Governed by the Posh Boys

I don’t know if it still happens but there was a time when people privileged like me adopted behaviour to minimise the obviousness of their privilege. So they would add glottal stops to their speech to ease them away from the obviousness of their middle class revealed by their accent. Or they would dress in a style they thought to be more man of the world. It never worked. Nor did the guilt-ridden politics of a Jeremy Corbyn or his sidekick Seumas Milne both privately educated Marxists. Yeah, right on !

I might deplore the lack of equality in our society but when push comes to shove would I eschew using my school or my father’s friends to give me an advantage? I didn’t. Does that make me a hypocrite ? Of course it does. Privilege is institutionalised in British society. The Grammar schools, by aping the independent schools, cleverly reduced the effect of advantage by giving bright kids from humble backgrounds a chance. We don’t do that any more. 

If you’re white, well educated, from a moneyed background, personally self-confident , not disabled, mentally robust, at least of average height and build, and (often) male you’ll do better than someone who is less privileged. To identify that fact is the first step towards doing something about it. Are we? Not when we are governed by the posh boys we’re not.

2 thoughts on “Governed by the Posh Boys

  1. ‘Posh Boys’ rise easily to the top because they are trained or shall I say programmed from their prep school onwards to do exactly that. Its the core curriculum, how to bully and always put yourself forward first. I know that from experience having enjoyed a privileged private education. My red-brick Uni utterly changed my view of society. The price I paid was to be distanced for a lifetime from my family.
    British society will never change until private education and religious teaching is completely abolished. There is little difference between the Islamic Madrasas and Eton or Malborough. They preach intolerance and superiority.
    The fact that private education is still the principal ambition of the middle class and beyond is deeply depressing.


  2. We can’t do anything about the world we are born into – not as a child. I was born and raised working-class and went through the state system. As a mature student, I trained as a teacher and taught in private schools – mainly due to my degree enabling this to happen somewhat fortuitously. It was a different world. The smaller private schools that I worked in and also visited through sports matches provided opportunities that weren’t available in the state system. Music, drama, all sport – and all in the curriculum. The education system in the UK needs a radical overhaul – money should not govern the education of our children and their potential.


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