Class today

Family background is the most important factor in determining the quality and length of someone\’s life, the Labour deputy leader will say, suggesting that class "overarches" racial and sexual inequalities.

Interesting that this should be said by the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Cabinet Minister.

Miss Harman is no stranger to rows about class. The niece of the Countess of Longford,


She was born in London to the Harley Street physician John Bishop Harman FRCP (who was an expert witness in the trial of suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams[3]) and his wife Anna, a solicitor, the only child of Group Captain Malcolm Spicer, RAF,[4][5] son of James Spicer of Eltham, who was a member of the paper manufacturing family and a brother of the Liberal MP Sir Albert Spicer and also a brother of the surgeon and campaigner for women\’s rights, Louisa Martindale.[6] Her parents both came from non conformist backgrounds — her grandfather Nathaniel Bishop Harman was a prominent Unitarian[7] and the Spicer family were well known congregationalists. She was educated at the famous independent St Paul\’s Girls\’ School and the University of York, where she gained a BA in Politics.

One of her colleagues in the Cabinet is Hilary Benn, fourth generation MP and third generation Cabinet Minister.

Privilege does indeed seem to flow down the generations.

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