Back in the day, the Empire was run by the Oxbridge crowd. The uniformity of opinion was stultifying and self-satisfied, and eventually came to look ridiculous when the whole affair was overtaken by history.
In the more recent past and present, the Empire is run by the Ivy League crowd. Again, uniformity of opinion, self-satisfaction, inability to understand the world shifting.
(edit: OK, a little harsh. But the parallels are interesting.)