“You are an arrogant, young man”

16 July 2007

It was the ‘young’ part I liked the best. Peregrine Worsthorne was not very happy with me. We were sitting around microphones in a Radio 4 studio, talking about ‘Knowing Your Place’ for the lunchtime Radio 4 programme ‘Off The Page’. I started being provocative because the debate was becoming rather cosy. I said that for thousands of years people had lived in misery suffering under a feudal system in Britain, a place where the lower orders’ were expected to keep their mouths shut and never complain. Worsthorne, a former editor of the Telegraph and toff extraordinaire, had formulated the argument that the people from the ‘lower rungs’ were actually happier when they ‘knew their place’. I argued back and got called ‘an arrogant, young man’. The show is aired 1.30pm on Radio 4, August 29th, the last in the series.’

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