Monday 24 May 2010

Britain's new Government is no place for young men from poor backgrounds

David Cameron (second in from the left in the top row) and other Bullingdon Club members at Oxford.

Britain has a new Government of young men who are linked by background, friendship and family ties — but most of all by class. Nothing changes here. Britain may be a democracy, but it always has and still is governed by toffs.

David Cameron, 43, the Prime Minister :

* son of a stockbroker and grandson of a baronet.
* a descendant of King William IV and distantly related to the Queen.
* an Old Etonian.
* a former member of the Bullingdon Club, the elitist Oxford University drinking and dining clique.

Nick Clegg, 43, Deputy Prime Minister :

* former pupil of Westminster School.
* Cambridge University graduate.
* Grandmother was a White Russian baroness and his great-uncle was clubbed to death in Russia by his own peasants.
* parents live in a vast chateau in France.

George Osborne, 38, the Chancellor :

* former pupil of St Paul’s School.
* Oxford graduate and a former member of the Bullingdon Club.
* a millionaire through his family firm, Osborne & Little, which makes paint and wallpaper.

Michael Gove, 42, the Education Secretary :

* former president of the Oxford Union.

William Hague, 49, the Foreign Secretary :

* former pupil at Wath-upon-Dearne comprehensive in South Yorkshire.
* Graduate of Oxford University.
* former editor of the 'News of the World'.
* plays a key role in reminding the public-school dominated inner circle of the new Government of the hopes and fears of tabloid readers.

Andrew Feldman 44, co-chairman of the Conservative party :

* friend of Cameron since they were at Brasenose College, Oxford,
* likely to be elevated to the House of Lords as a Junior Minister.

Chris Huhne, 55, the Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary :

* former Westminster School pupil.
* Oxford graduate.
* former journalist.
* made a fortune in the City before moving into politics.
* owns seven homes.

David Laws, 44, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury :

* Cambridge graduate he took a double first in economics.
* did well in the City — he worked for JP Morgan.

Wives :

Samantha Cameron, 39 :

* eldest daughter of Sir Reginald Adrian Berkeley Sheffield, 8th Baronet, and a descendant of Charles II.
* successful businesswoman, working until recently as creative director of Smythson, the Bond Street stationer.

Mrs Clegg, 42 :

* is Miriam Gonzalez Durantez.
* a high-earning international lawyer.

Britain 50 years ago :

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