Some Prime Ministers did not have degrees?!

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Gnomes&Knights
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There have been Prime Ministers in the past who did not have degrees but still made great Prime Ministers.

In today's age would a PM with a degree be more preferable?
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jakeel1
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Anyone who does the job well. I don't care if you went to Oxford and got a 1st in engineering if you can't build a bridge to good policy.
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Joinedup
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e.g. Churchill... who most people think was the greatest ever PM ('40-'45)

arguably the most important thing about churchill was that he'd had to struggle rather than being gravytrained into a role straight out of oxbridge.
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Gnomes&Knights
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(Original post by Joinedup)
e.g. Churchill... who most people think was the greatest ever PM ('40-'45)

arguably the most important thing about churchill was that he'd had to struggle rather than being gravytrained into a role straight out of oxbridge.
I've realised that many MPs have got degrees from Oxford and mainly degrees in PPE. Why is that?
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Gnomes&Knights
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(Original post by jakeel1)
Anyone who does the job well. I don't care if you went to Oxford and got a 1st in engineering if you can't build a bridge to good policy.
I don't think a degree in Engineering would be relevant in getting into politics. Most MPs have got degrees in Law, PPE, History, Philosophy, Politics, Economics etc
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jakeel1
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(Original post by Raymat)
I don't think a degree in Engineering would be relevant in getting into politics. Most MPs have got degrees in Law, PPE, History, Philosophy, Politics, Economics etc
Why not? Our age is the age of the specialist, and sadly the generalist, the man who built bridges and wrote poetry, is a dead species. It is quite possible for a man to have considerable skill in politics knowing nothing more than a practical science, and Thatcher and Merkel (Chemistry degrees) are two of many examples.
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jakeel1
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(Original post by Joinedup)
e.g. Churchill... who most people think was the greatest ever PM ('40-'45)

arguably the most important thing about churchill was that he'd had to struggle rather than being gravytrained into a role straight out of oxbridge.
Didn't he go to Sandhurst? Isn't that like the military Oxford?
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Gnomes&Knights
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(Original post by jakeel1)
Why not? Our age is the age of the specialist, and sadly the generalist, the man who built bridges and wrote poetry, is a dead species. It is quite possible for a man to have considerable skill in politics knowing nothing more than a practical science, and Thatcher and Merkel (Chemistry degrees) are two of many examples.
So a person with a degree in Medicine has a chance in building a good political career?

The Generalists of the past were crazy smart people. Leibniz was one such example.
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jakeel1
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(Original post by Raymat)
So a person with a degree in Medicine has a chance in building a good political career?

The Generalists of the past were crazy smart people. Leibniz was one such example.
Absolutely, many diplomats (particularly from my studies of the Brazilian empire) had degrees in medicine.

The founder of China was a physician.

Here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_physicians#Physicians_fa mous_as_politicians

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Izzyeviel
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(Original post by Joinedup)
e.g. Churchill... who most people think was the greatest ever PM ('40-'45)

arguably the most important thing about churchill was that he'd had to struggle rather than being gravytrained into a role straight out of oxbridge.
Yeah he really struggled alright...

Must have really sucked being born in this ****hole.


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jakeel1
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(Original post by Izzyeviel)
Yeah he really struggled alright...

Must have really sucked being born in this ****hole.


Image
poor lad, is that a council estate in Islington?
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Gnomes&Knights
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(Original post by Izzyeviel)
Yeah he really struggled alright...

Must have really sucked being born in this ****hole.


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So the person's background also contributes to their chances of becoming PM or at least MP?
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jakeel1
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(Original post by Raymat)
So the person's background also contributes to their chances of becoming PM or at least MP?
There have been several working class PMs but of course its an advantage.
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username1673629
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Well a degree in certain things would be equally as useless as no degree at all, so no unless they've got a degree in something relevant.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by jakeel1)
Didn't he go to Sandhurst? Isn't that like the military Oxford?
Well I suppose it's also 'prestigious' but I don't think it's really similar.

I was hearing on the radio that Churchill had quite severe anxiety about the inferiority of his own education. possibly this programme... http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00tpsvk but there's been a lot of Churchill stuff on recently for the anniversary of his death so it might be a different one.

on the face of it there's not an obvious benefit for being PM in spending 3 years cranking out academic essays about ancient greek poetry.
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Jammy Duel
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I doubt we will see a PM without a degree these days since we live in a culture where practically any "good" job requires a degree, unless the HE system goes back to how it was a few decades ago we have little chance of seeing a change in that.
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Gnomes&Knights
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
I doubt we will see a PM without a degree these days since we live in a culture where practically any "good" job requires a degree, unless the HE system goes back to how it was a few decades ago we have little chance of seeing a change in that.
Unless UKIP win the election!!
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Raymat)
Unless UKIP win the election!!
Which we all know isn't going to happen
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Gnomes&Knights
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Which we all know isn't going to happen
Lol I think a degree in Economics is one of the most important things before some poeple aim to become Prime Minister....if you get what I mean!!
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A1112787
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As far as I know, Chruchill and Major are the only two post-war Prime Ministers not to have gone to University (though Churchill did go to Harrow and could most likely have easily gone on to Oxbridge considering his father was Chancellor at one point).

In fact, if you add in Brown (who attended Edinburgh (though he had an offer from Oxford)), all other post-war PMs went to Oxford.

I think you'll find most MPs went to Oxbridge because they were independently educated and/or it was 'easier' to get in at that time (i.e. it wasn't quite as competitive considering the lack of grade inflation etc.).
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