Saturday, March 15, 2014

Michael Gove highlights the number of old Etonians in Cameron's inner circle as ridiculous, however different versions of cronyism exist in Labour and the Scottish National Party, finding meritocracy is like finding a winner on Britain’s Got Talent, the odd working class person gets through to boost ratings

Dear All

Over the years I have watched Conservative MP Michael Gove appear on TV, even as far back as his Newsnight Review days were he talked shite about the arts!

In all that time I have found him to be unlikeable, the idea put forward once that he could be PM to me was bizarre.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Gove has decided to speak out about a "preposterous" concentration of individuals from the same privileged background at the top of the UK government”.

He also makes the point that this type of cronyism did not exist in any other developed nation.

In respect of referring to the ‘Old Etonians’ he is right, however, if you look at the Alex Salmond Party within the Scottish National Party, they use a different approach to getting their clique into plum jobs.

Just as it is bad for the Tories, it is just as bad for the tartan tories.

Gove’s comments haven’t gone unnoticed as Labour has decided to use them as evidence that the Conservatives are "out of touch" with the concerns of ordinary people in Britain.

How many people are from a working class background with no degree in Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet?

Probably none, you would probably find people who came from a privileged university background.

Meritocracy doesn’t really exist in the UK, on both sides of the border with Scotland and England.

But to return to the Tories, among the Old Etonians around David Cameron who went to Eton, are his chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn; the head of his policy unit, Jo Johnson; the minister for government policy, Oliver Letwin; and Chancellor George Osborne's chief economic adviser, Rupert Harrison.

Maybe it is just co-incidence, but I think more or less everyone wouldn’t believe that bunny.

Gove compared the ‘Old Etonians’ to the cabinet of Eton-educated Tory prime minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the Marquess of Salisbury, who was criticised for alleged nepotism and cronyism.

Welcome to Britain.

Gove added:
"At the beginning of the 20th century, the Conservative cabinet was called Hotel Cecil. The phrase 'Bob's your uncle' came about and all the rest of it. It is preposterous. It doesn't make me feel personally uncomfortable because I like each of the individuals concerned, but it's ridiculous. I don't know where you can find some such similar situation in a developed economy."

You probably can’t but you can find a different version of cronyism.

Is David Cameron concerned that in the higher echelons of the Conservative Party "more boys from Eton go to Oxford and Cambridge than boys eligible for free school meals".


You can gleam that from what is called the A list of candidates.

Again where is the really ordinary person raised up?

You would probably find more of a chance is you went on Britain’s Got Talent where at least there is a slim chance of success if you actually do have talent.

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Ashworth said it was a "reflection of the Conservative Party" under Mr Cameron.

In looking at Ashworth, he went the uni route coupled with the National Secretary of Labour Students, then Political Research Officer, then Special adviser and finally MP.

So, doesn’t look like he had an ordinary existence, although not ‘Old Etonian’ route, definitely ‘Old Labour Students’ route.

Anyway Ashworth said:
"It's up to David Cameron who he puts into top jobs, and the fact is that the Prime Minister has chosen to surround himself with people just like himself. He's leading a Government that's completely out of touch. That's why his decisions have helped a privileged few rather than hard-working families, with tax cuts for people earning over £150,000 while wages are down an average £1,600 a year."

Ping pong politics to try and convince people to get votes, just as the Tories and the SNP are crony ridden, the situation is just the same in Labour, each have their versions of installing a clique.

So, what good goes Gove’s intervention serve?

Not much!

Yours sincerely

George Laird 
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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