Bred To Rule






The world doesn’t seem able to decide if being an Old Etonian is a good or a bad thing.

The BBC laughs along when Miliband taunts Cameron and Co as ‘posh boys’…Cameron and Clegg being described by the BBC as Headboy and Deputy Headboy….no doubt they would take a similar jokey approach if Miliband were to call a black PM and Chancellor ‘blackboys’ and suggest they couldn’t run the country because they couldn’t possibly understand how the white folks in the majority live.

The BBC have gone so far to stir the class war up with a programme about the privileged elite who dominate politics, in both parties….do the political elite understand what the cuts mean for the plebs, sorry ordinary voters whose lives are light years from their rulers?  They disclaim any partiality or prejudice against the ‘posh boys‘ by saying the views are Andrew Neil’s personal views. Easy that.

Posh and Posher – Why Public Schoolboys Run Britain

 It suggests that meritocracy and social mobility are dead in British political life. (Available on Youtube )


In this latest report connected to Eton College   the BBC look into a claim that Eton is ‘special’:

An adviser to the PM has defended an interview in which he said Eton’s “ethos” of public service was why so many former pupils were in top positions in government.

Tory MP and Old Etonian Jesse Norman told the Times: “Other schools don’t have the same commitment”.


As usual with a subject they are ambivalent about or actively oppose they fail to include the wider context and information that would make appraising the report a worthwhile exercise.

For instance where is all the usual commentary that Eton endows pupils with enormous advantages over other schools, and especially over State schools?

Where are all the comments from this article by the BBC?: 

Why has Eton produced so many prime ministers? 

The answer lies in a single educational establishment, founded on the bank of the River Thames more than 500 years ago.

“Kids arrived there with this extraordinary sense that they knew they were going to run the country,” said Palash Dave, who went to Eton in the 1980s.

Palash Dave attributes this in part to a relentless series of speakers visiting the school, telling pupils they were potential leaders of the future.

But he also says that the school puts a premium on individualism: “You’re encouraged to pursue any dream you might have.

“Eton also allows a degree of dissent and, to a certain extent, encourages it. That’s very helpful to anyone who wants a leadership role.”

According to Nick Fraser, author of the book The Importance of Being Eton, the school’s success actually lies in the extraordinary range of freedoms it grants to pupils.

They are particularly well-prepared for a life in politics, he believes, because so many school societies, sports clubs and other activities are run by the pupils themselves.

“Boys elect each other to positions of influence. So from a very early age, you become adept at being charming, buying votes, being smarmy.”

Dr Joe Spence taught at the school from 1987 to 1992. And although he is now head teacher of Dulwich College, he still believes that Eton has special qualities.


So that article clearly defines Eton as a school apart from the rest…more for its ethos instilled into its pupils than for its academic achievements. An article about Jesse Norman having to apologise can’t really be produced without mentioning any of the above or similar.


Here is that Eton ethos: 

Eton’s Aims

Eton is a full boarding school committed to: 

promoting the best habits of independent thought and learning in the pursuit of excellence;

providing a broadly-based education designed to enable all boys to discover their strengths, and to make the most of their talents within Eton and beyond;

engendering respect for individuality, difference, the importance of teamwork and the contribution that each boy makes to the life of the school and the community;

supporting pastoral care that nurtures physical health, emotional maturity and spiritual richness;

fostering self-confidence, enthusiasm, perseverance, tolerance and integrity.




Here by contrast is Haverstock’s, Ed Miliband’s school, expectations of how pupils should behave…… 

Getting the Most from Haverstock


Your learning and achievement must always be your top priority

• Work hard to stay on task and complete all your classwork to the highest possible standard

• Avoid being distracted and distracting others from work

• If you need help, ask the teacher for help by putting up your hand. Be patient and quiet if the teacher cannot see you right away

• Record your homework in your Havafax

Complete your homework and hand it in on time.


Hardly inspirational stuff.

And this:

Behaviour for Learning 

Behaviour at Haverstock is good and continually improving. Relationships are strong, expectations are high and we are unequivocal in challenging behaviour that affects learning or in any way challenges our ethos and core principles. Young people thrive in an orderly, structured school. We reward and promote good behaviour and take sanctions when we need to. Our behaviour policy is well understood by all and is displayed in all classrooms and corridors. It is consistently applied and was praised by Ofsted.

Safeguarding is outstanding. Our young people feel safe and know what to do if they need support. Students are happy, well-motivated and enjoy coming to school. Our attendance is well above Camden’s average. A full copy of our Behaviour for Learning policy is attached below.

Our culture is predicated on:

● respect for each other no matter what our role or status

● an understanding that every one has equal rights whatever our role or status

● an agreement that adults will never in any circumstances use aggression, threat, coercion or humiliation against students, even if faced with any or all of these from students. Students who persist in displaying these behaviours to their peers or staff will face exclusion and in extreme cases permanent exclusion.

● putting the well-being, safety and safeguarding of young people at the centre of our practice.


To me that sounds entirely negative…it emphasises how the school controls bad behaviour and ‘safeguards’ pupils.…is the school that bad?  Surely not as it is supposedly the Left’s very own ‘Eton’.

By contrast Eton’s ethos is entirely upbeat, positive and encouraging as well as demanding a lot of its pupils.


Finally, as I mentioned earlier, it is rather odd that the BBC et al have it in for the ‘posh boys’  claiming undue advantage and privilege deriving from attendance at schools like Eton, when  Brian Reade in the Mirror, as pointed out in another post, states quite clearly that anyone from a state school can succeed just as well as someone from a private school, meritocracy, hard work and social mobility are still around:


My god-daughter Ellen will soon qualify to be an ­orthopaedic surgeon.

She studied for five years to gain a medicine degree, worked as a junior doctor for two years, is ­currently a senior house officer on course to become a registrar and may eventually use her hands to stop you becoming crippled.

Ellen’s dad is an electrician, she went to a Liverpool state secondary and Leeds University.

Just one example of many who didn’t need a public school and Oxbridge ­education to become an expert clinician.

We’re lucky to have young people like Ellen, and the education system that produced her.

A system which is constantly derided by lazy critics and shunned by wealthy parents who view putting their kids into state schools as neutering their ambition and stigmatising them for life.

Terry worked part-time in the supermarket as a student, but earned a BSc degree in management studies and eventually got a full-time job as a Tesco marketing executive.

He followed the same life-dream as Cait Reilly. He also went to the same Liverpool state school as my god-daughter.

So, Mrs Hutchings, if a surgeon and a world-class CEO can go on from state schools to fulfil their potential, much to the benefit of this country, why can’t your “gifted” son?

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57 Responses to Bred To Rule

  1. Herr Flick says:

    ‘if Miliband were to call a black PM and Chancellor ‘blackboys’ ‘



    • Alan says:

      No WTF!?! for ‘poshboys’?

      You make the point about hypocrits perfectly….people who bray loudly about race discimination but who have nothing to say about class discrimination.


      • Joshaw says:

        The left lost interest in class years ago; race is far sexier.


        • London Calling says:

          Not quite lost interest – there’s always room for class war. The benefit-dependent unemployed losers and vulnerable vs the selfish greedy productive umm… tax-payers.


        • johnnythefish says:

          Seem to remember the middle classes being treated with contempt by New Labour, like they got where they are through accident or inheritance and were therefore somehow undeserving. I think they coined the phrase ‘pushy middle class parents’ – if they didn’t then Harman and her like used it a hell of a lot.


  2. Herr Flick says:

    Actually I was drawing attention to your asinine comparison.

    I suspect though you just got a kick out of slipping in a racist slur.


    • Alan says:

      No…you blew it…jumped in too quick without thinking and got caught out.

      And usually it is you who slips in the ‘racial’ slur isn’t it….

      ‘I blame the Muslims.’

      How many times have I had to delete that as you post it relentlessly for your own peculiar reasons?

      Once again you’ve been caught out.

      I suggest you clear off to whatever strange website you normally haunt.


      • Span Ows says:

        “No…you blew it…jumped in too quick without thinking and got caught out.”

        Exactly right.

        How many times have I had to delete that as you post it relentlessly for your own peculiar reasons?

        Peculiar? No, he and others have a very obvious reason: they slip in comments like that at random on many threads to then have ammo in the future when they direct others to how racist/nasty/evil whatever this site it. I’m sure the idea too is to get a couple of stray agreeing comments which they will then use to try and get the site closed. You are right to delete them.


        • IT's all too much says:

          One comment by this idiot on the Open Thread (now deleted) went far too far. It was actionable hate mongering and I suspect a puerile parody attempting to portray this site as a Neo Nazi front. I suggest that the site owners treat any future recurrence of this sort of thing very seriously.

          Can we have a policy statement from the siteowners please as this particular poster is deliberately trying to discredit the site and [s]he is becoming extremely disruptive


        • Guest Who says:

          ‘…the idea too is to get a couple of stray agreeing comments which they will then use to try and get the site closed.’
          Sadly historical precedent suggests you are correct. Yesterday’s Polish Customs post is today’s outrage ‘ism industry set-up for any who seek to censor selectively, have a false flag and are prepared to wave it.
          ‘You are right to delete them.’
          With the ‘baby & bathwater’ caution and accepting the impossible line being walked by blog owners between ‘all or nothing’ free speech and censorship in the new media age, one simply has to cross fingers and hope for the best.
          I remain a little concerned at the ‘silence makes all complicit’ extension advocated in some quarters, as that damns everyone for the actions of a few/one, and by unproven negatives on top.
          Though the BBC does of course operate already on a ‘guilty until… who cares… we can do what we want’ basis, so anything is possible, especially as Leveson and supporting entities beaver away behind doors they defend staying closed as they demand others are opened to them.


      • Mice Height says:

        Waaaaa! Waaaaa! You’re waycist!
        Stopt this now, close this site, I disagree with it.
        If you don’t, I’ll scream and scream till I’m sick!


      • Herr Flick says:

        I think you’ve got me confused with someone else.

        But keep up the good work, you do a great job of making yourself look like a intellectually deficient bigot.


        • stewart says:

          were as you look like a self righteous,sanctimonious,censorious,snob.
          Just my opinion mind.


          • Herr Flick says:

            Self-righteous is fair. I do feel a sense of smug superiority because my beliefs are of greater virtue than yours

            I do hold contempt for you, the difference between me and the bigots here is that its not based on your race etc.

            Ha, I win again!


        • Mice Height says:

          As Stewart said.
          You may also wish to look up the true meaning of the word ‘bigot’ as well, because whinging left-wing cretins such as yourself so often misuse it without realising that your own behaviour is bigoted itself.


  3. Dave s says:

    Driving back I listened to , I think, a show called Feedback. Anyway it featured in a starring role the head of R4.
    I have no doubt she is paid the market rate. That must be well above the PM’s salary. No self repecting BBC executive could be expected to accept his lowly wage.
    She seemed completely unable to accept any criticism at all of even the mildest nature. The BBC always gets it right. I must write that out 1000 times or until I truly understand the impossibility of the BBC being anything other than our best loved institution and a beacon of trustworthiness in a duplictious world.


    • John Anderson says:

      Yes – she dismissed every single criticism. Her stupid and arrogant performance will have angered a lot of regular listeners.


      • Amounderness Lad says:

        The BBC have been like that for at least 50+ years. (Before that, apart from a very fadey pop Station, Radio Luxembourg, the BBC had no competition at all and kept constant pressure on the authorities to prevent any.) Whenever there is criticism the first reaction is that they are perfect and have behave impeccably. On the odd occasion the blunder so openly that they cannot avoid criticism their attitude is that whilst they may have been wrong they were, in fact, right. They then waffle on with a long list of “Yes, but”s and “Ah, but”s and changing the issue to distract people from the problem being complained about.


      • Wael says:

        I like posts which refer to a particular programme with a criticism. It means I can go listen and see if the criticism is fair.

        I didn’t find the R4 controller was unable to accept any criticism at all. She seemed open to criticism of The Archers/a lack of a specific programme about education/a lack of women on the station and the use of poor grammar (which she agreed with completely!)


        • Mr Reasonable says:

          ” …….. the use of poor grammar (which she agreed with completely!)”

          I think you meant “…. The use of poor grammar (with which she agreed completely!”


        • Dave s says:

          Only a very stupid person would praise bad grammar. Women ( more of them ) is a liberal mantra as is education by which they usually mean more teachers and more resources.
          As to the Archers that is a continuing controversy. We are all getting a bit bored with it.


          • Wael says:

            Wow, they really can’t win.

            In terms of the grammar, I don’t care, I would’ve tld them they were pedants.

            Out of 30 odd TFTD contributors , about 7 were women. They make up about half the poulation, and I think the ‘right’ might disagree that gender equality is only an issue of the ‘left’.

            Re. education: the suggestion was for a programme dedicated to the subjct, the listener believed because of its importance and that it affects everyone’s lfe at some point. It wasn’t about more or less teachers and resources.

            Yes about The Archers though. The point was though that she was not ‘completely unable to accept any criticism at all of even the mildest nature’.


            • Dave s says:

              You are quite right. I have no intention of giving the BBC an even break. it is on one side in the coming culture wars I am on the other.
              Time for a change.


  4. Ian Hills says:

    Miliband’s old comprehehensive is more exclusive than Eton because if you live outside the posh catchment area, tough. Eton, on the other hand, has a scholarship programme.


  5. Span Ows says:

    I can tell you all now, no “kids” went or go to Eton. Palash Dave should be ashamed of himself.


  6. Span Ows says:

    Oh, and by the way, that photo is a Harrow schoolboy 🙂


  7. Doublethinker says:

    Surely the ruling elite is the liberal left , most of whom have only ever been in the public sector ’employment’ and no idea how to do a proper job. This elite ruthlessly protects its privilige, feathers its own nest at the expense of the tax payer, and looks after its own class .
    The BBC is a key part of this elite and is used to impose liberal left ideas on the rest of us and suppress any ideas which oppose its views.
    It seems to me that they are ripe for overthrowing in a revolution. Let us be the first to storm the doors of Broadcasting House. I promise you freedom of thought , freedom of speech, no License Fee and no more silly comedy panel shows!


  8. worrywot says:

    The “world doesn’t seem able to decide.” Well the “world” is laughing at queer old Britain. Dump this class system nonsense, and while we’re at it kick out the state-funded bbc as well. To round off the credibility we simply must dump the monarchy, the lords, and the state church. Then maybe we can call ourselves a democracy.


    • Fred Sage says:

      Is that why they all want to come here?


      • worrywot says:

        They “all” want to come here because we have a bloated, socialist welfare system glorified by the bbc!


    • Demon says:

      So get rid of all the democratic checks and balances and replace it with a one-party state and you, according to worrywot, get democracy.

      Democracy in the style of the old German “Democratic” Republic is not the democracy we want. We want freedom for all to express opinions which do not break sensible laws. We don’t want political correctness. We want all types of “hate speech” to be treated the same, or left alone, as appropriate.

      Democracy is supposed to be the same for all citizens. At least we can agree on the scrapping of the BBC.


    • Joshaw says:

      The “world” is not laughing at anyone, it’s just one of the arguments that some people use to shore up a weak argument.

      And no mention of that expensive, powerful and largely unaccountable institution – the EU.


  9. Fred Sage says:

    Is that why they all want to come here?


  10. JimS says:

    I recall a BBC programme showing youngsters first days in their new secondary schools in Birmingham.

    One of the schools was a girls’ grammar. The headmistress greeted the new girls by telling them that they could achieve anything that they wanted etc. Another school was a comprehensive. The children were drilled into a line for inspection before being assembled in the hall where they were lectured on the scale of school sanctions should they err. Later on we were introduced to the school’s resident policeman. Clearly in the first case the expectation was ‘up’ and in the later, ‘down’.

    As a side issue, one of the ‘followed’ pupils was an aspirational asian girl and another a white home-grown boy who was worried that he would now be in a mixed-race school, having come from a primary school where he had been the only ‘white’.

    On the subject of ‘born to rule’; there are precious few of the Labour front bench who could be classed as ‘plebs’ or ‘of the people’.


  11. pah says:

    Meritocracies, by promoting people to their final level of incompetence, promote failure. :p


  12. deegee says:

    Does anyone know what were the alma matas of prominent Beeboids?


  13. Guest Who says:

    Apropos of nothing, at no time, in particular, a few of the BBC House Rules might be worthy of note on how they walk the interactive line (twitter and FaceBook exempted by what I can see):
    … including what may result in a #fail without ever seeing the light of a referral opportunity.


  14. TigerOC says:

    I don’t know if anyone else noted the daft comments by Charles Clarke yesterday regarding UKIP. He noted that they are still just a protest party that is against all the regular parties and against “the Political Classes”.

    This phrase fascinated me. In this small observation he seems to presume that only those people originating from Eton type backgrounds are fit to enter politics and rule or am I missing something.


    • John Anderson says:

      Clarke spoke the central truth there . “Against the political class” – that is the whole point of UKIP. People may say it has no constructive policies – but its DESTRUCTIVE policies like extraction from the morass of Europe, abolition of the absurd policies on immigration are exactly what gives UKIP a good deal of appeal. The spurning of the PC nonsenses that the political classes – and the media especially the BBC – have thrust upon us.

      Plus – the main parties seem to be such miserable gits these days – UKIP adds a bit of fun.

      I hope UKIP gives the Tories an even worse drubbing in the local elections than they are expecting. A major course correction is needed, and the threat of UKIP is the only way the plebs can show their feelings.


    • Derek says:

      I don’t know if Charles Clarke (a Minister under Blair) said anything about UKIP, but on the news I saw Ken Clarke (currently Minster without Portfolio) say something very similar regarding UKIP, i.e. that UKIP were just a protest party against the regular parties.

      Ken Clarke:
      – convinced Maggie she had to go, having not won the leadership first ballot outright,
      – he is actively very pro-EU,
      – according to Wikipedia he originally had Labour sympathies, though he joined the Tories.

      I think we can make a pretty good guess what his agenda is.

      Incidentally, he is the one I mentioned in a previous thread who, when Home Secretary, kept insisting that gaoling burglars did not work as such gaoling had no effect on the burglary rate!

      As I pointed out, there are only two ways such gaoling will not effect the burglary rate:
      1- non-gaoled burglars* up their work-rate to maintain the same overall burglary rate,
      2- someone is fiddling the crime figures to support a story they want to push.

      *Obviously these are the many burglars who were well-informed about real statistics, numerate and politically astute enough to organise together to make the long-term effort to maintain the consistent burglary rate despite gaolings, and thereby convince clever Ken Clarke that gaoling had no real effect!


      • TigerOC says:

        Apologies to Charles it was was indeed Ken that made the comments. My bad 🙂


  15. thoughtful says:

    The actual reason here is being missed.

    It isn’t the public school which is important, it’s being wealthy enough to have a private income, which generally means having attended a public school unless mummy & Daddies political peccadillos mean you have to go to an equally posh comprehensive.

    According to Oxford you will need at least £15K pa to study there, not including the fees and having left you will need to support yourself in central London for at least two years while you carry out an internship for a political figure as a researcher.

    This is of course impossible for any normal person no matter how meretricious they might be.

    We are therefore condemned to keep this system going until a different system to internships is found. Personally I’d like to see the UK parliament moved out of London to somewhere North of Birmingham, where they can see something of real life, and we might get some politicians who really represent us.

    As an aside Leftie Dave has just appointed Boris Johnson’s younger brother to a position of head of a government policy department a post normally held by a civil servant. The Eton & Oxford educated Johnson & ex Bullingdon club member is yet another clone having worked on the Murdoch owned FT as a ‘journalist’ for a few years. It cannot be said that the man understands anything of the life of an ordinary voter.

    The attack is not against the fact that the Prime minister & Chancellor are Ex Eton but that so many of the cabinet are, ex public school (over half) and most are men thus the epithet a bunch of posh boys is well deserved.


    • GCooper says:

      Point of order Mr Chairman. ‘Meretricious’ means falsely attractive, or behaving like a prostitute. Both are clearly accurate descriptions of Dumbo Cameron, but I doubt that’s what you meant to say.


  16. Joshaw says:

    “Personally I’d like to see the UK parliament moved out of London to somewhere North of Birmingham”

    Like the BBC’s move to Salford? How would moving the debating chamber North improve things? Grew up there – no more “real” than anywhere else, and no shortage of tossers either.

    I can think of several politicians who were state educated, or from North of Birmingham, who haven’t served us particularly well over the last few years. The essential problem as I see it is that we have a political clique, from assorted backgrounds, who haven’t spent enough time outside politics – in the North or the South.

    In any case, if the state education system did its job, we wouldn’t be so dependent on public schools. But that’s another story.


    • thoughtful says:

      It would have several benefits, not least the cost of operating in the capital and the dominance of the South East in the UK economy.
      If you want to operate as an intern in the Capital you need a private income in the region of £50K pa this can probably drop to less than half outside, so we can have more normal people able to progress political careers.

      You talk about people not having spent enough time outside of politics, and that is precisely the point about the intern system which must be destroyed if we are to accomplish what you suggest. The London based intern system ensures that the only people who can enter the upper echelons are the very wealthy over privileged with little experience of work or the real world.

      The BBC move to Salford was partly a reaction to the fact that they had almost become a South East regional broadcaster. Hacks are lazy walk out of the office & find the first example they come across so everything came from London. From that angle there does seem to have been some success.


      • Iain Muir says:

        I doubt if moving government would reduce the cost of internships in the medium to long term. Relocating all the paraphernalia would simply push up costs in the new location, particularly if economic dominance follows government, as you claim.

        How many interns would actually have the sort of useful outside experience we need?

        You might achieve a temporary cost saving for interns (ignoring the cost of the relocation itself) but, at the end of the day, we’d just end up with the same circus somewhere else – a bit like the three ring version we have in Edinburgh.


      • Chop says:

        The BBC are NOT in Salford, they are in Salford Quays, a VERY different world.

        Nice eh?

        Believe me, they don’t pop out for lunch to Salford precinct, they don’t live in the high rise flats surrounding it…they jump on the metrolink, and head off in the direction of Altringham on their way to Alderley Edge, Mobberley & Knutsford.


  17. Kingmaker says:

    The problem isn’t that the PM and his inner circle went to a posh school, it’s that they aren’t willing to do what’s necessary to fix the mess this country is in. Whether their background has anything to do with that is a matter of debate. Personally, I think Thatcher’s background was a reason why she was willing to do what weaker men has failed to. But that’s not necessarily the reason why Cameron/Osborne and co haven’t got the guts to do what it takes.


  18. David Preiser (USA) says:

    The BBC have gone so far to stir the class war up with a programme about the privileged elite who dominate politics, in both parties….

    ….and the BBC Trust and top BBC positions. But it’s okay if they hold all the approved thoughts and make the correct noises.


  19. chrisH says:

    And what of the BBC then?…all those Kinnocks, Prescotts, Dunwoodys and Benns, Straws etc who seem to do pretty well out of those family connections.
    And , of course all those Dimblebys, Wrights, Magnussons, Michelmores of old…and even that Gompertz name which seems to crop up a lot in BBC and legal cases.
    Very cosy…is there some brouhaha going on between the old boys of Eton and those of Chavez College, Oxbridge?


  20. Glenn says:

    Sticking up for the program you mention. I saw it when first aired last year.

    I think Andrew was having a dig at the “posh boys” because he is an unreconstructed Thatcherite. Lady T promoted on merit not background.