A piece in the NYT on the 20th, by Steven Erlanger, under the head
British Snobbery Still Found In Paychecks, a Report Says [in print]
Hear This: Class Pay Gap in Britain Shows Snobbery Persists [on-line]
To a (very) rough approximation: in the UK, the most significant social fact about a person, the thing you register first about them, is their class; in the US, it’s their race. What follows from this is that the most powerful forms of social discrimination in the UK are based on class, in the US on race. And while some advances have been made in reducing the baleful effects of these types of discrimination in both places, the fact is that great and shameful social disparities, seriously disadvantaging the disfavored groups, persist (and fuel angry backlash towards the favored groups). In particular, Britannia rolls on in her disdain for the working class, and the first and easiest signal of class identity (though not the only such signal) is language.