“We have become keener on being individuals, or at most small tribes in our communities. When we are asked directly about which class we belong to, we reply politely, but wearily, and play the game for old times’ sake. The whole thing is now a bit of a charade. Snobbery still exists, but it is comical or pathetic and no longer has a cutting edge. I would argue that we are now a nation of cultures rather than a nation of classes. If we look at the passion with which people describe what they do in their leisure time, you have a truer picture of our society today. That’s where the energy is; that’s who we are now.”
– Melvyn Bragg.
For the benefit of non-Brits, I should point out that Bragg is one of those fixtures of the UK media/culture scene who has been around since forever on TV programmes such as the South Bank Show; he was a pal of some of the New Labour types in the 90s and Noughties; he has been a novelist, TV personality and part of the “Great and Good” who play a role in the state-backed arts world. Definitely not a Samizdata sort of guy, although he does say some perceptive things in the article I link to here.