Competition - Win a bottle of champagne

No 3560 Set by Margaret Rogers

Instead of the eight new classes thought up by the Office for National Statistics, David Cannadine has suggested that "for many people their sense of social identity is much more determined by how they spend their money". We wanted eight new classes along these lines.

Report by Ms de Meaner

Well done. There's nothing like clarse to get the juices going, is there? I enjoyed all the entries enormously. I was a little unsure about Rosemary Dash's entry and whether she had followed the instructions; after all, how you prepare your potatoes isn't really the same as how you spend your money. But then, I thought, if you bought those dishes in restaurants, the price (and the restaurants) would vary enormously. So I let it through. Hon menshes to Katie Mallett, John O'Byrne and Basil Ransome-Davies for his "Tony's Cronies" class. £12 to winners; the bottle to Iain Halliday.

SOBs: Speak to Our Banker

POSH: Plastic Out, Sterling Home

APRs: All Plastic and no Readies

WYSIWIFC: Well, You See, I Was rather hoping for Interest-Free Credit

WYBIWIFC: What? You Bet I Want it on Interest-Free Credit

ARPs: All Readies and no Plastic

MJMs: Maybe, Just Maybe

SOSs: Speak to Our Social worker

Iain Halliday

I am an A, and spend my All

On Art investment. Do not call.

I am a B. My every Bean

Is with my Broker, sight unseen.

I am a C. I cash my Chips

On Cars and Clothes. I don't give tips.

I am a D, and throw my Dosh

At Dining on exotic nosh.

I am an E. What's Earned I Eke

On things Electric, white and sleek.

I am an F. When Flush with Fivers,

I smoke more Fags and slag off skivers.

I am a G. With what I Get,

I Gamble. Not been lucky yet.

I am an H. I have a Hand-out,

Buy woolly Hats in case I stand out.

Will Bellenger

1: Gun dogs (used as gun dogs).

2: Large pedigrees, eg, borzois, St Bernards, labradors.

3: Small pedigrees, eg, chihuahuas, toy poodles, pekineses.

4: Gun and other working dogs kept solely as pets.

5: Other working dogs, eg, sheepdogs and retired sniffer dogs.

6: Dobermans and pit bulls.

7: Greyhounds (particularly if they are never raced).

8: Those ubiquitous, often uncollared, yellow-brown mongrels with pointed faces and curly tails.

* Guide dogs, naturally, do not belong in any of the above categories.

David Barton

1: Grey, waterlogged pile of boiled spud.

2: Oven-ready chips topped with liberal portion of tom sauce.

3: Mash.

4: Microwaved spud in skin.

5: Par-boiled roast potatoes.

6: Gratin dauphinois.

7: Small new potatoes in their skins.

8: Potatoes pared away to the size and shape of a partridge egg, lightly roasted in olive oil.

Rosemary Dash

Red: Moving to good education areas, extra coaching for the kids so they can win free places at independent school, music lessons, books, computers, participative sport, exchange visits, but not school fees.

Orange: Camelot tickets, roll-your-own cigarettes, 0909 telephone calls, satellite dishes, the Sun newspaper, betting.

Yellow: Solid investments, life assurance, private pension plans, private medical insurance maybe.

Green: Organic food, cosmetics not tested on animals, bicycles, solar panels, sensible shoes, haircuts that look like they did it themselves.

Blue: Perfumed notepaper, garden gnomes, golf club and Freemasons' subscriptions, books about the royal family (unless bought as postmodernist kitsch, in which case they could belong to any class except Orange or Indigo).

Indigo: Alcopops, packaged holidays, DIY, men's and women's magazines.

Violet: Cigarettes, getting drunk, getting divorced, large and/or powerful cars.

White: Nothing - they put everything on the company.

NB: This is not in ranking order. Members of all classes now tend to perceive themselves as superior to those of other classes. There are also multiple memberships: one for during the week, one for the weekend; one with the spouse, another with friends of the same sex, etc.

Gordon Gwilliams

No 3563 Set by Leonora Casement

Last year, the Spectator's "Dear Mary" column received a letter from a distressed reader: "What can one do when, having flashed a flirtatious look at someone you consider yourself to be more attractive than, you see an expression of shock horror come over their face? In my case it was doubly galling because I did not even fancy the man - a waiter in a restaurant I frequent. I was just being patronising." You can see the problem. How can the letter-writer ever go back? We'd like your answers, max 200 words, by 28 January.

This article first appeared in the 15 January 1999 issue of the New Statesman, A slight and delicate minister?