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Thursday, 14 January 2010

Denham's Class War

The new struggle is no longer about race, says John Denham, but class.

Now what the heck does he mean by class? Let's look at social class, or socio-economic class as it used to be termed. For years we used the old ABC1C2DE classification, with doctors, vicars and barristers in class A, surveyors, engineers and senior managers in B and so on. Many media and marketing organisations and pollsters stick to the old format - because the ONS has replaced it with something else. There are now eight classes, seven of them essentially occupational and the eighth equivalent to the old 'E' - unemployed, retired etc.

I've listed out the new ONS occupational classifications in a .pdf in class order at . I can't make head nor tail of the ONS' reasoning for many of these classifications; a police inspector is ranked higher than a doctor, and footballers and pole dancers ranked higher than Warrant Officers in the armed forces. Both Chiropodists and authors are the new class B, whilst both dispensing opticians and call centre operatives are in the new class C1. No wonder the major commercial organisations haven't taken it up and continue to use the old, sensible ABC1 hierarchy.

But the point is, as useless and misleading as the new government social class framework is, it's the official framework - and Denham's social policy success or failure will be measured against it.

So here's a tip for the government. Sewing machinists are social class D, whilst pole dancers are now social class B. Offer an incentive bonus for every sewing machinist who trains as a table dancer; overnight you can claim that social mobility isn't dead, and that you're winning the class war.


lilith said...

Wow, that is a very curious hierarchy that the ONS has got there...hairdressers and barbers are the new lowest of the low.

Budgie said...

What are pole dancers?

Only joking, I know they're from Poland.

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William Gruff said...

Anonymous 00:40, 15/1/10:

My hovercraft is also full of eels.