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The Book

Out now at Amazon | Waterstones

Middle Class Handbook on Twitter
Chattering Class

Prince Harry

Even republicans approve, surely?

Microwaving tea

Recommended by scientists, apparently. Disgusting

No televised election debates

Disappointing; we were rather looking forward to May vs The Sturge


Olivia Coleman = nailed-on Future National Treasure

Spring Bank holidays

Too close together! Very bad!


“I queued for THREE BLOODY HOURS at B&Q for a new recycling bin! The entire town’s in CHAOS”


To be listened to whole on a long journey for maximum effect

Using a proper paper map

Strangely satisfying

The “Flash” Flash ad

It’s back! Possibly the best ever singing dog in an advert ever

Crap tacos

Reheated, with too much chilli: middle-class kebabs, basically

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The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
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    Entries in Spellman (122)


    James Purnell's pinky ring

    James Purnell is often accused of being a closet Tory in the Labour Party, and I couldn't help noticing that in one of the many pictures of him published after his resignation, he seemed to be wearing a very Tory piece of jewellery, ie a pinky ring. On first glance this would seem to mark him out as a Normal Actually, as do his background (Guildford, accountant dad, private school and Balliol) and his serious approach to tennis. But maybe it's not quite so simple. Closer examination of the ring reveals it to be a contemporary, chunky, silver design, rather than the classic signet; it represents a Blairite update of tradition. Perhaps James's ring is saying "I work within the established system but recognize the need to be modern and up to date. Conservative businessmen - you are safe with me! Labour chaps - I might seem a bit posh at first, but I'm on your side." It might seem a  trivial detail, but with politicians of all parties converging style-wise, such details can be important - just ask Hazel Blears. I wonder if this means there is a emerging sub-class of liberal(ish) Normal Actuallys? 


    When posh meets trendy

    There was some more news in the paper today about the 2010 Olympics costing more money, or not having enough sponsors or something. Thinking about London 2012 makes me feel weirdly anxious. it has done ever since I watched the bit with the bus, Jimmy Page, Leona Lewis, dancers etc etc at the end of the Beijing games last summer. I don't want to be negative, but I have to say I thought it was awful. I always find it a bit cringeworthy when posh people start trying to mix it with trendiness. Remember those terrible pop culture floats at the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations? It seems to me that Britain is very good at posh people, and it is very good at trendy people, but when the two come together it reminds me of the teachers trying to dance at school discos. Can't they just put Chris Hoy in charge of it all?

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