TIME: 6.30pm-7.30pm, 23rd May 2017
VENUE: The Henry Jackson Society, 26th Floor, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP
SPEAKER: David Goodhart
Chair: Timothy Stafford, Research Director, The Henry Jackson Society
Timothy Stafford: Ladies and gentlemen, good evening; my name is Timothy Stafford, I am the Director of Research here at The Henry Jackson Society, I am very grateful for you all coming today. Obviously today has been dominated by the very sad events that we saw in Manchester overnight and for a Think Tank that focuses a lot on extremism and radicalisation and terrorism this is always the day which we dread. So obviously that is at the front of our mind but we are not going to tonight allow us to be distracted from it too much because we are delighted to welcome David Goodhart here to talk about his book. David is the founder of Prospect magazine and from then headed up Demos think tank and is now at Policy Exchange looking at matters to do with immigration and demography. He is going to speak to use tonight about his new book, fairly new I think, The Road to Somewhere, which is a fairly auspicious title when you are not sure what the future holds but hopefully his insights will give us some sense on where things are heading, particularly on populism which we have seen in the UK but perhaps internationally as well. I will hand you over to David who has got some slides and then there should be plenty of time for questions. David has very kindly offered to sign books if people would like to purchase them, they are outside for a very generous discount they are being sold for £15, I am afraid only cash only we do not have the facility to accept anything else. Please do consider buying one and I am sure you will want to once you have heard Mr Goodhart’s thoughts. So without further ado I will hand over to him now.
David Goodhart: Thank you very much. I am very glad to be here, partly because I am often on the other side, I am often in the audience here because you do manage to get lots of very interesting speakers and now I know what your secret is, you ask people to speak when you have books to flog, as I do. Anyway I have written this book called The Road to Somewhere about the value divides in British Society although I think it has some application to all developed countries. It seems to have struck a chord, probably because it was the first book to have come along with a kind of general theory about what is going on with populism, Brexit, Trump and so on.
Let me start, I am late on PowerPoint presentations, I only discovered how to do this a few months ago when everybody else seems to have given them up. I do find them quite useful as when your mind wanders as it no doubt will from time to time when I am speaking, you can have a look at my words on the board instead. The book has been around now for a few weeks and has got a surprising amount of publicity so you may have read something about it already and it has a thesis which is easy caricatured which is both a strength and a weakness in a book. You want your book to be easily describable but you don’t want it to be turned into a cartoon of itself.
In British society, I talk about this group called the anywhere’s, the people who are highly educated and tend to be mobile that is particularly true in this country because of our residential university system and the impact on London on professional careers, so many people end up in other professional careers coming to London at least for a period. Anywhere’s following on from the kind of life that educated, mobile people have, there is a certain set of assumptions and values which go with that – openness, autonomy, that it is happy with the more fluid and open societies that we live in today. Anywhere’s constitute about 20-25% of the population. There is a much larger group, almost double the size that I label somewhere’s who tend to be less well educated, tend to be more routed, tend to have values that we associate with that rather different kind of life, so they value security and familiarity. They also tend to have much stronger attachments to group identities of various kinds whether it is national or ethnic or just attachment to particular places and I think that is a very important difference between anywhere’s and somewhere’s.
There is another very important difference to which is illustrated by the very useful binary invented by the American Sociologist Talcott Parsons, when I was at University you would talk to people studying sociology and they would grimace when they heard Talcott Parsons name, he was the father of functionalist sociology, kind of the chemistry textbooks of sociology. He did come up with a very useful theory, when you talk about human identity, he talked about human identities as being on a spectrum from the achieved to the ascribed. Anywhere’s tend to have achieved identities, that means their sense of themselves come from their own achievements, did well in past exams when they were younger, went to good universities, they have relatively successful ideas, so their sense of themselves comes from their own achievements and they can often acquire a sense of self invention from that. It means that their identity is more adaptable, they can live anywhere amongst different groups of people and not feel discomforted. If your identity is mainly ascribed you know I am white, male, British, most of your identity is to do with the ascribed aspects of your person then you are more likely to feel discomforted by change because your identity is connected to particular places and particular groups and if those groups and places change, you are likely to be discomforted by that. Those two things are very important in the argument about populism, the distinction between anywhere’s and somewhere’s is usually if people can ride social change, anywhere’s can, somewhere’s with more difficulty. These different kinds of identity which are related to different attitudes to group identification.
Now it does sound a bit crude and a bit binary in those simple terms and you are right in some ways but if you do read the book I think you will find that there is a fair amount of light and shade, there is a very big inbetweener group, I call the inbetweeners about 25% of the population. There is a huge variety of different anywhere’s in some ways the more extreme anywhere’s I call villagers they are about 5% of the population, they are genuinely universalists, more likely to say they identify as European or as world citizens before British or equally with British identifications. At the kind of bottom end of the somewhere’s you get about 5-7% of the population who are genuinely authoritarians.
Two very important points, first of all I have invented the labels, I haven’t invented the value groups they really are as the academics like to say if you look at things like the British social attitude surveys and you interrogate them over these questions of openness and so on, you will find that the groups correspond pretty well to, one kind argue about the exact proportions I am giving to these groups, it is fuzzy at the edges and obviously values change over time, but they really do exist, I have not invented the value groups, I have only invented these labels.
The other thing remember is that both of these groups are obviously completely legitimate ways of looking at the world and feeling about the world. Although I will go on to be critical of the anywhere over-domination of society and politics, I think the anywhere’s world value is just as valid as the somewhere’s world view.
It overlaps somewhat with social class, or quite a lot with social class but it is distinct. I think these value groups are distinct from social class and you can think of common social types both of whom are very much in the anywhere camp but would be in a very different position on the left/right spectrum. So a successful management consultant, someone who went to university, is very pro the market economy and tends to vote for the most economically liberal parties but is also high educated, very internationally minded, speaks several languages so is very much an anywhere and say a left-wing academic who is by definition, on the left and votes left but shares those same attitudes to openness and change, being comfortable with change and so on. On the other side of somewhere social types, the working class pensioner in Sunderland on one hand and a relatively affluent Devon farmer say on the other hand who reads the Daily Mail and has a couple of big cars in the garage but they have very similar views about social change, national identity and things like that.
In the book I talk about anywhere’s world views being progressive and individualist and the somewhere world view perhaps rather more controversially has been decent populist and some people would think that has been a contradiction in terms, I don’t. The reason for those similarities is again just look at what people say about their beliefs and values and somewhere’s generally speaking go along with what is sometimes called the great liberalisation, again if you look at the British attitude surveys and you look at surveys on race, sexuality, gender, there has been a huge shift in liberal direction over the past forty years and somewhere’s have largely gone along with that, perhaps some more reluctantly than anywhere’s, anywhere’s have been in the vanguard of it, somewhere’s have largely accepted it with some reservations and some sense of the consequences of some of these changes. There are limits to the great liberalisation, somewhere’s are not liberals, they are not necessarily il-liberal either but they continue to have beliefs and traditions which are very different to anywhere’s when it comes to say strong national attachments, hostility to large scale immigration. Somebody wrote to me yesterday and said I think of them as the typical somewhere attitude to immigration is not the kind of hostility which was often expressed to post-colonial immigration in the 60s and 70s. It’s not don’t send people home, it is just can we have a slightly lower rate of arrival. I think that sums it up kind of well.
Somewhere’s will often have a stronger sense of the common shared norms in society, somewhere’s kind of carry society in them more than anywhere’s in many ways although anywhere’s often think of themselves as very socially minded, somewhere’s feel society in a way that anywhere’s often don’t so they have a greater anxiety about minority immigration for example. They are often less well-off so they are sensitive to welfare free riding, they far prefer a more contribution based welfare system, the essentially means tested safety net system which we have developed and in the politics of the family say, they don’t want to go back to the 1950s but they are comfortable with the sort of modified male breadwinner model both men and women, they are not particularly attracted to the more androgynous upper divisional class gender division of labour.
So why is all of this happening now, why has this become so important? I mean a lot of these things which I am talking about, you might say have been around forever or for a very long time, anyways you have always had highly educated people who tend to be a bit more liberal and you have less well educated people who live in a sort of smaller, narrower, world. The reason why it has become more important now is because of what has been happening in our economy and society in the last generation or so. We have become much more open economically and culturally and that has created a reaction, it has created a response. One way of putting that is to say that socio-cultural politics has risen to compete with even eclipse in some respects more traditional socio-economic politics in left and right, arguments about size of the state and inequality and so on. These have not disappeared completely but they have been, they have had to kind of make room for this much bigger argument about security, identity and boarders and so on which has arisen because those things have been put in to play so to speak which wasn’t the case fifty years ago.
This sometimes describes the shift in left/right, open/closed, I think that is a very self-regarding way of looking at it from people who are openers, I have never met anyone who wants to live in a closed society, but a lot of somewhere’ s think the kind of openness we have at the minute is not benefiting them and they would like a different kind of openness.
The other reason why it is so important now is simply because the rapid increase in the numbers of anywhere’s and the anywhere population, probably only 5/10% of the population up until the 1970s, 1980s it is much more now than double that mainly because of the huge expansion of higher education. Higher education is a great machine for producing anywhere’s. There are aspects of modern society which I also think encourage more anywhere attitudes, people tend to have wider networks than they used to, people just tend to be more mobile in general. Everybody including somewhere’s, the cost of transport has fallen sort of within countries and between them. This has all produced a great instability in all parties because I don’t think we have recognised this has much as we should have done and the instability has been introduced partly because, as I mentioned earlier, the over dominance of anywhere attitudes and thinking in are political class and in our policies. All the major parties have now been for some time dominated by anywhere assumptions and that has made many somewhere’s lose faith in the system. A lot of people stopped voting, a lot of somewhere’s stopped voting that is why Brexit was such a surprise to a whole group of people who had been outside the political system for a generation came back or some of them came back and voted in the referendum.
I just want to briefly run through, I will stop in a couple of minutes but let me briefly run through what I see as the anywhere over domination of our society. Some of these things are trends which were happening anyways, you can’t blame the anywhere’s for taking advantage of them but the knowledge economy just the very phrase, the knowledge economy obviously benefits the higher educated meanwhile a lot of the middling jobs that somewhere’s would go and prestige from have disappeared, partly to do with the shrinking of manufacturing and we have now this sort of hour glass labour market which has relatively basic jobs at the bottom and 30/40% of the labour market at the top are more higher paid, more productive jobs.
You have seen it in what has happened to our education system, massive expansion of higher education, obviously an area that anywhere’s thrive in but the continued neglect of more vocational and technical training. This is obviously a particularly British thing and goes back a long way and various attempts have been made to deal with this, there is another one going on at the moment which may or may not work.
There is an interesting broader point here to relating to the knowledge economy and the expansion of higher education which is that our society has come to value cognitive ability before all other things, it has become a gold standard of public esteem and sense of achievement. It wasn’t that long ago that lots of jobs which were reasonably well paid and relatively prestigious didn’t require a lot of cognitive or analytical ability but did require a lot of experience to do well. That particularly applies to skilled manual occupations which have obviously gone. You needed to do this job for a long time to do it well, you couldn’t just walk in with a fancy degree from a grand university and do it and that sort of protected people’s status in a way, those sort of jobs are much more redundant now.
Other areas of anywhere dominance, just the general economic openness, large scale immigration tends to the be broadly neutral but certainly economic progressive, certainly more affluent, educated people both feel more comfortable with it and tend to benefit more from it. Freedom of movement is an absolute classic example, if you are a city lawyer you might well benefit from the freedom of movement, you and your children, you might go and work in Berlin for a couple of years and you will be sort of protected in some ways by various professional rules and regulations. If you work in food manufacturing, a production worker in food manufacturing you face a great deal of competition and you are not likely to have the skills or attitude that will take you to the continent. The food manufacturing sector employs about 400’000 people. 120’000 of those people come from central and Eastern Europe, just from 2004/5. It is really quite an astonishing number.
The huge emphasis on our family policy and gender policy on making it as easy as possible for professional women to combine successful professional careers with having children, make the sort of child penalty as low as possible. That is fine, more women on boards I think is a good thing but it has neglected enormous family issues particularly in the bottom half of the income spectrum where more than half the population, if you are a kid growing up in one of those families in a conventional two parent family and we have no support for the family in the tax system, there has been talk of trying to do what so many other countries do which bring couples together to share their tax allowances. We do that but only to a tiny extent, you have to be married, I think being married is preferable but I think it should be open to anyone who is bringing up children together.
The modified male breadwinner model is very popular, about 70% of women in Britain support it and would like a reliable earning male whilst they are bringing up children. Of course women have to work to generally but will put the family first when they have young children. That isn’t really reflected in our policies and indeed our public conversation.
Technocratic state is actually a very interesting other one that so much has been taken out of the democratic contest in the last generation or so, everything from independent central banks to activist judiciary and the whole flourishing of human rights legislation. Of course the European Union sprouted vast amounts of legislation, all of which were outside the normal political process. Now you can argue about the rights and wrongs and removing things from that process but you can bet your bottom dollar that when something is taken out of the normal democratic contest the decisions taken will affect interests, decisions and priorities.
Now this all seems a little one sided and you might be thinking hang on a sec, somewhere’s aren’t without any imprint on our society look at The Sun and The Daily Mail, these are the two biggest selling newspapers in Britain that give in many respects a sort of somewhere voice a very big presence. That is true but it is remarkable how little influence they tend to have on direct policy outside a few narrow areas, immigration policy might be one, criminal justice might be another and indeed the welfare cap which has been introduced. They have some influence but it is very much a margin.
Let me just briefly, a couple of sentences on this one – the meaning of money. Economic and cultural things are very muddled up together, so I don’t want to say that it is not anything to do with the economy and the rise of populism. I do think what we are talking about has much more to do with cultural things, much more to do with meaning, status, recognition and social honour. It is the rise of the meritocracy which I think is more relevant today than ever.
Very final point, I don’t want to be too pessimistic about this like I said both of these world views are completely legitimate, they just happen to be in tension with each other in many respects particularly as we move from more socio-economic to more socio-cultural politics. The task of politics I think is to find a settlement between them, first of all to become more conscious of these divisions and I think particularly for anywhere’s to acknowledge and become a bit more emotionally intelligent about their domination of the game, of the political and economic game in our society and grant somewhere’s more space in the system without lurching into widely liberal directions. I am going to end without squashing the anywhere dynamism which is one of the driving forces in our society. I think there is this debate going on in our politics between the militant anywhere’s and the acknowledged anywhere’s who is represented by our PM, Theresa May who I think is more than capable than anyone to provide a bridge between anywhere and somewhere world views. Let me stop there and here what you have to say.
Timothy Stafford: David perhaps I could begin with one comment and one question. I very much liked your point when you was talking about the lawyer and the food manufacturing it brought me back to the incident in the 2010 campaign in this country when Gordon Brown met this lady Gillian Duffy and the bigoted lady comment was made. Before this comment was made I will always recall the statement he made about immigration which was there has been just as many people going into the European Union from coming into Britain from the European Union as this almost offset each other as, as you point out some agreed with him some didn’t.
My question is about what you think the future of the vocation will be for Britain and it’s politics, the title of the book is the road to somewhere, I was wondering if you could look ahead because as you were talking about the fact that socio-economic politics are being displaced by socio-cultural politics I couldn’t help thinking about the recent presidential election in France when you have this almost near perfect breakdown in the first round of the closed left voting for Mélenchon and the open left voting for Macron, the open right voting for Fillon and the closed right voting for Le Pen. Almost all of them clustered around the 19-23%, you have all four of the strands on display whereas in the UK it seems at the moment that on the right there has been this great consensus after Brexit between the open right and the closed right and it is the left that is divided. Is that a sustainable model and where do you see things going in the next 10, 15, 20 years? Could it be the case that once Brexit is completed the closed right will say now Brexit is completed, we still don’t think the system is closed enough and we will see a new fragmentation, are we due for a fragmentation all across the board or I notice on your last slide you had the hidden majority reinventing the wrong middle, will there be something to unite the open left and the open right or can you see somebody unite all the closed wings? I was just wondering if you could look ahead, where does this lead us.
David Goodhart: I think it leads us to Theresa May as I have just said although she is making a bit of a hash of this election so far but I mean she will presumably win very comfortably. I think there has always been a sort of supressed majority in the past few decades in our kind of societies which I think it is Daniel Bell the American Sociologist at the end of ideology, culture conflicts of capitalism talked about being a social democrat in economics, a liberal in politics and a social conservative in social and cultural politics. Now what all those phrases mean changes quite dramatically over time so being socially conservative now is accepting vast numbers of things that would have been considered extreme liberal 40 or 50 years ago but that combination is probably a combination of what the British electorate majority would vote for but they haven’t ever been offered it. They haven’t been offered it in my lifetime anyways it is partly because the left went off in a radically liberal direction in social and cultural issues after the 60s and the right went off in a radically free market direction in the 80s. Now I think the Nick Timothy influenced manifesto that has just been produced, it is an extraordinary document and the Conservative policies are way to the left of Corbyn’s Labour party in so many areas including in social care. They were arguing for a different divide between private and public support in social care which required much more private sector funding from affluent Brits whereas Jeremy Corbyn was saying you can have it all free from the tax payer. He was wanting to abolish Student University fees which was one of the most economically produced polices by the Blair government. They were very explicit we are for community and we are for country, conscious use of talking about working class families and wanting to build more council homes and so on.
I think this new, this sort of hidden majority may not be so hidden if they can win this election comfortably and not make too many mistakes and keep this show on the road and get a reasonable Brexit deal. It is hard to see other parties where they break in really. It is remarkable how much hostility to business there is in all the main manifestos in this election and I think business has probably brought it upon itself. The amount that British companies spend on training has fallen by about 20% in the last 15 years or so partly because they have had the reserve army of labour in Europe with all levels of training and education. They have also had a free graduate population and I think business have, I mean it is probably part of the necessary progress to becoming more efficient, but in the 80s and 90s business became more international and felt less national obligation. I think a lot of companies are less good national citizens and there is an attempt by the politicians now to make them become better national citizens.
It doesn’t really answer your very good question.
Timothy Stafford: We will open it up to other very good questions, hopefully they will be answerable. If you could give your name and where you are from today that would be very helpful.
Question 1: Nicholas Maclean, could I just ask you two things, you said Theresa May could be a bridge but if the Conservative party do win she has said that the citizens of the world are citizens of nowhere, that is more shut up and get lost to the anywhere’s. You also talk about the inbetweeners are they a bridge or aversion to the two other groups?
David Goodhart: The people of nowhere collate to my global villages they are at the extreme end of the anywhere’s, I think most anywhere’s tend to be patriotic possibly rather less so than your typical somewhere, they kind of need the nation less on a whole than somewhere’s both emotionally and economically. She is a bridge in her own attitudes I think and her own life. She is a reluctant remain voter, she was a Conservative liberaliser but she was also on the other hand a tough minded home secretary for 6 or 7 years and she is also a very clear rooted middle class, Southern Englander. In her own biography and attitude she represents some kind of bridge.
This is all obviously speculation the crucial thing is Brexit itself has obviously changed the balance of power, the danger is we get into a values version of the Labour capital conflict of the 1970s and that is not impossible. We could end up with both sides not strong enough to prevail. The anywhere’s have had it all their own way they have prevailed over the past 20/25 years and that has created an instability in our politics for somewhere’s. The somewhere’s have hit back and lashed out and we are leaving the EU as a result of that which may or may not be a sensible thing to do. They have flexed their muscles in the only place they can which is the referendum ballot box. They can’t in a normal election because their interests and priorities are not reflected in the major parties and that is unstable and we want to avoid that and we avoid it through building some of those layers back into the system, as I say Brexit itself is an expression of somewhere’s priorities in many ways and how we build on that without tipping up the boat in the other direction I don’t know.
Compulsory voting I think here, I didn’t talk about it in the book but I do think although countries that have it are not necessarily countries or perhaps they are, Australia I don’t know very much about Australia, Belgium doesn’t strike me but maybe it is. Germany has got these things right, you have a better balance between anywhere’s and somewhere’s, an institutionalised voice for organised labour. You don’t have a London in Germany, you do not have elite universities with global reputations which is good from the point of view of your middling German, you have this great tradition of apprenticeships which we admire and so on. You have this rootedness in the lender, you know everyone comes from a land, from a state which often its history will disappear back into the myths of time, ancient German principality and people speak in a certain way at home and when they travel around the country. There is a sort of anywhere/somewhere combination that is to be admired. Obviously like with Will Hutton’s statement we can’t just copy the German model we have different traditions and I think it is true here but I think it shows you can finder a better balance in modern, liberal societies than what we have achieved.
Question 2: Thank you Rich Haller is my name, you talk about rebalancing the somewhere’s and the anywhere’s how do you go about doing that do you have quotas and is it around how you educate people, is it the same as racial quotas or is it a gender quota?
David Goodhart: No I think that is a slightly factious notion but well it is kind of what I have been talking about I mean I think other sort of bridge areas are the environment, I think this is perhaps slightly wishful thinking, I mean in the sense that somewhere’s have an attachment to particular places, they have lived in these places all their lives and haven’t moved like the anywhere’s have tend to have gone to residential universities and not gone home. Most anywhere’s whatever their social class background would have no close friends who are not graduates and I think that has led to a slightly sharper anywhere/somewhere distinction in society than perhaps that is partly to do with residential universities. The children of the elites in Europe tend to go abroad to university, your average middle class person who goes to university will often stay in their hometown in France, Germany, Italy, Spain. Same in America actually, half of university students live with their parents not people who go to the Ivy League universities, those are residential but I think that has created a slightly bigger divide.
I am not just becoming aware of these things, using a different kind of rhetoric and a different type of language I would give Theresa May, language and rhetoric are the easy bit, one thing I didn’t talk about is the whole problem with social mobility and we talk about social mobility in far too radical a way. You listen to Nick Clegg and Alan Milburn talking about this and they talk about this in a huge step, actually most social mobility is about smaller incremental steps and that used to be easier actually when we have a different structure of the labour market, you could move up, you could see your progression moving upwards into a slightly higher paid job. Partly because of the changes in British society you do often need those big steps but I think we need to think about those big steps, it is also saying to people be like us. I think it is illogically possible for everyone to be like Nick Clegg and Alan Milburn, there is only so much space at the top of the labour market for high, prestigious and well paid jobs.
There is not enough awareness of the shadow that is cast behind people when they leave. We place all of the status and all of the prestige on the leavers, the leavers who tended to be remainers when it came to Brexit and the remainers tended to be leavers. There was a very good example the other day, Justine Greenings who was the secretary of state for Education gave a speech to the social mobility commission in which he talked about growing up in Rotherham and how she yearned to own her own house and to have an interesting job and to have a challenging life and she realised that she couldn’t have them things in Rotherham, so she had to get out. I think that is an extraordinary tiniered thing to say, Rotherham is not a one horse town, this is a town of over 120’000 people are we really saying you cannot have a decent achieved life in Rotherham, if we are then we have a very topsy-turvey country.
There is a whole section on meritocracy in the Conservative manifesto and you know everyone believes in meritocracy and you want a fair degree of social mobility but the recognition that they were talking about a very unequal distribution of status, we need more status and more decent lives for remainers, people who stay in their homes in Rotherham. I think she is doing that in a lot of the practical things they are proposing, finally trying to sort out technical information, creating some new institutions and renationalising the labour market a bit through restrictions on immigration but they need to find a language to talk about the kind of darker side of meritocracy and social mobility and recognise that we need a balance in these things. We have talked relentlessly only about one group.
Question 3: You mentioned about inaudible… that used to exist and indeed a lot of cognitive ability inaudible… I was wondering if you had more examples of that and whether it inaudible…
David Goodhart: If is the quality of the jobs, character, moral standing, experience, you just have to list these things and it sounds kind of Victorian. One of the things that might create a better balance in the medium term between the anywhere’s and somewhere’s is actually the disappearance of a lot of anywhere jobs. Somewhere jobs tended to go in the industrialisation past couple of generations or so but actually now with the software that can replace your accountant or your lawyer or possibly your doctor means that a lot of anywhere’s are going to face the same thing. A lot of us are going to be working in more perhaps face to face or caring jobs or education jobs which will be much more actually about your character and personality, your liability I mean obviously a lot of them will require analytical ability to. It may be that the domination of cognitive ability will become actually less marked.
Question 4: You have just touched on a few points that I was going to ask which is obviously I think you are right in your book that you state higher education has been a gateway for the growth of the anywhere label and obviously higher education is becoming more expensive all the time and now Theresa May is focussing on vocational qualifications and apprenticeships and so on and so forth. So I was just going to ask how you saw it developing because I do believe some people are being put off higher education and universities are obviously going hell for leather for the international students. So there is a very strange dynamic going on.
David Goodhart: I think it would be quite a good thing if people were put off in some ways. I think we should call universities, only Russell Group universities, I think the others should have a more fluid and more graduated system post school education and training. At the moment we still have the university route as the one that most people understand, it is the one that all of your teachers would have gone through at school so it is the one they understand. It also remains the most heavily subsidised of all post school routes despite fees. 70% of students are not going to repay their fees that represents a massive tax payer subsidiary still.
Question 4: You also have the growth of a high number of students who don’t end up going in to what they might consider a job that reflects their education.
David Goodhart: Ye you have disappointed expectations and you also have somewhere’s being sat on again by lots of anywhere’s, graduates are moving in to non-graduate jobs, particularly the managerial roles in relatively low prestige, clerical work it will be the graduates who take the more prestigious jobs. That is not fair on the somewhere’s.
Question 5: Your description of the anywhere’s was very much a description of the self-image, not of the reality, you described them of embracing openness do they really inaudible…. Liberals inaudible… you describe somewhere’s as groups inaudible… ethnic minorities and kept them close together in building blocks inaudible… You mentioned another point on higher education inaudible… people want safe spaces for ideas so possibly that is a reason for the differences between anywhere’s and somewhere’s that you are describing, in fact the somewhere’s are more open minded.
David Goodhart: You are actually right yes, I think that is a very good point and I have had a lot of generally kind reviews accept for that point was made in one of the reviews and I think it is a very good one that anywhere’s are somewhere’s to in the sense they are rooted in their own networks but they are less connected to place than somewhere’s but they find new places you know Brighton, Bristol places that people come to from elsewhere. You are absolutely right they have just as much or if not more inaudible than somewhere’s. Yeah I take the point you are absolutely right.
Timothy Stafford: We are almost out of time so I am going to take questions in groups and perhaps lets have some shorter questions and shorter answers.
Question 6: Thank you very much, Euan Grant from Law Enforcement intelligent analysts my question follows directly on from the previous gentlemen’s. Given that you are probably by upbringing and background a member of the anywhere’s how have people in your personal circle of work and social life, how have they reacted to your book? Have you seen any signs amongst them, particularly perhaps the global villagers and I would just say in closing your comment about the somewhere’s feel society more I really think that justifies coming to this event in itself.
Question 7: I suspect from your talk that the somewhere’s and anywhere’s have completely different ways of looking at the world. They are two different tribes the ways the anywhere’s look at the world based on facts and displayed on logical arguments. Chronic investment magazine did a poll on its staff before the referendum on whether they were remain or leave and 90% were remain because they looked at all the arguments and decided that remain was better. If we look at the somewhere’s I hear stories that many of the somewhere’s live in tight knit communities, deeply hostile to outsiders…
Question 8: I was just wondering whether you think the compact between the anywhere’s and the somewhere’s was broken by two things – the bank bail outs and also the increase of terrorism.
Question 9: Is Trump a political genius by saying that he loved the poorly educated despite being mocked by the press?
David Goodhart: On personal stuff I sort of stuck my neck out on things for some years so I am kind of quite used to a degree of hostility. You get much more trouble if you talk about race, culture and immigration which my last book was about. This book because it doesn’t speak hugely about those things, I wouldn’t say I have lost friends but there have been strained. I actually voted remain most people think that I voted for Brexit, I didn’t but it has certainly made one or two people take me off their Christmas card list at it where.
I have four children and at least two of them are very much part of the sort of safe space, liberal blob and that is kind of frustrating because you just want to slap them some of the time.
Audience Member: Someone told me today they thought you were very brave for writing the book
David Goodhart: I don’t think I was particularly, I don’t think I have got that much hostility. In fact most of the reviews have been quite favourable, it was interesting I did experience a period in the few months before writing the book I left one think tank where I had been doing a lot of work on ethnic issues, minority and immigration, I had created this website called the integration hub, the government was expressing interest in the subject and for various reasons I was moving on from Demos and many of the various London universities have these public policy units which I thought would be perfect, Kings, LSE, Queen Mary none of them were interested at all and then nobody was interested in publishing this book. All of the big publishers and my agent showed me the emails which said I like what David has said but I think I am anywhere I don’t think so and they took it really personally. I thought what a cottage industry British publishing is, they couldn’t see that this book, I mean admittingly to be fair to them I was sending around the proposal before Brexit and we sent it out again after Brexit but it was published by a small publisher who did a very good job. So the combination of those two things did make me think perhaps I have been black balled from the club but actually since writing the book I have had very friendly reviews and almost everywhere I have spoken, I spoke to a group of fund managers actually very kind of city and they absolutely loved it. They declared to me afterwards one of the reasons why they love it is because the book is not attacking the rich they can disappear into the anywhere crowd because it takes the focus away from economic equality which they are normally being beat over the head with.
That gentleman there I absolutely agree I don’t want to go for too much anywhere bashing because of the qualities associated with cognitive ability and analytical intelligence there is this sense that anywhere’s see the world clearly and that somewhere’s are blinkered by sifting it through their instincts but I think that is often not the case. Anywhere’s often have a kind or moral superiority that justifies their prejudices whereas somewhere’s don’t have that luxury. I think those closed communities don’t really exist much longer maybe in one or two places but I am always arguing against the liberal assumption when people say oh they are anti-immigrant and what they actually mean is they are anti mass immigration. Most people are not anti-immigrant they just want less immigration these are very, very different things and liberals tend to conflate the two.
The final point about bank bailouts we were trying to avoid a repeat of 1929. There was no other way of doing it than a tax funded bailout, the anywhere’s were paying too, don’t forget the top 1% of earners pay towards 25% of all income tax. The financial system is not like the steel industry, steel plants can close and it doesn’t affect the whole economy, if all the banks close we are screwed. It is just in the nature of finance that we have to be more careful about it.
The real turning point for me on the kind of anywhere rule, two things actually was enlargement. Ironically enlargement was the thing that the British government pushed more than any other government in the European Union and it is now why we are leaving the European Union. The combination of freedom of movement in a way we had never experienced before 2004. The 2004 decision to open our labour market to Eastern Europeans, 7 years before we had to just showed how utterly separated from its roots the Labour party had become. They had perfectly geo-political reasons for doing it, Eastern European support in the Iraq war and so on and so forth but they were just so out of touch and what that showed to a lot of people, they didn’t know that so many people were going to come but you know they are paid to provide good judgements. They thought 15’000 people were going to come and in fact a million and a half came over the next 4 or 5 years. I do think what it revealed to people was the fact that we had lost control of our politics in a way with post-colonial immigration there was tension in the 60s and the 70s but by the kind of 80s and 90s people had come to accept that we had become a multi-ethnic society, we weren’t then yet a mass immigration society, the minority population was 6 or 7% in the early 90s but politicians were ready to respond to anxieties about immigration by closing down on the numbers which they did in the 80s and 90s and we had negative net immigration in the early 1990s. So when we had this shock after 2004 and when we weren’t able to do anything about it, when our Parliament was not able to respond, I think that was a hugely important political moment that alienated very large sections of the population even if their jobs were not affected by Eastern European immigration.
Trump seems to have some instinct of understanding of the status divides and this humiliation people feel they have experienced in the last generation or two and tapped into that. I sort of wish that Theresa May would not say it wouldn’t be in her character to say something quite as crass as that but send signals I think she is sort of doing it through policy but her rhetoric needs to catch up in this area I think.
Timothy Stafford: Maybe she should read your book. Thank you very much for coming in today, copies of the book are outside, thank you.