Class will out, as the old saying goes. And the class truth about this election has just come out in two recent reports.

In the Guardian last Friday Ian Jack reported on exactly how ruling class the leadership of the current ‘new’ Tory party really is.

More surprisingly a Sutton Trust analysis reported in the Press Gazette shows that the media are as, if not more, dominated by the social elite.

Jack’s report on the Tories listed the educational background of Dave ‘old Etonian’ Cameron’s fellow Tory leaders, and how Tory press statements try to hide the facts:

‘George Osborne (St Paul’s) was “born and educated in London”. The shadow secretary for Wales, Cherry Gillan (Cheltenham Ladies), was “educated at local schools [in Cardiff] until the age of 10”. Theresa Villiers (Francis Holland) simply “grew up in St John’s Wood before going on to university in Bristol”.

‘In a few cases childhoods seem too embarrassing to mention at all. Dominic Grieve (Westminster) starts life fully formed as a local councillor. All we’re told about the Etonian leader is that “before he became an MP, David worked in business and government”.’

Jack continued:

‘One thing becomes clear. When a secondary school isn’t named, that school is fee-paying. The hidden list is long – apart from those mentioned above, it includes Haileybury, Brentwood, Abingdon, Rugby, Radley, Wellington and King Edward’s in Birmingham. So far as I can tell, after flicking between the Conservative website and other sources, 18 out of a total of 32 shadow cabinet members went to private school, while 19 went on to university at Oxford (12) or Cambridge (7).’

The Sutton Trust reports that ‘Private education produces more than half of UK’s top journalists… more than half of the UK’s top 100 news and current affairs journalists were privately educated… 54 per cent of leading national newspaper editors, columnists, broadcast editors and news presenters went to school in the private sector. Private school pupils account for just 7 per cent of the school population.’

The report goes on to show that ‘33 per cent of the top 100 went to grammar schools, and 14 per cent attended comprehensive schools. Comprehensive schools currently educate almost 90 per cent of children.’

And things are getting worse not better: ‘The Trust claims journalism has become more private school-dominated over the past 20 years with the number of top journalists coming from the sector increasing by 5 per cent. In 1986, 49 per cent of the top 100 journalists were privately educated, while 44 per cent attended grammar schools and 6 per cent went to comprehensives.’

Among Oxbridge-educated national editors are Roger Alton, of The Observer, Lionel Barber, of the Financial Times, John Bryant, at the Daily Telegraph, Alan Rusbridger of The Guardian and Peter Wright of the Mail on Sunday.

Oxbridge educated broadcasters include Adam Boulton of Sky News, Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy and the BBC’s David Dimbleby and Matt Frei. The BBC’s John Humphrys and ITV’s James Mates and Trevor McDonald did not go to university.

But its not just educational privilege that matters. Family nepotism works as well. The report found that: ‘Family ties remain a powerful force in the newsroom. There are countless examples of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, partners and former partners who have followed in the footsteps of relatives in pursuing successful careers in journalism.’

So just remember when you see a Tory being interviewed by a leading journalist, they probably went to school together…or maybe they are related.

John Rees

John Rees is a writer, broadcaster and activist, and is one of the organisers of the People’s Assembly. His books include ‘The Algebra of Revolution’, ‘Imperialism and Resistance’, ‘Timelines, A Political History of the Modern World’, ‘The People Demand, A Short History of the Arab Revolutions’ (with Joseph Daher), ‘A People’s History of London’ (with Lindsey German) and The Leveller Revolution. He is co-founder of the Stop the War Coalition.