The Spectator

Is a double-barrelled surname still posh?

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Lock, stock and double barrels

In Rebecca Long Bailey, who sometimes hyphenates her name and sometimes doesn’t, the Labour party may soon have a leader with a double-barrelled surname.

Is such a name still an indication of elevated social class?

— According to an Opinium poll in 2017, 11 per cent of couples now use a double-barrelled name on marriage.

— The changing social connotations of double-barrelled surnames can be seen in the England football squad. Three of the 24 current members listed by the FA have double-barrelled names.

— By contrast, none of the 23 members of the Conservative cabinet does, although the wider body of 33 ministers attending cabinet includes Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Growth chart

The 2010s were a remarkable decade in that the UK did not spend any of it in recession, defined as two quarters of negative growth.   When did that last happen?


5 quarters in recession in 2008/09


5 quarters in 1990/91


5 quarters in 1980/81


5 quarters, 3 in 1973 and 2 in 1975


2 quarters in 1961


2 quarters in 1956


No recession measured, but wartime conditions. Modern economic statistics not in place in early 1940s


Deep recession in 1930/31


Recession in 1920/21


Recession in 1919


No recession

Meaty matter

How many Britons are vegan or vegetarian?

600,000 adults are vegan, according to a Vegan Society poll in 2019, up from 542,000 in 2016.

1.2m are vegetarian, according to the Vegetarian Society, quoting a National Diet and Nutrition Poll.

250,000 people signed up to ‘Veganuary’ — going vegan for the month of January — in 2018.

1/8 of Britons are either vegan and vegetarian, according to a poll by Waitrose in 2018. That add up to about 8m people.

29% of evening meals in the 12 weeks to January 2018 contained no meat, according to marketing data company Kantar.

However, statistics on meat sales do not support claims of mass conversion to vegetarianism and veganism:

— According to the government’s Living Costs and Food Survey, sales of raw meat fell by 4% in 2015 compared with 2014.

— The Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board measures a 2% increase in meat sales in 2016.