In a splendid essay in The London Review of Books (11 September, 2008), Ross McKibbon took the hatchet to New Labour. He expressed particular distaste for the ‘democracy of manners’ that has made Britain resemble Australian and American society. This democracy of manners is, of course, all surface egalitarianism concealing profound inequality. He bemoaned ‘the moral exclusion of those who were once considered part of Labour’s constituency – the social underdogs’ (p. 22). The government, in particular, sidelined young working class men, portraying them as outside ‘the sphere of moral worth’. McKibbon acknowledged that Britain ‘is a very much more unequal and less socially mobile society than it was thirty years ago’ (p. 22). This perspective is supported in George Irvin’s rich and detailed comparative study of Britain and the United States.