Guardian

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.

56 replies »

  1. 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.

    WE are dealing with ‘self-hate’ people.

    Somehow, they are all on the radical extreme left.

  2. So AKUS sees multiculturalism as “claptrap”.

    Why aren’t I surprised?

    CiFW shares his views (and not just here). Fair enough.

    But what exactly does this have to do with anti-Semitism at the Guardian and the latter’s demonisation of Israel?

    Nowt.

    • It demonstrates the same hypocrisy that leads to the endless attacks on Israel in the Guardian by these devotees of “universal values” for all except themselves.

      As for “multiculturalism – there is a broad and widening consensus that the whole idea is fundamentally flawed and has been proven to be so since it has actually led to increased ghettoization and ethnic friction across Europe.

      You can read about ghettoization and ethnic friction across Europe in the Guardian in articles written by the Oxbridge crowd writing articles asking “Why? Why?”

      But Israel is singled out by those listed for special condemnation, even though it is, for the most part, like America, one of the few examples of rather successful integration of different ethnic, religious, and racial groups.

      • i.e. when multiculturalism works in Israel of the US, that’s OK. But when it does do in “England” (I think you mean the UK) it’s not.

        • The US does not espouse “multiculturalism”, nor does Israel. They prefer integration and ethnic pride.

          • They prefer integration and ethnic pride.

            The UK has plenty of both, of course.

            I suspect your (and others’ here) problem with “multiculturalism” in the UK has to do with Muslims.

            • Your accusations of racism are as crass as they are insulting. The reverse of the mutliculturalism coin is tolerance of others. Those Muslims who are tolerant of others make fine citizens. But those who hate Jews and gays can eff off.

              • Those Muslims who are tolerant of others make fine citizens. But those who hate Jews and gays can eff off.

                Absolutely.

                It’s not sensible posters like you, Geary, who my accusations are aimed at.

          • PRETZL,
            You are the gift that keeps on giving. You simply don’t understand when you have lost an argument.

        • The story of Adam a UK citizen showed how shallow the concept of reciprocal multiculturalism really is, where Qatari relatives of his father keep the boy against his will and his mother’s. Cameron is left floundering. admitting he can’t be of assistance while the UK’s own culture is being steadily diluted by those of the new-comers.

          I wonder whether the exchange is worth it just to prop up an idea of equality that will be overtaken as the numbers balance out with the higher birthrate.

          It’s a sovereign lesson for other states that value human rights and their western morality

          • the UK’s own culture is being steadily diluted by those of the new-comers

            Good God. Finally we know Nick Griffin’s CiF moniker.

        • i.e. when multiculturalism works in Israel of the US, that’s OK

          Thank you for proving that as usual you don’t have a clue about the subject you are commenting on. In Israel and the USA the priority is integration and being a community keeping your cultural I repeat cultural traditions. In the UK multiculturalism means the total disregard of the culture of the majority and other minority groups by certain ethnic and/or religious minorities and their intention to their own absolute cultural and social separation from the other parts of the society.

          But when it does do in “England” (I think you mean the UK) it’s not.

          Sadly it is obvious that the so called “multiculturalism” is a total failure in the UK, ask David “weathervane” Cameron.

          • In the UK multiculturalism means the total disregard of the culture of the majority and other minority groups

            Yes: thank you for proving that as usual you don’t have a clue about the subject you are commenting on.

            Oh – did I misquote you?

            • Oh – did I misquote you?

              No pretzel you didn’t you just demonstrated your intellect of a five years old.

              • (Yet again peterthehungarian comes up with a YouTube-style (i.e. juvenile) “reply”.)

                No. I just showed you up, i.e. your prejudice is against Muslims everywhere.

                • Pretzel,
                  Please cease this righteous indignation. It is so boring. Stop being the pc monster. Pleeeeze.

        • A multi-cultural society is not the same as a multi-racial society, Pretz.

          The former implies cultural relatvism which may subject some within society to fewer rights than others.

          • The former implies cultural relatvism which may subject some within society to fewer rights than others.

            Hilarious!

            You sound like the Tory MP who referred to “multicultural crap” and a “leftie opening ceremony” re. the Olympics.

            • Hilarious?

              Perhaps you could tell me what is so funny about female genital mutilation, Pretz? Or forced marriage? Or the value of a woman’s testimony (versus that of a man) in a Shari’a court? All these things are occurring today in the UK – but only to some females whose rights the law seems less able to uphold than mine.

              And what of the children whose parents come from a cultural background that holds a belief in child witches? We know abuse of chldren as a result of this belief is going on in the UK (see today’s Telegraph) and that it is under-reported.

              In a multi-racial society all are equal and all are subjected to the same rule of law. In our current multi-cultural society there is a wariness to interfere with cultural norms and this is why abuse such as I’ve mentioned above continues to occur.

              • “Perhaps you could tell me what is so funny about female genital mutilation”

                Excuse me? Where have I ever called that abominable practice “funny”?

                @ You and all the mental midgets who recommend your laughable post.

                Beware of the company you keep.

                • Why is my post laughable, Pretzleberg?

                  Explain why my concern for the rights of women and children is symptomatic of being a ‘mental midget’.

                  And what the hell is ‘Beware of the company you keep’ supposed to mean?

                  • Your post is laughable for the simple reason that you suggested that I find the issue of female genital mutilation “funny”.

                    The “mental midgets” (oh look – there are even more now!) are those that a) automatically recommended your post and b) automatically gave mine the thumbs down.

                    Your last question answers itself.

                    Explain why my concern for the rights of women and children is symptomatic of being a ‘mental midget’.

                    Even more laughable. I never said any such thing.

                    Shame on you.

                    • OK Pretz. I’ll walk you through this.

                      In my first comment I pointed out that there is a difference between a multicultural society and one that is multiracial – and I should add, pluralistic. I mention the fact that the former may give rise to some having fewer rights than others.

                      Your response was to pick out that portion of my comment which referred to cultural relativism leading to ‘fewer rights’ for some. Your response here was – quote- ‘hilarous!’. (plus some bizarre stuff about a Tory).

                      My second comment then presented clear examples of ‘fewer rights’. None of which are funny.

                      Your responses since have been rather obvious defensive deflections. Why not engage with the substantive which was: ‘a multicultural society is not the same as a multiracial (pluralistic) society and the former may see some – mostly women and children – with fewer rights’

        • I think you will find Pretzel that many have become concerned about multiculturalism. So many new citizens are disregarding the laws of a country placing customs that are in direct conflict with them and with other citizens above the law. Rather than bridge difference and create a tolerant system, the reverse occurs.

          • So many new citizens are disregarding the laws of a country placing customs that are in direct conflict with them

            Why don’t you just say what you mean, i.e. Muslims?

            • No I will not say Muslims Pretzelberg. There are many cultures. Did I single out Muslims?

              Cultural relativism, whether it is Eastern European, African or otherwise is very difficult to sustain if there is no adherence to a set of values that all should adhere to. Differences and pluralism can operate freely when there is an acceptance and respect for the other, within the law right down to observing a red traffic light.

    • But what exactly does this have to do with anti-Semitism at the Guardian and the latter’s demonisation of Israel?

      It’s a part of the fantasy world that The Guardianistas live in.

    • ‘But what exactly does this have to do with anti-Semitism at the Guardian and the latter’s demonisation of Israel?’ asks Prezelberg

      Well let’s see.

      When the Guardian hacks enter their offices each day and learn of the many millions they are loosing for their bosses they can sing out loud those memorable lines from the film ‘The meaning of Life’

      ‘So now I’m cleaning up in here but I can’t be really sad.
      Cause you see I feel that life’s a game.
      You sometimes win or lose.
      And though I may be down right now at least I don’t work for Jews.’

      • It was indeed a great line from the Pythons – but do you really believe Guardian staff are primarily motivated by anti-Semitism?

        • “….do you really believe Guardian staff are primarily motivated by anti-Semitism?”

          There are as many reasons for anti-semitism as there are anti-semites. The hypocrisy is so bare-faced and irrational from the Guardian, that it has all the ingredients that make up an anti-semite writing through its columns and editorial policy. Many anti-semites, you will find have a Jewish “friends”, but it does not stop them from saying the most irrational statements about Jews.

          One can only conclude, after so many articles , that the Guardian is run by people who have this irrational impulse to bash Israel , nearly all the time while apologising for vile conduct. I conclude that it doesn’t like Jews, especially if they are still alive.

          • Look at the homepage of the G. right now. No mention of Israel. There is one reference to Jews – the story of the former Hungarian soldier who murdered a Jewish child during WWII.

            Doesn’t exactly reek of a management who “have this irrational impulse to bash Israel” or “doesn’t like Jews”, does it?

            especially if they are still alive

            What are you saying – that the G. also has a go at those murdered in the Holocaust??

            • What a surpise. A no-vote. One of those people who refuse to even look at the G. homepage – and see the truth.

            • As I said Pretzelberg, when it comes to dead Jews, the Guardian can afford some saving grace by offering some tributes to Jewish memory, but it’s the ones who are alive – not Holocaust survivors per se – Jews as a group, that they have some problems with. Their record on this issue is so appalling that it is hard not to conclude that they would prefer dead Jews to live ones, especially one’s who do not fit their view of Jews.

              Just think for a moment, about the most recent agonising apology it had to make. .A serious newspaper firstly denies Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It takes a lawyer to get involved to teach geography to all those Oxbridge graduates before it changes its position, which it reluctantly does by applying a fake self-justification in a mealy mouthed in its apology. This is indecent and no other country or group of people are treated in this way. It is also irrational.Ergo, what else can it be, but antisemitism.

              • Their record on this issue is so appalling that it is hard not to conclude that they would prefer dead Jews to live ones

                If I were religious, I would pray for your lost soul. I mean it. I actually feel sorry for you.

                So much hatred and paranoia.

                • This conversation about the Groan and antisemitism has been explained to you at nauseam PRETZL, yet you begin the same conversation in nearly every thread here. Is this about the Groan or your ego needing attention in these threads? To me you are beginning to look like a troll.

            • Pretzel,
              I love it when you enthusiastically refer all to the Groans page ‘ right now’. Dude, how old are you? What are you trying to achieve with your enthusiasm? Splitting hairs over every other comment although nobody gives a flying monkey. And your fave word ‘ midget ‘……

        • Motivations of Guardian staff about Jews – Asks Pretzlberg

          Guardian staff – anti-Semitic? Nah

          Almost as believable as the fact that such a large coterie of the finest brains from the best Universities, many having enjoyed the best private education that money can buy, can loose their bosses £73,000,000 in the last financial year of the Guardian Media Group

          The best you could say is that the Guardian staff are trying to appeal to the basest instincts of anti-Semites in order to boost their advertising revenue and their internet and Media ranking – Not working though, is it?

          • The best you could say is that the Guardian staff are trying to appeal to the basest instincts of anti-Semites

            See my response above to Another Joshua.

    • Which tells abot the elite`s intensive hate of the USA though the decline was self inflicted.
      A sort of class racism against the (US) democracy, after WWI – an exchange of elites in the need to know was pardoned, communist or aristocratic, but not mass democracy.
      A sort of of land redistribution, land reform Great Britain never experienced which might explain some of these strange privileges sometimes emerge, and the continuing class consciousness. The aristocrats were never expropriated like in France. That`s why the loss of the Empire was felt like an expropriation, not so much by the native people, but by the USA and, in an other way, the Sovietunion.
      Just a hypothesis.
      🙂

    • .. and so do, if the number of 30 million online readers is true, the islamists. That`s the audience of The Guardian online.

      • So we can follow it one way, from anti-Communism to anti-Islamism, but something happened in between, the western economy and the subventioned rise of China ..
        Okay, let`s stop here with my free wheeling associations

  3. The anarchist Ian Bone had a post on Guardian journos and columnists who went to private schools, and then on to Oxbridge:

    http://ianbone.wordpress.com/2008/05/23/guardian-journalists-who-went-to-private-schools/

    Of course, there are also the ones that relied on family ties to get them through. Seumas Milne’s daddy was Director General of the BBC. Polly Toynbee managed to get into Oxford despite a lamentably bad scholarly career (failed 11 plus, only one A level). And then of course there’s Isabella Mackie, who managed to get a gig with the Guardian (with no help from daddy – Alan Rusbridger – of course).

  4. Which school did Bella Mackie,the Rustbuckets daughter go to.A wild guess, the school of nepotism……

    • One of Rusbridger’s two daughters is described as being ‘briefly educated’ at St Paul’s Girls’ School, in Hammersmith. I strongly doubt that either of them went to the local comp.

      Laurie Penny – contributor to both the Graun and the Indie – went to Brighton College and read English at Wadham, Oxford. Which is something to bear in mind if ever you read one of her prolier-than-thou/smash-the-system dirges.

  5. Owen Jones – also of the Indie and Graun – is a rarity as he went to a grammar school before going to Oxford.

  6. The old boy- and old girl- network is clearly alive and well at the Guardian. But is it any different in other countries?

    Here in Israel, there are similar networks of “jobs for the boys”, based on party, kibbutz, moshav and IDF connections. One can remind oneself of the nepotism among some of the richest families in the country and in organizations like the Electric company or the Port Workers Unions in Ashdod or Haifa, the clan system among the Arabs, the ethnic factor so prominent in some local authorities and of course, the religious sector in all its forms.

    i am sure that every country in the world operates such a system in some form or other, sometimes covert, often blatant. It’s a human characteristic that people tend to stick with those they identify as their own.