New Cabinet

By my count there are seven PPEists in Gordon Brown’s new Cabinet: Jacqui Smith (Hertford & Home Secretary), Yvette Cooper (Balliol & Housing), Ruth Kelly (Queen’s & Transport), Ed Miliband (Corpus Christi & Cabinet Office), James Purnell (Balliol & Culture – an unlikely combination), Ed Balls (Keble & Schools), David Miliband (CCC & FCO). That’s a lot of PPEists. And at least three of the Chancellor’s most recent team of special advisers are PPEists, too (Shriti Vadera, Dan Corry, Stewart Wood; I’m not sure where the other two studied. Perhaps Michael Jacobs and Gavin Kelly did PPE, too? Who knows?). So Gordon Brown may not like Oxford University much, but he does seem to like the PPE degree (or at least a subsection of those who take the course) very much indeed.

0 thoughts on “New Cabinet”

  1. That’s truly unbelievable. Though not quite like Cameron’s weakness for Old Etonians.

    I’m not sure that Yvette Cooper is actually in the Cabinet, just think she gets to attend…not fully sure of the difference (I should have taken MPG).

    In terms of advisers Jeremy Heywood did History and Economics at Hertford. Close, but no cigar.

  2. Yes, alright, so we’re down to six. (I compiled the list before the BBC webpage made this vital observation.) Still, she’ll be in the Cabinet before too long.

  3. Balliol and Culture may be an unlikely combination, but I’m not exactly slitting my wrists over James Purnell’s new job, as I have very fond memories of his stint as Films Minister a few years ago.

    It’s not often that that post goes to someone who’s not only genuinely interested in the subject but who also understands the underlying complexities of the constant tension between the industry’s cultural and economic imperatives, but he seemed to grasp it better than any other Films Minister in my adult lifetime. I was very sorry when he was moved to Pensions, and am delighted that he’s back at the DCMS.

  4. That’s what I like to see, PPEists taking over the world! I like David Miliband, I’m happy he’s our new Foreign Secretary, I wouldn’t mind him actually ruling the whole world. This might be because he’s quite good looking. See, you can always count on me to lower the tone of your comments, Chris.

  5. Though not quite like Cameron’s weakness for Old Etonians.

    Only four of these in the Shadow Cabinet by my count, though it feels as if there are more because of the high visibility of people like Boris Johnson.

  6. That’s a surprise. I’m sure someone quoted a much higher figure, though on reflection that may have included his ‘inner circle’ and whatnot.

  7. Brown himself, however, is the first universty graduate since the war to be PM who didn’t go to Oxford. I think that’s right.

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