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We are speaking in broad generalities here but my impression of preferment in the British colonial service and trading companies was not that promotion was based on skill, but rather was more about coming from the "right families", being made of "the right stuff", going to the right schools, and having a good wartime record as an officer.

Members of the "working classes", however skilled, rarely made it to the officer ranks in the military, or management offices in the civil and commercial sectors. This might have been partly due to the disparity in the levels of education available to the working and middle classes, but mainly it was just about social class.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 22nd, 2019 at 10:45:27 PM EST
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