Is Newsnight posher than the A-list? Update!
- 4 Oct 06, 11:10 AM
I was so amused by Laura Kuenssberg's report last night that I spilled Special Brew all over the sofa - the one I keep in my front garden. It raised the thorny issue of class: and I thought since we've given the Tory A-list a sociological going over, what about Newsnight?
You may recall that the Beeb's bosses were distinctly unforthcoming about the level of poshness within the workforce here, when questioned by another media organisation. So I've organised a voluntary straw poll of the Newsnight team.
With 33 replies in the latest results are as follows:
I'll update this posting with the running totals, but the results so far, with about a third of those eligible having replied, are:
1) Were you privately educated? 42% (Tories 52%)
2) Did you go Oxbridge? 30% (Tories 28%)
3) Are you from the South? 60% (Tories 61%)
4) Did you have any history of working for the BBC before you joined it?* 21% (Tory equivalent question 89%)
5) Do you own a Labrador? 3% (Question not asked of all Tory A-listers)
(*This has a bearing on poshness because many years ago, before they brought in rules to make things fairer, apparently a lot of people whose dads were judges and bankers seemed to turn up for work experience.)
Some thought I should have asked the same question as last night - i.e. "ever worked for the Tory Party?"; others thought it would be more accurate to ask "ever worked for the Labour Party?". Likewise one respondent thought the result was such a no-brainer that I would have to narrow it down to "did you do PPE?" and "do you live in Islington, Hampstead or Camden?".
Anyway, the preliminary judgement is that Newsnight is not as posh as the A-list: we are just as southern as the Cameronistas, a little bit more Oxbridge educated, but far fewer of us went to public school. And only one person on the programme admits to owning a Labrador. Also, some of my colleagues from the sarf (as they call it) insist on mentioning that in the part they are from, even Alsatians have to go round in pairs.