Melvyn Bragg in the New Statesman, 20 Feb 2012:
While class has been a most useful social marker in these islands for centuries, it is now, I suspect, well on its way to losing its authority to culture. People today are more comfortable identifying themselves by their cultural choices than by their class. They are likely to say 'I'm a Radio 4 person' or that they like grime, or jazz, or film, or opera. The class barricades have been stormed by the forces of a broad culture, which is made up of clusters of individuals who have decided for themselves what they will be in society.
I am fascinated by that 'most useful'.
And yes, nothing screams post-political classlessness than someone self-describing as a 'Radio 4 person.'
Or as 'an opera person'.
And hey, according to Melvyn, 'it was the Beatles who nailed it. No longer could anyone condescend to working-class culture.'
And Dizzee Rascal just goes to prove it, so there! Just so long as you forgot that time he was condescended to on an olympian scale by Paxman on Newsnight. That was just some weird outlier. What book about chavs? I can't hear you! So yeah, culture and class completely and successfully decoupled. Good old Britain. Onward and upward!