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All Oiks Now: The Unnoticed Surrender of Middle England

Tuesday April 2004


Digby Anderson The Social Affairs Unit, London

Introductory Remarks: Roger Kimball, Managing Editor, The New Criterion

As recently as a generation ago, Middle-Class England was famous for its adherence to traditional values. “Middle England” behaved and voted from an ethics of self-reliance, effort, discipline, prudence, economy, and family.

Yet today, as Mr. Anderson notes, both parents and children habitually behave in ways that yesterday’s “Middle England” would have abhorred. The old values have been broadly supplanted by profligate spending, a desire for ease, and a refusal to delay gratification.

What happened to that Middle England and its traditional values?