An article in yesterday's 'i' (summarised version of The Independant) and another in today's Metro (free spin off from the Daily Mail) talked about recent comments by Nick Clegg (UK Deputy Primeminister) about networking. He recognises the power of networking in helping people to find work and that work experience programmes and internships (in particular those that last an extended period) are a useful way for a young person, who may not yet have had a paid job, to develop their network. He also credits the internships he himself had (arranged by his father) for giving him opportunities that he otherwise would not have had.
Because of this he is banning any Civil Service internships over one week and asking private sector businesses to sign up to a compact to only offer similarly short placements and to pay either minimum wage or expenses. The compact also indicates that they should advertise all placements in local schools.
His arguement is that your career opportunities should not depend on 'who your father's friends are' and it is unfair that the children of wealthy families should be able to take long work experience placements and internships due to family contacts and financial support from their family eliminating the need to have an immediate income from work.
I forget the source (although it may be based on the quote from Ghandi "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win") but I remember hearing that you know when an idea has become powerful when those in power try to ban the practical incarnations of it.