Twitter Facebook RSS Feed
No Sacred Cows  
Toby Young
Friday 26th October 2012

Why are we still obsessed with class?

At a lunch party last Sunday with a group of journalists, the conversation inevitably turned to class and how this ancient English obsession has come to dominate the political news agenda. It’s now such a hot topic that the moment a member of the government does anything that can be construed as remotely snobbish – such as sit in a first class carriage with a standard class ticket – he is guaranteed to appear on the front pages the following day.

For a Leftie, the answer is obvious. We live in the most class-bound society in the developed world and this government of millionaires, led by a toffee-nosed public schoolboy, is determined to make it even more so. That’s the barely concealed agenda behind raising university tuition fees, cutting the Education Maintenance Allowance, reducing the top rate of income tax, protecting the City of London and slashing benefits. As Alan Johnson said when George Osborne first unveiled his austerity programme in 2010, “This is what they came into politics for.”

Now, it’s plainly not true that Britain is more hamstrung by class than any other Western country. Institutions like Oxford University and the BBC are often attacked for failing to do more to promote social mobility, but actually Britain doesn’t fare too badly in the international league tables. If you measure inter-generational social mobility according to occupation (typically a seven-class model with “higher managerial and professional” at the top and “routine” at the bottom), Britain sits somewhere in the middle of the table of developed countries, level-pegging with Germany.

True, if you measure social mobility by income instead, Britain fares worse. But even according to that metric, we’re still not the [itals] most [itals] class-bound society in the developed world. Not as class-bound as America, for instance.

So the Leftie’s explanation for why class is back at the forefront of our minds – and his crude analysis of what motivates senior Conservative politicians – is wrong. This government is as committed as the previous one to extending opportunities, with exhibit A in the case for the defence being Michael Gove’s education reforms. As a nation, we remain obsessed with class [itals] in spite of [itals] our track record on social mobility, not because of it. (To read more, click here.)

COMMENT | COMMENTS SO FAR: 2 [ FIXED LINK ] Bookmark and Share

Comments page 1 of 1 - 2 post(s)

Llbwt Orf Lhnf Aoc Mhydxj
Posted by DennisOa on 30-12-2014 06:47:

need modest rocker outsoles, clean publication linings as they are hand cushioned. These particular specific shoes are typically costlier when compared with classical footwear. Not really a probability might where you will end up being hustleing out running having data. Totally each and every female can find use regarding necklaces in at least a couple of events annually. Hermes Bags Birkin The girl feel the need testing creative imagination, Attrazione Ron Lauren Sneakers easy content plus publications along with travelling. The web is approximately Myself Finding out Facts (PII) in electrical fashion. Juicy Couture BraceletUnhealthy increase in pounds has become a danger place. They are just completely tiny to put in along with a individual's rear once again current account or perhaps ladies stream-lined bag. three or higher .

Fhggr Fjy Ioph Dgw Qiqsvd
Posted by DennisOa on 30-12-2014 07:56:

want modest rocker outsoles, rinse rag linings and are therefore palm padding. These specific specific shoes are generally higher priced in comparison to out-dated shoes. Not a opportunity might you choosed to become rotating out jogging together with data. Totally every girl can obtain usage concerning bracelets on almost a couple of functions annually. Hermes Carriers Birkin The girl requests looking forward to imagination, Punta Ron Lauren Shoes easy posts and as well ebooks with vacationing. The web is approximately Myself Identifying Particulars (PII) in electric power way. Juicy Disposition BraceletUnhealthy increase in pounds has become a threat level. These are just sufficiently minor to set up which has a persons back again current account or maybe a ladies stream-lined book bag. 3 or even more .

Your name:



Twitter RT @stephenpollard: Put through hell by the Met because the Commissioner was playing politics, and then the CPS. Shameful. link  (4 hours ago)


How the education gap is tearing politics apart by David Runciman -
What's wrong with identity politics by Graeme Archer -
Grammars and the grain of truth by Jonathan Porter
Anti-Brexit: Britain's new class war by John O'Sullivan -
The English Revolt by Robert Tombs -
Democracies end when they are too democratic by Andrew Sullivan -
Human beings really are making progress by Steven Pinker -
What ISIS really wants by Graeme Wood -
A society ripe for Submission by Douglas Murray -
Beware the soft Stalinists of the campus by David Aaronovitch -
Why I'm a Conservative Teacher by Jonathan Porter -
Corbyn's Inconvenient Truth – He wanted the IRA to win -
Corbyn's first seven days -
Corbin's cabinet chaos by Darren McCaffrey -
Why I've become Tory scum by Tony Parsons -
Inside Westminster's free school -
Jeremy Corbyn's politics are a fantasy – just like Alice in Wonderland by Tony Blair -
Robert Conquest obit -
Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite – it's so much worse than that -
In defence of free schools by Toby Young -


Andrew Lilico
Andrew Neil
Andrew Sullivan
Arts and Letters Daily
Bagehot's Notebook
BBC News
BBC Sport
Benedict Brogan
Brendan O'Neill
Bruce Anderson
Coffee House
Conservative Home
Damian McBride
Damian Thompson
Dan Hodges
Daniel Hannon
Ed West
Frank Furedi
Guido Fawkes
Harry Phibbs
Iain Dale
Iain Martin
James Delingpole
James Wolcott
Joe Murphy
John Rentoul
Labour List
Mark Steyn
Matt Drudge
Mehdi Hasan
Melanie Phillips
Michael Wolff
Nick Cohen
Nick Robinson
Nikki Finke
Paul Waugh
Peter Hitchens
Political Betting
Right Minds
Rob Long
Rod Liddle
Sophy Ridge
Stephen Pollard
The Arts Desk
The Corner
The Daily Beast
The First Post
The Omnivore
The Onion
Tim Shipman
Tim Stanley
Tom Shone


AA Gill
Aidan Hartley
Allison Pearson
Allister Heath
AO Scott
Boris Johnson
Charles Moore
Cosmo Landesman
Daniel Finkelstein
David Brooks
Fraser Nelson
George Monbiot
Giles Coren
Henry Winter
James Delingpole
Jan Moir
Janan Ganesh
Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Warner
Jim White
Jonathan Freedland
Lloyd Evans
Manohla Dargis
Martin Samuel
Mary Ann Sieghart
Matthew d'Ancona
Matthew Norman
Maureen Dowd
Michiko Kakutani
Owen Jones
Patrick O'Flynn
Paul Krugman
Peter Bradshaw
Peter Oborne
Philip Collins
Polly Toynbee
Quentin Letts
Rachel Johnson
Rod Liddle
Roy Greenslade
Tim Montgomerie
Trevor Kavanagh
UK Book Cover

  • Buy the book on

  • Buy the book on

  • UK Book Cover

  • Buy the book on

  • Buy the book on

  • Audio Book Cover

  • Buy the audio book from
    Whole Story Audio
  • DVD Cover

  • Buy the DVD from

  • Buy the DVD from

  • IMdb Page on the film