The British political "elite" (like Palin I think inverted comas appropriate) is notoriously incestuous. Not merely literally though cabinet and shadow cabinet are full of married couples and relatives) but in background. One point on which so many link is that they did Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford. Here is a list and it looks like a Whose Who of the establishment.
According to the BBC, who know such things "PPE's introduction in the 1920 - initially under the title "modern greats" - was designed to offer an alternative to classics for scholars hoping to enter the civil service."
Harry Erwin, an American living here gave a better outsider's view.Many prominent UK politicians have an Oxford PPE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy,_Politics_and_Economics . This is considered to be a dilettante’s degree, consisting in American terms of three minors–a year of philosophy, a year of political science, and a year of economics, none studied in depth. In particular, no training in law or history or anything quantitative. They begin to be involved in politics during their three years at university, and move to the big leagues at graduation, where there is a real tendency for them to get in over their heads.
So we are ruled by an incestuous arrangement of incompetent dilettante career civil servants. Yup.
On the Hacking scandal Jerry pastes a comment from somebody very eruditeWhy the Hacking Scandal has such drastic effects
This is purely my opinion but I believe the story, which has been quietly a well known secret for years with almost all papers, including the Guardian which broke this, hacking at some time or another., is now such a major storm. The BB’Cs virtual monopoly of British broadcasting is being threatened by Murdock’s expansion of his control of Sky the satellite broadcaster so they are pushing this story hard." Last night (Thurs) the BBC news was almost entirely devoted to the hacking story story; followed by Question Time where all the questions selected by the BBC except for 1 in the last 3 minutes were the same; followed by Andrew Neil on the same. 2 1/2 hours on this story and virtually none on the rest of the world’s news That would be justified if we were seeing a breaking news story like 9/11 but for nothing less.Though this is not a common view, since writing that, I found that Dellors had expressed a very similar view and how bad for British reformers it is that the BBC's campaign seems to have won and we will not see any real alternative to BBC "due balance" censorship.
Broadcasting in Britain is essentially a monopoly of the BBC and people they approve of and this monopoly. legally committed to “balance” is in fact the propaganda arm of the British state (along with the Guardian which survives on government advertising). Murdoch’s attempt to buy all of Sky http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/film-tv/news/rupert-murdoch-awaits-backing-from-ec-for-sky-buyout-15034536.html would weaken that monopoly slightly.
I do not consider it a coincidence that this scandal, which journalists of all newspapers have been guilty of for years, has suddenly broken on Murdoch’s head alone."
Neil CraigBecause the purpose of Murdoch’s BSkyB bid is essentially so that he can set up a UK version of America’s most popular news channel Fox News. Fox News acts as the conscience of the right in the US: it’s one of the things which made the Tea Party possible. A British version would achieve the same over here, destroying the crushing hegemony enjoyed by the BBC, restoring a balance to the political debate in Britain which for decades has been so sorely lacking – whatever the BBC’s supposed charter to commitment to fairness and balance might pretend.
I am confident, if that is the word, that the BBC's campaign will come to be seen as the final emasculation of the MSM. Fortunately the MSM is no longer all.
Why PBS is a public menace - applies in spades to the far more powerful BBC/Offgem monopoly
And another comment reprinted by Jerry at the same time which applies equally to both countriesAny kind of real movement — whether it be military action, labor market reform, budget reduction or even cracking down on crime — in Western societies is now nearly impossible. Whole societies have been paralyzed by the need to service the status quo. Keeping things going, with only minor excursions, is now the prime directive of Western politics. Everyone spies on everyone else to enforce political correctness. Britain today is mesmerized by — News of the World! But it doesn’t give a hoot about Julian Assange. It has almost forgotten it is fighting Khadaffy and losing.Instead it is obsessed with ludicrously small issues. The political system worries endlessly about soap opera problems, sexual politics, racial quotas, “climate change” etc. This littleness promotes people like Herman Von Rompuy or Julia Gillard or Barack Obama — complete ciphers — to positions of power for no other reason than that they check all the boxes. A terrible diminution of mind, an unbelievable poverty of thinking, has descended on the Western world."
Another discussion on Pournelle not for the squeamish
Steve Sailer recalls a similar scandal to the UK's present one which caused no stir at all
Still, according to Steve Scottish golf fans are among the most discerning fans in all of sports. Which shows me,as somebody who treasures his ignorance of all sports, how much international, indeed intercontinental distances have disappeared.