Wondering why British politics is in such a mess? Oxford offers a clue

The country's elite share something in common - the university's PPE course, which may need to be reformed

Balliol College, the oldest college of Oxford University. Since 1937, every British premier who went to university went to Oxford, with the sole exception of Mr Gordon Brown, a Scot who went to the University of Edinburgh. And many of them had been m
Balliol College, the oldest college of Oxford University. Since 1937, every British premier who went to university went to Oxford, with the sole exception of Mr Gordon Brown, a Scot who went to the University of Edinburgh. And many of them had been moulded by the exact same degree: philosophy, politics and economics - or PPE. PHOTO: ISTOCK
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"This is a small country," my American wife remarked, after watching the BBC's Ten O'Clock News for 15 minutes. It was a fair comment. Every story had featured (or been reported by) at least one contemporary of mine from Oxford.

Most of them had been moulded by the exact same degree: philosophy, politics and economics - or PPE.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 23, 2018, with the headline Wondering why British politics is in such a mess? Oxford offers a clue. Subscribe