“Is Britain a meritocracy: everyone with skill and imagination may aspire to reach the highest level?” Or after years of complacency are we drifting into mediocracy… putting our global competitiveness at risk? In a mediocracy, real cultural progress is impossible because it requires conditions that are incompatible with a commitment to egalitarianism. There is no room for genuine cultural innovators, because one cannot permit any individual to think they are special. Nevertheless, mediocracy maintains a cultural elite, to validate its ersatz culture and to protect it from criticism.