Europe

Britain still deeply elitist society

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A UK report says Britain remains a “deeply elitist” society where top jobs are dominated by the graduates of elite schools who are unfamiliar with ordinary people’s daily challenges.

The study published by Britain’s watchdog, the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, on Thursday, said numerous British leaders in politics, business and the media were educated at private schools, as well as Oxford and Cambridge universities.

Many politicians, military chiefs, judges and journalists were “formed on the playing fields of independent schools” and “finished in Oxbridge’s dreaming spires”, said the watchdog, adding that this means those making key decisions in public life are often unfamiliar “with the day-to-day challenges facing ordinary people in the country.”

According to the study, 59 percent of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Cabinet and 75 percent of senior judges either attended Oxford or Cambridge, compared to less than one percent of the UK overall population.

In addition, some 62 percent of senior military officers went to fee-paying schools along with 33 percent of lawmakers, compared to seven percent of Britain’s population overall.

The report also stated that half of the House of Lords and over a quarter of BBC executives have been privately educated.

“Our examination of who gets the top jobs in Britain today found elitism so stark that it could be called ‘social engineering,'” the report said.

The report comes as Cameron, educated at Eton College and Oxford University, has faced constant criticism, even from his closest allies, for appointing ministers and advisors from a similarly elitist background.

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