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

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

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

"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'. Print Edition | Subscribe