These are the people in change - no wonder we're in a mess with little prospect of escape:
The road to a job as a public intellectual now increasingly runs through a few elite schools, often followed by a series of very-low-paid internships that have to be subsidized by well-heeled parents, or at least a free bedroom in a major city.
This accurately describes how nearly all our leaders arrived in their elite positions - and not just the political leaders but those in the media, in academia and in the world of think-tankery. But it is in politics that I worry most - we really need fewer bright young things who've done nothing and rather more folk who've worked for a living out in the hard old world.
Politicians are only ever "in touch" because:
1. The public seek their mercy and assistance to negotiate round the castle
2. Acolytes (low low-paid internships) provide them with briefings and cuttings
3. Others in the elite share stories about what the public are up to
4. Opinion polls
And the is little or no prospect of any political party being led by anyone not from this elite background so long as we have the education system we have and the political structures we're cursed with.