iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Class

Listen now 43 mins

Listen in pop-out player


43 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 26 March 2014

What place should class have in Britain today? If you've been living in hope of creating a society where the moral character of a man is judged by his actions and not the colour of his old school tie, you may have been sorely disappointed over the last week or so. Too many toffs in the cabinet and patronising adverts about the pastimes enjoyed by hardworking people might suggest that for our politicians at least, it seems class still matters. There was a time when a person's class was defined by their job, but that's become much more tricky since the demise of large scale industries like coal mining. It hasn't though stopped many people from defining themselves as working class - and claiming a Prolier-than-Thou kind of moral superiority, - even though by most measures like income, education and profession, they're anything but. We've all experienced that kind of reverse snobbery, but how many of us would be comfortable in a socially mixed group of saying they were middle class and proud of it? Let alone upper class? It was Alan Clarke who famously dismissed his fellow Conservative MP Michael Heseltine as the kind of person "who bought his own furniture". Not all of us are blessed with his patrician perspective, so what should be the modern indicators of class? Is our obsession with class a sign of our deep sense of fairness and desire for a more open society, or a prejudice that should be consigned to the dustbin? Or is the problem that we need more subtle categories? Beer and bingo? Bolly and ballet? Class on the Moral Maze.
Combative, provocative and engaging debate chaired by Michael Buerk with Melanie Phillips, Claire Fox, Michael Portillo and Matthew Taylor.

Witnesses are Kate Fox, Owen Jones, Alwyn Turner and James Delingpole.

Produced by Phil Pegum.



  1. Image for Moral Maze

    Moral Maze

    Combative, provocative and engaging live debate examining the moral issues behind one of the week's…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss