Wednesday 16 October 2013

Posh Unposh Power And Position

There has been muttering within the chattering class about Non Government Organisations (NGO's) and the people at the top.  An article in the Grauniad has drawn a response from one who knows in Open Democracy as a view from lower down to add another perspective.

It is a longish item about the proportion of Posh White Blokes at the top, why there are so many of them, what are the obstacles to those of other descriptions and what to do about it.  This is a tricky area fraught with complications.

As you may imagine the words equality and diversity figure in all this relating to the need to redress the balance and to make these upper ranks more responsive and representative of the wider world as a whole.

One of the features of the last two or three decades has been not only the grip that the PWB's have on these heights of authority but the almost complete absence of representation from the Unposh White blokes and blokesses.

Even where females have risen to some positions they are rarely, if ever, to be found from the ranks of the lower orders.  If there is a glass ceiling for females even of the upper orders then it is a reinforced concrete block for those from the lower levels of the pecking order.

It is not entirely different from among the communities of recent migrants.  Some of these have rigorous caste or other distinctive classifications that go beyond the sometimes messy and uncertain ways of the British and Irish. 

In these cases diversity may work according to some definitions but within those groups the nature of mutual exclusivity rather than inclusivity will be just as relentless and telling.  One man's diversity may be another's divisiveness.

What does count beyond education is family, connections, the ability to ride the early years of lower income or capital access and the more subtle ways in which within groups stratification occurs.

There is still scope for mobility but it needs a lot of luck as well as either particular skill or hard work.  Also, critically, it depends on making the right contacts at the right time.  Even within the superior orders there are many who do not make it to the top.

If the race is to the few unless the rules of the track are made otherwise then the winners will be from those best placed at the start, or who are given a position on the inside bend or who are in a position to work the rules to their own advantage.

If you are not careful then your attempts at equality and diversity could end up with an even more exclusive grouping in terms of class or wealth than you have at present.

One way round it would be to scrap as many NGO's, Agencies and all the rest as soon as possible and return power to  the more basic representative elements.

In the UK this means a local government system that resembles that of the 1930's.  In world terms it means to free others to run their own affairs as much as possible at more decentralised levels.

But this might mean some real democracy and that would never do for all the different ruling elements of the present.


  1. "If you are not careful then your attempts at equality and diversity could end up with an even more exclusive grouping in terms of class or wealth than you have at present."

    Cynical me thinks it may not be unintentional.

  2. Whatever you do you will get politicians