Oxford, Cambridge and the privileged Guardian 1%

A Guest Post by AKUS

Is there any end to the hypocrisy of the Guardian? I do not think so.

A prolific blogger (15 articles a month, on average, several for the Guardian) and sometime (two books) author named Lucy Mangan seems to have a bit of a hang up about the unfairness of singling out the Oxbridge British upper class for criticism. 

As one might expect, after a moment’s reflection, that could be for two reasons. One is that possibly she is a member of the class in question, and the other, of course, is that being a member helped buy her a ticket to the very pinnacle of Oxbridge blogging – the Guardian.

The blurb for one of her books, HOPSCOTCH & HANDBAGS, contains a biography which reveals her Cambridge roots – and how she turned up at the Guardian:

 Biographical Notes

Lucy Mangan was educated in Catford and Cambridge. She spent two years training to be a solicitor, then left the law as soon as she qualified. She took a placement with the Guardian in 2003 and hung around until they gave her a job. She has been a columnist and features writer there for the past two years, currently writing for the Guardian Weekend magazine.

So perhaps it is not altogether strange that she should write a self-branded piece for the Guardian titled Lucy Mangan: don’t blame the stink of inequality on Oxbridge in which she states, apparently to justify the over-representation of Oxbridge graduates in positions of power and influence, that it’s all the fault of the system, not the result of careful selection by an in-group of like-minded, or like-branded, Oxbridge fellows:

“Oxbridge doesn’t matter. It matters only as a tangible symbol of this subtle, pernicious, destructive system we live with and, by and large, accept.”

The comment was so in-line with the official Guardian call for proto Marxist-Leninist equality for all (except those Oxbridge graduates like the over-paid management, one has to assume) that it slipped past the remaining staff editors who have refused the latest severance package offer. Although, frankly, it is not clear that any editing goes on at all at the Guardian any more.

Had Mangan’s article been posted in The Times, for example, it might have passed without comment. But an alert blogger, possibly Australian, “EmmaChisset”, suddenly popped up with the  following list, apparently cribbed (as they say at Eton, I believe) from a blog called The Breadcrumb Trail. The self-confessed Cambridge grad running that blog appears to have tracked the Oxbridge credentials of that bastion of support for the working man, equality, and all things ultra-liberal and egalitarian – the Guardian employees.

Judge for yourselves how carefully these supporters of multiculturalism, proletarian values, and all the rest of the claptrap the push in their editorials and selection of columnists choose their colleagues to be anything but exemplars of the values they claim to espouse:

As the saying about Marx has it, so goes the Guardian: “They love the proletariat -they just cannot abide the proletarians”. 

  • Martin Kettle (Associate Editor) – Balliol College, Oxford 
  • George Monbiot (Columnist) – Brasenose College, Oxford 
  • Jonathan Freedland (Columnist), Wadham College, Oxford 
  • Zoe Williams (Columnist), Hertford College, Oxford 
  • Jane Martinson (Women’s Editor), [College not clear], Cambridge 
  • Peter Preston (Columnist and former-Editor), St John’s College, Oxford 
  • Alan Rusbridger (Editor-in-chief), Magdalene College, Cambridge 
  • Janine Gibson (Editor-in-chief, Guardian US), St John’s College, Oxford 
  • Seumas Milne (Associate Editor and Columnist), Balliol College, Oxford 
  • Rowena Davis, (Politics and social affairs journalist), Balliol College, Oxford 
  • Hadley Freeman (Columnist and features writer), St Anne’s College, Oxford 
  • Paul Lewis (Special Projects Editor), King’s College, Cambridge 
  • Madeleine Bunting (Columnist and Associate Editor), Corpus Christi College, Cambridge 
  • Jackie Ashley (Columnist and political interviewer), St Anne’s College, Oxford 
  • Polly Toynbee (Columnist), St Anne’s College, Oxford  

Breadcrumbs points to a 2008 “companion list” published  by Guido Fawkes , originally from “Private Eye”, that lists the exclusive schools several of the staff attended:

  • Editor Alan Rusbridger (Cranleigh);
  • Political editor Patrick Wintour (Westminster);
  • Leader writer Madeleine Bunting (Queen Mary’s, Yorkshire);
  • Policy editor Jonathan Freedland (University College School);
  • Columnist Polly Toynbee (Badminton);
  • Executive editor Ian Katz (University College School);
  • Security affairs editor Richard Norton Taylor (King’s School, Canterbury);
  •  Arts editor-in-chief Clare Margetson (Marlborough College);
  • Literary editor Clare Armitstead (Bedales);
  • Public services editor David Brindle (Bablake);
  • City editor Julia Finch (King’s High, Warwick).;
  • Environment editor John Vidal (St Bees);
  • Fashion editor Jess Cartner-Morley (City of london School for Girls);
  • G3 editor Janine Gibson (Walthamstow Hall);
  • Northern editor Martin Wainwright (Shreswbury);
  • Industrial editor David Gow (St Peter’s, York).

This is serious egg on the faces of the Guardian’s staff. Far from drawing from the ranks of the multicultural society whose virtues and benefits they push down the throats of all who read their paper or blog, they carefully select their own staff from a privileged elite.

Will they ever be able to live down the fact that their stentorious demands for equality, liberty, and a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ are emanating in large part from a carefully selected in-group whose members share in common, more than anything else, that they cracked their way into the Oxbridge crowd and gained a virtually guaranteed ticket to influence and power in this old boys club??

So, as I asked: Is there any end to the hypocrisy of the Guardian? I really doubt it.

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