Rank and Class: Social Order in a Changing World
Jeffrey Archer was educated at Oxford University. He has served five years in Britain’s House of Commons, fourteen years in the House of Lords, and two in Her Majesty’s prisons, which spawned three volumes of highly acclaimedPrison Diaries. All of his novels and short story collections---including Kane and Abel, Sons of Fortune, and False Impression---have been international bestsellers. Archer is married with two children and lives in London and Cambridge.
Question: How would you describe the class system in England today?
Jeffrey Archer: I think the class system existed when I was a child, almost very clearly defined.
I do not get that today. I think the new young generation have thrown it aside and treated it for its worth. Tthat doesn’t mean there still isn’t Snowberry in Britain, there are still a literary snobs and artistic snobs, and indeed just plain out snobs, but they are far less that they used to be and they certainly no longer have this way of power of importance.
Question: Are there still hurdles to overcome in class struggle?
Jeffrey Archer: Oh! Yes, it is quite clear that if you look at some of the people who have returned to the very top, that it can be broken. I think John Major would be the first to say that he broke right through that and became Prime Minister of Great Britain, and indeed Margaret Thatcher came from a very modest background as the daughter of a grocer and went on to become the first women Prime Minister. So, I think those days are behind us.
Recorded on: March 15, 2008.
Archer explains Britain's social hierarchy.
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