Most politicians are themselves creatures of privilege—of educational privilege, at least, if not of social class privilege.
They are the beneficiaries of meritocracy. So why should they not support it?
Yet there is a myth about meritocracy
For one reason only: that meritocracy is a sham version of the real mission which should be that of moving towards a society characterised by greater social and economic equality.
Most non-graduates are less mobile and draw their sense of themselves much more from place and group. (About 60 per cent of Britons live within 20 miles of where they lived when they were 14.)
In the UK Bill passes his exams, goes to University and meets Betty who has the same trajectory. Bill and Betty marry and combing economic forces. They have kids and soonthe enclave is economically strenghtened and the drawbridge is up against thema cultural apartheid is silently drawn between us the meritocrats and of the upwardly mobile bent and those who 'under achieve'.
But change is often experienced as loss and people wants to cushion it.
By contrast, many upper professionals favour wide but thin attachments and a more universalist outlook
However, A good society is not a collection of ladders; it is a circle of mutual interest. The best and brightest still rise to the top but all contribution is valued.
The evidence is clear: more equal societies are happier than unequal ones.