Monday, 27 March 2017

Forwards Updated

The Daily Politics had David Goodhart on. He was given their ‘Soapbox’ platform, to plug that book. 
It must be tedious having to explain his innovative sociological theory again and again, every single time you’re on the bleeding BBC. 

David Goodhart and a passer-by (probably a 'Somewhere')

There are the Somewheres and the Anywheres. The Anywheres are educated and cosmopolitan and the Somewheres are parochial and a bit thick. 
But we, the Anywheres, he explains, mustn’t dismiss the concerns of the Somewheres. If you haven’t read the book, he says, you might assume there’s no nuance, but there is; it’s complicated. 

I haven’t read the book so I mustn’t be judgmental, but if the poor old Somewheres (like me) are guilty of preferring security and familiarity, I suppose the Anywheres prefer insecurity and unfamiliarity. Unattached to the old-style norms, the Anywheres are pioneers of the forthcoming post-everything era. 

I don’t know if it’s only Somewheres that have worries about the rising presence of Islam but I’m sure it’s all addressed in the book, even if it’s all euphemistically couched in language about minority communities.


I don’t want to look as though I’m obsessed with David Goodhart and his book “The road to Somewhere” so I’m updating this post rather than creating yet another post on the topic .
I think I ought to refine my comments, such as they are, because I’ve now read the interviews he gave to Kathy Gyngell over on TCW
I’m beginning to think that the media hasn’t served him well, what with their (and his) exploitation of the provocative soundbite, his invented terms the Anywheres and the Somewheres.” 

Those terms still sound trite and patronising. Even though he modifies these definitions, as he did on the Daily Politics Soapbox, (and has done over a few yearsidentifying the Somewheres as “less educated” is undeniably disparaging. 

Maybe he needed to invent special new terms in order to publicise his book. (I once saw Nigella Lawson doing a book signing in a deserted Bristol superstore) 
Well, I suppose the media has to have something controversial upon which to hang an item, but it does tend to work against one in the long run.

it is indeed true that the Conservative party ‘seems to have gone completely liberal on this issue” and on several other issues, too. 
Mr. Goodhart’s observations about the family, feminism and the way the Conservative government has caved in to the massive pressure from the ‘progressives’ are entirely worthy. His controversial views on mass immigration (not a wholly positive thing) seem pretty bold, too, for a left-leaning think tankist and author.
David Cameron’s enthusiasm for “gay marriage”, Theresa May’s “Terrorism - Nothing To Do With Islam”,  the government’s lack of support for the institution of marriage and the stable family unit show how far left the Conservatives have gone. What with the implosion of the Labour Party, what else could the Tories do but move into the vacuum?
Has David Goodhart has moved in the opposite direction?   Kathy Gyngell has read the book, including the chapter on the destruction of the family. She describes it as excellent.

There. I needed to say that.


  1. Another one doing the "We must listen to them and learn to understand their ways" routine. We've heard it after every single election and vote for years now. It's a load of BS because we know they have listened and hate what they hear and the people they have to listen to.

    It's a very elitist, classist, and somewhat racist thing he's saying. People like Goodhart aren't capable of listening and learning. They are secure in their smugness.

  2. Where does Nowhere Man fit into this arrangement ....
    "He's as blind as he can be
    Just sees what he wants to see
    Nowhere man, can you see me at all" ....?

  3. I'd say at the back of every Anywhere's mind is the thought: "Well if it all goes t*ts up, and I can see how it might well do, at least I have enough money or enough transferable talent to hightail it to somewhere more congenial on the globe."

    The Chancer's Creed. Of course they never own up to thinking like that. But remember Mrs Thatcher talked about setting up Mark and Carol outside the UK if Foot had won the election...the Anywheres have always had options.

    But maybe things are changing. Maybe the Somewheres will have somewhere to go - certainly they may become increasingly desperate to depart. My novel prediction for the future of the UK is that it looks like we may be the first country to commit national suicide. We will see a gathering emigration - probably primarily to Australia would be my guess, though USA, Canada, New Zealand and India also. Remember - emigration is already running at over 300,000 per annum. There's no reason it won't continue to rise to one million plus.

    There may be a rump left, but we could easily see 30 million depart over two decades.

    It's not inevitable but it's going to take another Brexit-like push to stop it happening.

  4. Whilst listening to Goodhart I felt patronized, as though I were being worked among.

  5. Isn’t David Goodhart one of those left wing commentators who suddenly saw the light a few years ago and realised that uncontrolled mass immigration wasn’t necessarily such a great idea? His theory sounds a bit confused to me. In putting everybody into neatly defined categories it would seem that he is looking for a nice safe intellectual “somewhere” to avoid having to face up to the fact that the real world is actually a much more complicated place than he would like to believe. Perhaps he is not really an “anywhere” after all.

    1. Yes, he's an old (left) hand from Marxism Today.

      His analysis is not so different from the BBC's "progressive get-aheads" versus "racist left behinds" but slightly closer to the truth.

      One thing though is that attitudes change with reality. A lot of the middle classes are beginning to feel left behind as they see their children can't get on to medical or law courses, or can't afford to buy even a basic flat down south.

  6. I have a 'country cousin'. I expect he is a 'somewhere' as his family has been in business in the same village for 200 years.
    I expect a metro-elite 'anywhere' would find him slow as he tends to listen, (having two ears and only one mouth).
    It is fascinating and instructive to watch as a 'towny' lays forth their theories as to how things should be done, then, when they have run out of breath, my cousin drops in the devastating one-liner.

  7. Let's be fair, this is no more or less patronising than Nigel Farage's "common sense" speaking on behalf of the "ordinary working person".

    Meanwhile, the ruling Conservative Party are continuing to forewarn that immigration will continue in post-Brexit Britain but at a "sustainable" level. Which is novel. A commitment to bridge the "skills gap" that's the justification for this as necessity remains absent alas. Also novel.

    1. I am by no means a UKIP supporter but it is clear that, at the time of the referendum Farage was speaking for a large proportion of people - even if you find the term "ordinary working person" distasteful. On the other hand the group David Goodhart is referring to, is an entirely imaginary concoction. Par for the course for a Marxist, but nevertheless deeply insulting to the people who he chooses to define in this manner. The BBC like it because it fits into their narrative.

      No government either Labour or Conservative over the last fifty years has faced up to the consequences of mass immigration.

    2. In all fairness, I don't think that generalising, grouping and imaginary concoctions are the sole preserve of the Marxist (whose malevolent influence within the UK is grossly exaggerated in any event). It's how the MSM operates. Al-Qaeda, a shadowy organisation much like Spectre, was once - according to the MSM - behind every instance of Islamic terrorism/atrocities until it was superseded by Islamic State/So-Called Islamic State/ISIS.

      The BBC's dalliance with the likes of Goodhart is indicative of a very cosy, upper middle class hypocritical 'Marxism' at best/worst, that is only picked up on by the same cosy, upper middle class hypocrites reminiscing on the University seminars of their youth and lazy journalists looking for a generalising term. Its influence beyond this is scant.

    3. AnonAnon, aren't you forgetting the BBC's significant influence on the news agenda and public discourse?

      And it's 'neo-Marxism' these days. A kinder, gentler Marxism perhaps, but rooted in the destructive mindset nonetheless.

    4. But, but... 'fair' was used twice! That means you can't come back with facts. Apparently.

      I do hope this comment is not unreasonably disproportionate, however that too gets charted.

    5. David, I think the point I'm making is that having this Goodhart chap in for a chat and taking umbrage at his "Anywheres" and "Somewheres" is hardly setting the news world alight or even directing public debate, particularly as Sue admits to making assumptions about the meaning of it all.

      Having read a bit more about it in the article below, the "Anywheres" and "Somewheres" are a construct not dissimilar to "left" and "right".

      I'm not sure either that he is really a Marxist, neo or otherwise.

      "But, but... 'fair' was used twice! That means you can't come back with facts. Apparently."

      It means that does it? Well, I am enlightened now. Thanks as always, Peter.

    6. Oh well, perhaps it’s David Goodhart’s ‘new labels for old theories’ that are hardly likely to “set the news world alight,” so I’m asking why the BBC is so keen to market his book for him. Admittedly, that’s only an assumption, but when someone is doing the rounds with a new book, and has been given as much free publicity by the BBC as David Goodhart clearly has, it’s worth asking what all the fuss is about, wouldn’t you say?

    7. AnonAnon, but it's not just this Goodhart chap they have in for a chat, is it? It's a constant stream of them, across the spectrum of broadcasting. People with this shared worldview are far more common on the BBC than those from the other side of the spectrum on these issues.

      Craig's work alone has provided plenty of evidence of this fairly extreme imbalance of influence. From Thought for the Day to the Dateline panels, it's far, far more than the occasional chat with one or two Goodhart types.

    8. Goodhart's pro-Brexit, is that part of the World view? I've also read on here the notion that the BBC wants the Union to break up (which I'd dispute but...) yet Goodhart opposes Scottish independence. World view?

      He's primarily a journalist, granted one who has had a past dalliance with Marxist journals and the modern malaise of think tanks, but also The Independent, Guardian and The Times, and is the Son of a former Conservative MP. I'd guess his profession and social connections were probably more decisive in his appearance on the BBC than his World view. It's a small World in the MSM.

      Let's just remind ourselves of the reach of the BBC's influence:
      1) Conservative Government.
      2) Brexit.
      3) Trump.

      Is it really all that?

    9. Is he ideologically pro-Brexit, or is it more a case of Goodhart being in line with someone like Rod Liddle, an old-school Leftie who dislikes the so-called Liberal Elite and saw their constant disregard for the working class masses as a recipe for disaster? From what I have read, Goodhart says that they ignored the complaints about rapid, mass immigration for too long and the 'Anywheres' have become too detached. He's not alone in saying that, but he started out from the Left-wing perspective, no?

      (Liddle, of course, hates the so-called Liberal Elite for class war reasons as much as anything else.)

      Not even the BBC could help Ed Miliband from crashing and burning. Nor could they do anything about Labour being wiped out in Scotland because the party doesn't offer FREEDOM along with the Socialism. The BBC didn't try to prevent angry Lib Dem voters from abandoning the party because Clegg put the Tories into power and betrayed them, either. That's what led to the Conservative majority.

      I don't think the BBC is pro-Scottish independence at all. I never bought into those claims, as it makes zero sense for the Leviathan to want to cut off a few of its own tentacles (mixed metaphor, I know).

      As for the BBC's influence, they used their influence the wrong way. Calling everyone who disagreed with them racists and ignorant was a significant factor in solidifying the Brexit vote. The BBC was at the forefront of the Project Fear and You're a Racist campaigns. They went into overdrive on that because they believed they had the influence to pull it off. It backfired, but in no way does that mean they don't have the influence I'm talking about. It's no different from the Left-wing US media abusing their own influence and pushing US voters towards voting for Trump.

      'Influence' doesn't mean victory every time out. If the BBC didn't have that much influence, the Tories would have the courage to do something about it instead of making the occasional toothless threat and then praising it as the National Treasure.

      Fortunately, the BBC still has essentially zero influence in the US (not for lack of trying, of course), so Trump is irrelevant to this discussion.

    10. There is no indication whatsoever that the BBC is pro-Scottish independence. But they were, briefly during the General Election campaign in 2015 pro-SDP. They were hoping, indeed expecting, the result to be a coalition between Labour and primarily the SDP.
      As much as I disagree with Nicola Sturgeon she comes across better than most of her rivals because she is a much wilier politician. That’s got nothing to do with bias one way or the other.

  8. AnonAnon claims that Al Queda was a shadowy virtually fictional organisation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Until, blown apart by the coalition invasion of Afghanistan following on 9-11, it had a very formal leadership structure.