On this week’s episode we’ll be discussing whether marriage is becoming an elite institution. We’ll also be wondering if the Tory glass is half full or half empty, and lamenting the loss of Britain’s tiny train lines.
First up: is marriage becoming the preserve of the rich? In this week’s magazine, Ed West asks whether Prince Harry’s presumably lavish nuptials will be the latest signal that marriage is becoming an increasingly rarefied institution. What can be done to reverse this slump? And ought we to be worrying about traditional unions in the 21st Century? To discuss, we were joined on the podcast by Frank Young, Head of the Family Policy Unit at the Centre for Social Justice, and Rosie Wilby, author of Is Monogamy Dead? As Ed writes:
“There was no marriage gap between rich and poor a couple of generations ago, but one has been opening up. The Office for National Statistics divides Britain into seven social classes. According to a study prepared for The Spectator, someone in the top class (i.e., company directors, university lecturers, etc) is 48 per cent more likely to be married than someone in the bottom social class (builders, office cleaners). At the turn of the century, the gap was 22 per cent. To those who think marriage is a quaint irrelevance, such figures don’t matter. But if you think that marriage is the most powerful sponsor of health, wealth and education, then it ought to be alarming. A new inequality is being bred in our society.”
Next, as the sun starts to set on an eventful year, attention is being turned to contemplation of the Conservative party’s ‘glass’. Is it half-full, suggesting the nadir has been passed? Or is it half-empty, as Comrade Corbyn turns his attention to Downing Street? These are the questions that James Forsyth poses