Let it never be said that Toady cannot admit his mistakes. After a lifetime of cynically believing that the world was ruled by nepotism, the genesis of Major's classless society has finally proved him wrong. No more do tiny scions of great industrial families find seats on the board in their Christmas stockings. Those who succeed, it seems, now do so on merit alone. Indeed, when the blue chips are down, the possession of a gilt-edged mummy and daddy appears to have become a positive liability.
Consider, if you will, the case of one Robert Hanson. Aged only 32, wee Rabbie has already worked his way up to become a director of one of Britain's largest conglomerates. Rabbie's is as clear a case of virtue rewarded as you could want: the stratospheric young man has managed all of this in spite of the fact that the conglomerate in question is called Hanson plc (prop. Lord Hanson).
And Hanson II is not unique. Those who espouse the cause of freedom and meritocracy will also take heart from the story of young Nicholas Ritblat, one of six executive directors of the mammoth British Land group. Cruel tongues might once have hissed that his prodigious rise was not entirely divorced from the fact that the company's chief executive is called John Ritblat, but no more: freed by Major from this mendacity, Ritblat fils's success can at last be seen for the personal triumph that it is.