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Do MPs who were privately educated have an advantage in debating scenarios? watch

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    During the House of Commons debates yesterday evening, there were a number of MPs from the Labour, SNP and other parties who spoke in a less than eloquent manner. This was in stark contrast to MPs from the Conservative party who, although I don't agree with what they were saying, did speak very eloquently.

    So I ask the questions, do MPs who were privately educated have an advantage in debating scenarios? Now this is not to say that all Conservative MPs were privately educated or that Labour Party and other MPs were not.

    However, I want to show a table based on an investigation by Channel 4 last year:

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    What do you think?
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    I find it funny that, on trend, Labour keeps becoming more privately educated while Conservatives less and less.

    Champagne socialism is a fact not a meme, it appears.

    Courtesy of people like Diane Abbott, who bash grammar schools then sends her own kids to 30 000 a year private schools.
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    People who attended elite unis tend to be rather clear. As opposed to the former trade union reps, with an HND in teaching and had a kid at 16.
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    (Original post by LostAccount)
    I find it funny that, on trend, Labour keeps becoming more privately educated while Conservatives less and less.

    Champagne socialism is a fact not a meme, it appears.

    Courtesy of people like Diane Abbott, who bash grammar schools then sends her own kids to 30 000 a year private schools.
    You are absolutely correct about Diane Abbott. However, I don't see that Labour's proportion of privately educated MPs is increasing.
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    (Original post by Notoriety)
    People who attended elite unis tend to be rather clear. As opposed to the former trade union reps, with an HND in teaching and had a kid at 16.
    How do you think this impacts debating on important issues in parliament? For example, the debates on Brexit happening at the moment.
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    (Original post by Spirithorse)
    You are absolutely correct about Diane Abbott. However, I don't see that Labour's proportion of privately educated MPs is increasing.
    From 1983 to 2005, at least.

    The fall since then I suppose can be explained a bit by the huge fall in the number of MPs that Labour has (in the same way there's big fluctuations for Lib Dems) as most of the 'entrenched' people are state schooled in places that would never vote anything but Labour, while privately educated Labour MPs tend to come from swing seats.
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    (Original post by Spirithorse)
    How do you think this impacts debating on important issues in parliament? For example, the debates on Brexit happening at the moment.
    I don't. Debates in Parliament, particularly controversial ones, are opportunities to grab some headlines for the local MP; they're not treated as technical debates, as such. Substantive communication is more in the small committees and 3rd reading of an agriculture bill.

    Being better educated, though, does give the speaker a lot more to say. And they have experience in presenting highly complex info in a concise manner while at uni; more importantly they have gone on to take challenging jobs. It is not that they have more experience debating Plato while at Eton.
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    (Original post by Notoriety)
    People who attended elite unis tend to be rather clear. As opposed to the former trade union reps, with an HND in teaching and had a kid at 16.
    I think Angela Rayner (presuming that's who you're referring to) is a great MP and a great speaker. She's certainly got more sense than a lot of the Oxbridge-educated MPs in there (e.g. Liz Truss...)
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    (Original post by LeapingLucy)
    I think Angela Rayner (presuming that's who you're referring to) is a great MP and a great speaker. She's certainly got more sense than a lot of the Oxbridge-educated MPs in there (e.g. Liz Truss...)
    I think she's crap and a shite speaker. But I appreciate your considered interjection.

    And I think people venerating her are doing so because of the name of the party she belongs to, the PR spin around her story, and not because of her core qualities and communication abilities.
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    I don't doubt that privately educated people tend to have an advantage when it comes to preparing and making arguments, I've often noticed a difference myself between private- and non-private- school people in those kinds of things. I guess it comes down to the kind of teaching and the rigor and also expectations about being able to do things oneself and training the self-confidence to do so.

    However, just because someone can sound good and make a slick argument should not mean that everyone should automatically defer to that person - although there is a tendency to do this. Skills in rhetoric are all very well, but they don't compensate for ill will or bad morals. For an example, see Mr Rees-Mogg, who sounds marvellous most of the time, but is entirely self-interested and has so little real concern for the average person in the UK that were we equipped with the most powerful microscope available, we probably could not detect it.
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    (Original post by Spirithorse)
    During the House of Commons debates yesterday evening, there were a number of MPs from the Labour, SNP and other parties who spoke in a less than eloquent manner.
    Bear in mind that only two (plus Theresa May for a short time) of the last 8 Prime Ministers have been privately educated and that only two (again plus May) of the last 8 leaders of the Conservative Party have been privately educated.
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    Oratory is a skill just like any other. I am sure those who went to private school will have had opportunities to debate and learn the skill. The sad thing is that traditionally, there was a proud tradition of working class men debating issues during their lunch breaks down the mines or in mills or in the cabans of the quarries.
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    How you speak has nothing to do with how or where you were educated. In fact, going to private school these days does not confer any advantage whatsoever in the political scene if you ask me. Do you really think people like Jacob Rees Mogg are aided by his accent when it comes to engaging with the public?
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Bear in mind that only two (plus Theresa May for a short time) of the last 8 Prime Ministers have been privately educated and that only two (again plus May) of the last 8 leaders of the Conservative Party have been privately educated.
    Yes and the Queen didn't go to private school other, so the meritocratic society is totally proven.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Yes and the Queen didn't go to private school other, so the meritocratic society is totally proven.
    That is not quite the same thing.

    But from her accent, Zara Tindall seems to have been educated at Gordonstoun's little known Romford Branch.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    That is not quite the same thing.

    But from her accent, Zara Tindall seems to have been educated at Gordonstoun's little known Romford Branch.
    I was attempting a witty reflection on the use of PMs as evidence of meritocracy. Not sure they are very good evidence - they stand out and full marks to those grammar school boys and girls who made it into the bigtime - but representative they weren't. One might prefer to focus on the number of MPs who went to Eton (one in ten :eek:), the number of MPs privately educated or the number of MPs who are the children, grandchildren or nephews and nieces of MPs. Britain is the sort of meritocracy that an 18th century gentleman squire might not have found too objectionable.
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    Teresa May went to an all girls grammar school
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    (Original post by GetTheLondonLook)
    Teresa May went to an all girls grammar school
    She was at a Roman Catholic primary school which I think was fee-paying for a few years, but yes, basically her education was at state schools.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Bear in mind that only two (plus Theresa May for a short time) of the last 8 Prime Ministers have been privately educated and that only two (again plus May) of the last 8 leaders of the Conservative Party have been privately educated.
    Do you think Gordon Brown and Blair would have been as electable, as Labour candidates, if they had gone to Eton? I think you're describing a bit of a glass ceiling for the most privately educated, which was established just before Heath-Wilson "Battle of the Grammar School Boys" as the Douglas-Home Old Tory project failed.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    I was attempting a witty reflection on the use of PMs as evidence of meritocracy. Not sure they are very good evidence - they stand out and full marks to those grammar school boys and girls who made it into the bigtime - but representative they weren't. One might prefer to focus on the number of MPs who went to Eton (one in ten :eek:), the number of MPs privately educated or the number of MPs who are the children, grandchildren or nephews and nieces of MPs. Britain is the sort of meritocracy that an 18th century gentleman squire might not have found too objectionable.
    And is this why you won't be involved with politics at any point in your life?
 
 
 
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