Social class

Why marriage is increasingly for the royals – and the rich

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Whatever their views about the monarchy, most people will warm to the news of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement.…

How Aristotle would hire civil servants

4 June 2016 9:00 am

The civil service is to be allowed to find out what job applicants’ ‘socio-economic background’ is. What abject drivel is…

How baby names got so weird

23 April 2016 9:00 am

You have to pity the Welsh woman who was last week prevented by the Court of Appeal from naming her…

Would you like to buy an American’s vote?

26 March 2016 9:00 am

Killing time in a Heathrow first-class lounge, I notice how many men adopt an unmistakable ‘first-class lounge’ persona. They stand…

The smelly, snobbish death of the English public toilet

12 March 2016 9:00 am

I blame Nancy Mitford: she made the English so frightened of saying ‘toilet’ that now they have hardly any left…

To believe in Brexit, you have to be an oik like me or Michael Gove

12 March 2016 9:00 am

If you need to know how properly posh you are there’s a very simple test: are you pro- or anti-Brexit?…

How to help black boys afraid of ‘acting white’

22 August 2015 9:00 am

A black head teacher told me a story of his early days at a failing inner-city school. The job was…

Roger Mosey and the questions you don’t ask at the BBC

27 June 2015 9:00 am

There was a remarkable scene in one BBC Today programme morning meeting in about 1995, as all the producers gathered…

A political history of The Clangers

20 June 2015 9:00 am

Dropping the Clangers The Clangers made a comeback on BBC television. Some Clanger facts: — The actors doing the voices…

The best way to end the ‘poshness test’

20 June 2015 9:00 am

There’s a warning buried in the detail of the new report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission on…

In praise of the pit bull terrier

9 May 2015 9:00 am

Last night I saw a woman dancing with a pit bull terrier. It was about 9 p.m. and her curtains…

Spectator letters: England’s defining myth, and another forgotten genocide

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Enemies within Sir: I thought Matthew Parris was typically incisive in his last column, but perhaps not quite as much…

Dear Mary: When is it all right not to bring something to a dinner party?

14 March 2015 9:00 am

Q. A wonderful and generous woman invites me, on a regular basis, to dinner parties at her house. What is…

Maybe it’s a problem when all artists are like James Blunt. But it’s worse when Labour MPs are like Chris Bryant

24 January 2015 9:00 am

What should we do with James Blunt? This is what I have been asking myself. And I am not looking…

Blame Tony Blair for Labour’s new stupidity about wealth

24 January 2015 9:00 am

Peter Mandelson’s famous quote about New Labour being intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich has a suffix that is…

Why tomorrow’s parents won’t want their children to go to university

24 January 2015 9:00 am

Could the current generation of parents be the first ones who won’t want their children to go to university? Until…

David Sedaris was right: litter is a class issue

17 January 2015 9:00 am

David Sedaris is my new hero. Not because he’s such a funny writer, but because he’s obsessed with litter. He…

If you want an argument against state-school-only Oxbridge colleges, just look at me

29 November 2014 9:00 am

I read with some interest the proposal for Oxford and Cambridge to set up state-school-only colleges in the Guardian this…

My new affair is thrilling, expensive — and might just break my neck

25 October 2014 9:00 am

I have fallen in love with an unsuitable male. My wife isn’t totally happy about this relationship because she recognises…

Ukip is in the middle of the most cynical political repositioning ever

18 October 2014 9:00 am

I think I’ve cracked it. If you want to springboard your minor political party into the mainstream and take British…

Why there’s no such thing as an Etonian

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Finally, just in the last few years I’d say, we’ve all begun to accept the role of nature in the…

Why everywhere should be more like Essex

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Apart from the Wye Valley, where I grew up, there are only two places in Britain I’d consider living: Kent…

Why my friends love the idea of a nasty, stupid mansion tax

4 October 2014 9:00 am

I see all the flaws with a mansion tax, I really do. And yet some little piece of me, some…

Nigel Farage’s class war

4 October 2014 9:00 am

I initially thought Nigel Farage had made a mistake in unveiling Mark Reckless on the final day of his party…

The ‘no’ campaign’s problem was that it sounded like me

20 September 2014 9:00 am

Journalistically speaking, it’s been a good year to be Scottish and Jewish. Had I been a Welsh Zoroastrian, say, I…