I ended my Civil Service career as a deputy secretary. But I can name at least two permanent secretaries who have achieved their own success by the same means, and without encountering - or at least, without being defeated by - the pressures of the Establishment.
There is much that is wrong with the Civil Service, and there is much that the service can learn - and is learning - from the private sector about how to enter and succeed in the market. But there are, conversely, a great many employers in the private sector who could learn from the Civil Service about how to provide opportunities for their employees to succeed without the benefits of education, class or connections.
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