I wouldn't say that social class is as important in Britain now as it was even 50 years ago but it is nonetheless still hovering in the background much of the time. It really came to the fore when Prince William's engagement to the then Catherine Middleton was announced. A member of the royal family was marrying somebody from the middle class! Shock, horror!
The Middletons are middle class? Even though they are wealthy enough to send their two daughters (and probably their son as well) to Marlborough, one of England's top public schools? If they are middle class, what does that make me?
For some reason, I had always thought of myself as being middle class, albeit lower middle class, but I re-assessed to situation and realised that I was really no higher than upper working class. Heigh ho, I thought, there's no shame in that.
But the BBC have been spending the licence-payers' money again, this time on a survey into class. They have concluded that instead of the traditional three classes of society - working, middle and upper - there are nowadays no fewer than seven social classes. There is the elite class at the top of the pile, followed by the established middle class, the technical middle class, new affluent workers, traditional working class, emergent service workers, and - right at the bottom of the heap - the precariat. (I don't propose to go into any detail of the methodology used to the differences between the classes. If you are interested, go to the BBC web site.)
There is a calculator on the site - here - and it was this that showed I am "established middle class". Whooee!