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You can say the same thing of the EU and yet, it's publically said that big countries like Germany control the EU. The doesn't even get ruled via Berlin the way the UK get's ruled via London.

In the UK permanent secretary of a department is a role of a civil servants. In the Germany that's each minister makes political appointment for his "Staatssekretär" (equivalent to the UK's permanent secretary). In the US a new administration can even change out more people in the burocracy.

This results in the situation in the UK that get's portraid in "Yes, Prime Minister" where the civil servants residing in London have enormous power.

You have an elite where a stereotypical Humphrey considers there to be two universities in the UK: Oxford and Cambridge. Maybe also the London School of Economics
Humphrey is a fictional character but the producers of the show did a lot of real research.