. If voters don’t opt out of being on the open electoral roll, local authorities can sell the details on to private firms.

Councils made £250,000 over five years doing this.


Gas boss can’t get through either

It’s nice to see that it isn’t always poor people suffering at the hands of crap, under-funded services.

British Gas boss Stephen Benyon was stuck on hold for nearly an hour last week while trying to get through to a utilities firm.

His despair drove him to tweet, “45 minutes on hold to @nationalgriduk —I give up”.

While there he could have had a look at some similar tweets sent to @BritishGasHelp. 

These include, “On hold for 50 minutes with no answer, now on hold for over an hour with 

no answer, surely this isn’t acceptable British Gas?”

Some bosses don’t even have to pretend to work to get handouts. Michael Tobin, chief executive of Telecity, is getting £750,000 specifically for doing no work at all.

The handout is in place of Tobin working out his notice.


Pollster ComRes surveyed MPs on what they read during their extensive summer break.

The top answer was Thomas Piketty’s book on inequality, Capital in the Twenty First Century, followed by Charles Moore’s biography of Margaret Thatcher.

So they’ve learnt about the scale of inequality and how to make it bigger.


Tory MP says ‘Enoch Powell was right’

Tory MP Sir Gerald Howarth has jumped on the Islamophobic bandwagon to claim that disgraced racist Enoch Powell was right. 

He wrote, “Clearly, the arrival of so many people of non-Christian faith has presented a challenge, as so many of us, including the late Enoch Powell, warned decades ago.

“Recent events have illustrated that some of these new arrivals have a very different ethos from traditional Christian schools and we are right to intervene to prevent them from teaching divisive ideology to children born here.”


FAT CAT OF THE WEEK

No. 568132

Sir Martin Sorrell

Head of ad giant WPP. He grabbed a £30 million package last year—more than any other FTSE 100 boss. 

“It’s not pay,” he explained–because much of it was apparently based on “performance”. “If people can appreciate that then fair enough, if they don’t then fine,” he added.


You don’t have to be posh to work here...

The Spectator magazine—it’s not just for poshos. Editor Fraser Nelson has said he doesn’t want applicants for internships to list their education on CVs.

Apparently it is “annoying” to be “landed with someone only there because Uncle Henry called in a favour for his son”. It isn’t clear how not listing education on CVs will stop rich mates doing favours for each other.

Boris Johnson’s daughter Lara Johnson Wheeler recently completed a two?month internship at the Spectator. She wrote about gap years.


THE THINGS THEY SAY...

‘Begging will not be tolerated’ 

Commander Alison Newcomb from the Metropolitan Police explains why homeless people were arrested at 4am in raids across London

‘I’ve always told Douglas (Carswell) that he is not a true Conservative, he is an anarchist or communist’

Tory Eurosceptic MP Philip Davies on Douglas Carswell, who has defected to Ukip

‘I stab people in the front, not the back’

Douglas Carswell

‘The world’s always been messy … we’re just noticing now in part because of social media’

US president Barack Obama

‘We don’t have a strategy yet’

US president Barack Obama explains his plans for the Middle East

‘Benefit cheat’

The Daily Mirror denounces panda Ai Hin of Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre for not being pregnant

 


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Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 2 Sep 2014, 17:23 BST
Issue No. 2419
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