No such thing as class?

After winning the 1959 election, Harold Macmillan, a Tory Prime Minister announced that "the class war is over" - and promptly formed a cabinet boasting four lords. Forty years later, Tony Blair, Labour Prime Minister, declared that "we are all middle class now" and politicians, academics and social commentators continue to tell us there is no longer such a thing as class in modern Britain. Notions of belonging to the working class are, we are told, outdated and belong to era of flat caps, factories, steel works and going down the pit. However no matter how many times we are told this we seem determined not to believe it. In a Guardian/ICM poll in October 2007 most British people still felt bound by class, with a massive majority - 89 per cent - of those surveyed feeling their social standing determined the way they are judged by the rest of society.

It's Official; poor means skint

A recent government report into poverty paints a depressing picture of inequality in Britain.

The Acheson Report on Health Inequality, set up by New Labour, found that working class people die younger, and suffer more from lung cancer, coronary heart disease, strokes, and suicides than the rich. They also suffer more house vandalism, and their children are less well-fed, despite the fact that their mothers often go without. Children are less likely to have any form of pre-school education, and have less access to child care. Not surprisingly, after this start in life, they do less well at school. The list goes on…

Poverty gap widens under Labour

Remember the Tories looking after the rich at the expense of the poor? Remember the jubilation when the Labour Government was finally elected in 1997? Remember all the promises? Well, the latest research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies says the total poverty gap - the total income by which families fall short of the poverty line - has increased under Labour.

The report concludes that children who live in the poorest UK households have less of a chance of escaping poverty than when Labour came to power. Yet, child poverty is one of Labour's key targets, and has been at the heart of the political agenda since 1999.