Friends in High Places by Jeremy Paxman

Britain is a meritocracy in which the brightest and most hard working rise to occupy top positions irrespective of background, right? Wrong.
Jeremy Paxman ( has no trouble in relieving you of that fantasy. Friends in High Places (originally published 1991) is a handy chapter-by-chapter guide to the main groupings – politicians, civil servants, academics, the great and the good and so on – who still form the Establishment to this day. Whilst the Blair years made some changes to the traditional old-boy-network, this  study is still well worth reading and relevant, 22 years on. One of the secrets of the system is that if you’re on the inside you’re expected to know how it works. If you’re on the outside, you won’t know. Paxman deserves credit for lifting the lid.
So you’ve come up through Eton, Oxford and The Civil Service? No need to read this. If, however, you’re an outsider read this and get angry.
400 pages in Penguin paperback edition

ISBN 978-0140156003

Jeremy Paxman

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