Discussion: The Conflict Tearing Apart British Politics: An Interview With David Goodhart

very inflexible and unattractive Theresa May


unthinking left liberalism that a lot of modern kids are part of

They didn’t show up in 2015 or for the Brexit referendum, and the old folks believed a heap of lies printed on the side of a bus. Now they’re faced with negotiations in which Britain has no leverage and is represented by a minority government which still insists on a “hard” Brexit.

But if you have an ascribed identity – for instance, “I’m British, I’m a white male “

But the working class don’t refer to themselves as British - they refer to themselves as English. “British” is the identity hoisted on people who don’t look Anglo by people who refuse to acknowledge the crazy idea that they might be patriotic citizens.

What’s hurting the UK? Unfettered entry of Russian, Persian Gulf, and East Asian money used to buy up assets (while at the same time degrading governance), and the misplaced reaction against working-class immigrants that further isolates Britain from Europe. The issue of sovereignty is important, but if you chop off your own legs in a show of strength you become less independent, not more so.


“But he was able to hide behind the fact that Labour supported Brexit, and the fact that Labour supported Brexit that also meant that Labour supported upper limits on immigration from the European Union, so he was able to hide behind or disguise his real attitudes.”

While it’s true that Corbyn was never a supporter of the EU, the under 40s and Labour both voted to remain. The problem was the lack of turnout - too high a percentage of younger voters and Labour supporters skipped the vote.

This guy is the equivalent of a concern troll and talks like a “reasonable” conservative.


blah blah blah
Brexit was voted for by the Brits.
Trump was elected by the electoral college.
Americans voted for Clinton.

Wow. That almost made sense. Sterling non-sequitur of a contribution.


He sounds like a Very Serious Person. With a lifetime of investment in the notion that old-fashioned labor values can’t possibly work.


Ok, so the way I read that is that it boils down to the same problem we have: educated Americans, mostly urban, are comfortable with social change and diversity, which is a fact of global life, and uneducated Americans, mostly rural and white aren’t. How are we supposed to get it across to non-achieved identifiers that this is the future and if they’ll give it a chance, it will all work out well?

Because there is just no other alternative for America unless we are prepared to let the non-achieving identifiers drag us back into segregation, discrimination, isolation and authoritarianism.

I am tired of seeing the problem laid out over and over. What do we do about it?


Good God…this thing from Goodhart is incoherent. Theresa May’s “left” manifesto “turned off” core Tory voters yet she gets the highest Tory vote share since 1983? Corbyn ran a “moderate” campaign yet one that full-frontally attacked austerity? The assertions about where the UKIP vote went are completely lacking in statistical backup, as were the assertions about where Labour’s traditional vote went–even in non-college seats like Walsall North that they lost, Labour vote share was sharply up; it’s just the Tory vote share was even more sharply up in that type of seat. What a mess.

I was not inclined to support Judis’s counter-argument but I’m more inclined now if that’s the best his opponents can muster…


I wonder how you differentiate “anywheres” from “somewheres” in a poll? So you can get some objective data to support all these gut feelings and assertions.

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What a load of horseshit. Millions of white and rural, “uneducated” voters voted for Obama in this most racist of countries. And you seem to have the magical belief that the “fact(s) of global life” are some sort of immutable facts of nature as opposed to them being the products of politics hashed out by powerful parties with economic interests that do not coincide often with the working men and women of the world. There is nothing inevitable about the way things are, and teaching the unwashed masses, say, coding skills and cultural sensitivity and polo won’t change the fact that there are an increasing number of losers in this capitalist hellhole of a country that doesn’t seem to give a good god-damn what happens to its poorest citizens.

The elitism and condescension in your post illustrates perfectly why the Democrats are out of power right now. Hopefully, we can return to our traditional role of being the champions of the underdog, as opposed to being the party of Republican-lites who claim to have gay friends, but heaven forbid that someone wants to tax them enough to start to do anything about the obscene distribution of wealth in this country.

I am sorry: this man sounds like an “elitist” of a special British blend. He looks at his country with his nose in a twitch. Boy his superiority comes through. Bullshit will always be bullshit.


He comes across as a prototypical mid-2000’s corporatist, firmly believing in the righteousness of the company and that people who want a less inequitable society are muddled headed. He’s basically what a lot of people accused (wrongly) Clinton of being.


You are such a coward, carlos. What do you do - hide over here? I haven’t seen you in months on any of the regular threads.

I guess your job is officially over. Not getting paid for trolling anymore - this was a busman’s holiday.


Hey now…

No need to be sorry. With his DNA of such illustrious ancestors such as Sir Philip Goodhart and Mayer Lehman in addition to being steeped like a bag of bad tea in the halls of high finance there should be little wonder about his “elitist” stance that immigration can undermine national solidarity and be a threat to his social democratic ideals, that is to say his perspective of the negative aspects of the welfare state.

And keep in mind, the most obnoxious invariably control the megaphone.


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I’d read it with a grain of salt. Trump’s main demographic was white males with above average income – that means a fair number of them had to be professionals. Goodhart’s analysis isn’t completely wrong, but it’s flawed. There’s certainly a culture-gap thing going on here, but his somewhere/anywhere dichotomy doesn’t adequately describe it.


The somewhere/anywhere split isn’t thus everywhere. “Sense of place” and “place making” are popular ideas among the best-traveled Americans. The attitude is intense loyalty to place blended with broad awareness of the world; local culture as both unique contributor to and microcosm of world culture. This is the preponderant attitude in much of New England, as well as the entire West Coast northward of LA, most particularly Portland and Seattle. Also, much of Brooklyn.

Its also fairly evident in at least parts of Europe: the Netherlands, Switzerland, and throughout Scandinavia. It’s what international sophisticates learn: there are many special places of particular value in this world which must be tended and defended. It’s more often, at least in America, the lower middle class who have less sense of this, and could care less where they park their trailer aside from the weather.


He boils down his analysis to somewheres and anywheres. Your an anywhere and you find fault with the some wheres. I’m shocked to find gambling going on here.

America has only one governing principle: free contract. That means bargaining power is everything. What you earn is a function of that.

Here’s the problem: anywhere’s are policy and economic elites. They’ve been trading away jobs and allowing foreigners to enter the country all of which undermines the bargaining power of workers and undermines the stability of their communities and families.

When I was 17 (1977) I got a summer job as unskilled construction labor that paid $20 an hour. That’s at least $80 an hour in today’s money. Now part of the reason unskilled construction labor was paid so high was because they couldn’t expect to work all the time. But it allowed them to live something close to a middle class existence, house, clothes, feed and educate their families. That kind of social contract did not destroy America - in fact it made it great, it made it a great country. The America I grew up in was a far and distant country which I have fond memories of. That country was destroyed by elites who shipped jobs overseas and flooded America with immigrants driving down the lifestyles of working class America. Remember it’s their country too. They do most of the fighting (when there’s war) dying and working in the country. They have a right to rising expectations for the future (as we all do). My father was a talented machinery maintenance supervisor for a large brewery, a role similar to Michelle Obama’s father’s, and similarly paid, then $55,000, today that’s $255,000. Meanwhile I have 15 years as a highly skilled business analyst designing information systems for large heavy manufacturing companies and a law degree from a tier 1 university, yet I spent over a decade nominally employed, lost everything and only recently gained anything close to decent employment, and I must say the America work place today is a massive stressfest because, among other things, losing your job means no insurance and so people are increasingly neurotic in the workplace. All of my experience, training and education nets me a job that pays less than I made as an unexperienced unskilled construction worker in high school. That’s what I’ve gone through, I can’t be sure what’s happened to others, but I can see the working class on my visits to Walmart and they are positively broken, broken by the anywhere’s that run the country.

Obama created 10 million jobs. But during the Obama administration 10 million people immigrated into the United States - legally. 10 million legal immigrants. (I don’t have a problem with illegal immigrants, I have a problem with excessive legal immigration). In a country without enough jobs for the people who live there already. Why? It wasn’t the somewheres who live in local communities, it was the anywheres creating public policy.

This is the thing that broke this election. One of my friends parents are doctors. They have a good union. When I was a kid his father made only about 30% more than my dad. But doctors have a strong union. They have maintained their bargaining power and maybe enhanced it. Doctors make huge amounts of money - because they have bargaining power. There are no factory maintenance supervisors making $300,000 a year these days. In the 70s it was common place and its what created the middle class. By flooding America with immigrants we are undermining the bargaining power of the working class that already lives here, our friends and neighbors. By shipping jobs overseas, we are doing the same. At some point you can’t expect these people to fight and die for a country that has impoverish them. At that point the country isn’t a country anymore. Trump made that point tons of times on the campaign trail saying “we aren’t a country anymore”.

BigMoney types are anywhere types. Hillary was one of them. Hillary didn’t care about working people, about manufacturing, about the life bread that sustains communities. She knew and the working people knew it. That made them easy pickings for Trump. She didn’t even visit places like Wisconsin. She hoped a coalition of identity minority voters would give her a majority. And it would if she had had any credibility at all with the working class - but Minorities are still, ahem, minorities and election wins require a majority. Now I see she is having second thoughts about going away, perhaps wants a third bite at the apple. Good grief. If she got a job in a factory then I might think about it.

Give me Bernie. Give me demand side bias economic policy bias. Stop shipping jobs overseas. Stop shipping more immigrants here than we can absorb. Remember, all politics is local, or at least it used to be.

Well, you could, of course, actually check my posting history instead of spouting off accusations based on nothing. I have multiple posts every month, I´m ashamed to say. I stopped posting so much because I have new work hours and a sick family member, and, most of all, I´m sick of the numerous centrist Dems here who seem hell-bent on repeating the same mistakes made in the last election - you know, like putting down the people who historically have supported the party,

I assume that whatever ethical code you follow frowns on lying. If you want to see a troll, perhaps you should look at the literary stylings of @jw1. He disappeared right after the election, and unlike us ¨berniebros¨, HRC really did pay people to ¨correct¨ her critics. Now that´s paid trolling.

Loss of jobs is not the fault of immigration. It is the result of automation. The next great wave of automation is just starting, and this time it’s going to sweep through white-collar jobs.

I don’t think Democrats know what to do about this (the Obama WH was at least starting to talk about the millions of trucking jobs about to disappear), one-note Bernie Sanders has given no indication that he thinks about it at all, and the Republicans just don’t give a shit.


Not defending the article or anything, but the second part is something I see thrown around a fair bit. What is the basis for it? If a fair number of American’s are afraid of cultural change and that was a big part in putting Trump in office than isn’t it somewhat valid?

Why are Dems considered elitist and have to do various things. Like reaching out to voters etc. When the GOP lost they did not do that. Not at all, they went with the basal fears and got enough votes to win the electoral college and other places. And one can argue that they are arguing from a similar position as this claim. Extreme nationalism. Many at this point will claim that liberals or similar are not American’s proudly. They will pretty much go out of their way to insult those that think differently or believe differently.

However it is Dems that are being elitist and that is the problem? People accept bad things sometimes. Trump won in the system we have and the GOP held to power, but at the same time. That does not necessarily make their claims correct either.