Class: What class are you?

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The Independent Online
Lord (Jeffrey) Archer, author

I believe there is still a class system, but it is far less in evidence than it was 20 or 30 years ago. I'm trying hard to join the deputy Labour leader in the middle classes, but until I have my double-breasted suits and holiday home in Barbados, I'm afraid I shall be trailing behind him.

Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington

I think there's still a very strong class system, though people like to deny it. As an immigrant I'm at the bottom of the ladder. In terms of my income, though, I suppose I'd be called middle class, though I think it's a more complex matter than simply money or education.

Bernard Manning, comedian

There's definitely a class system - you try getting into the Royal Enclosure at Ascot. You've got those who've got money - some with many millions - and those who've got nowt. I've been skint, but now I've got plenty of money. If you work hard, things can change for you.

Anita Brookner, novelist

I don't really think there is a class system, or if there is I think it's very much reduced. I think people are now defined by their work. On those terms I suppose I'm middle class, but I'm now retired, so I have no class status - I'm a bit of a non-person.

Sir Bernard Ingham, former press secretary to Margaret Thatcher

There is definitely a class system, because people think there is a class system. And it's never been more flexible. In so much as I have always had to work for my living, I consider myself working class.