Home' Policy Magazine : Policy Vol 33 - No 3 Contents 54 POLICY • Vol. 33 No. 3 • Spring 2017
REVOLT OF THE MASSES
oligarchy’s shared values that ‘bind and blind’.
Before Brexit their viewpoint dominated the media,
business and academe and set the agenda of the
mainstream political parties.
The baleful consequences of this agenda, however,
were all too evident by the second decade of the
21st century. Before the Blair government’s decision
to open the immigration floodgates, Britain in the
mid-1990s was a multi-racial society with a settled
minority migrant population of around four million
or 7% (p.124).6 By 2016, 18% of the UK’s working
age population was born overseas and Britain’s
official immigrant and minority population had
trebled to about 12 million or over 20% (pp.122-3).
After 2004 and the emphasis on the free movement
of labour, successive governments struggled to keep
migration levels below 300,000 a year. As Goodhart
emphasises, migration was not an ‘unstoppable
force of nature’ but official European policy.
The effects, Goodhart argues, were not entirely
negative. The impact on jobs was less negative
than many people assume and employers were able
to cut training and wage bills. However, wages
also stagnated, the middle was squeezed and ‘the
fiscal contribution of newcomers rapidly turned
negative, placing additional pressure on already
stretched state schools, housing, health and welfare
services. An economic system that once had a place
for those of middling and even lower abilities now
privileges ‘the cognitive elites and the educationally
endowed—in other words the Anywheres’ (p.177).
London, which dominates the UK economy,
is the capital of Anywhere, ‘the apotheosis of the
transactional, market society’ (p.135). Its attraction
to migrants makes it the most economically,
politically and ethnically polarised part of the UK.
The social liberalism of high-end service meccas like
London now contain caste systems based on extreme
wealth and income stratification, where a largely
immigrant menial class services a free spending,
Anywhere oligarchy. As recently as 1971 the white
British comprised 86% of the London population.
By the 2011 census, London had become a ‘majority
minority city’. Anywhere London mayor, Ken
Livingstone, celebrated the diversity but there were
no cockneys left in the East End.
The major group that has lost out from the most
recent wave of migration and globalisation are
poorer people in rich countries. Thus, in working
class towns of the Midlands and North-East, young
white males aged between 18-24 without education
or training enter a twilight world of low status
jobs. At the same time, ‘hillbilly’-like Stoke-on-
Trent witnessed a 200% increase in its foreign-born
population between 2001-14. Significantly, like the
industrial North East and South Wales, Stoke voted
for Brexit in 2016 and for Corbyn’s anti-market
brand of left populism in the 2017 general election.
Across Europe the move to ‘ever closer union’
and the emphasis on the free movement of labour
since 2004 has notably exacerbated the problem of
identity and the burgeoning gap between Anywheres
and Somewheres. It used to be the case that the
educated and affluent were more nationalistic than
the masses because they had a larger stake in the
country. Not anymore.
The Anywhere worldview instead embraces
the philosophy and international legal practice of
human rights, ‘almost as a substitute for national
identity’. The moral equality of all humans is
taken to mean that national borders have become
irrelevant and that partiality for fellow nationals
is somehow flawed (p.109). Gus O’Donnell, ‘the
most senior civil servant in the land’ tells Goodhart
at an Oxford college party in 2011, ‘it’s my job
to maximise global welfare, not national welfare’
(p.15). His dinner companion, Mark Thompson,
Director-General of the BBC, concurred.
Anywheres passionately believe that European
states must dissolve into some form of single
political entity. Yet this vainglorious European
pursuit of integration and immigration has, since
2008, resulted in ‘stagnant growth and high
unemployment’, the inability to secure Europe’s
borders, and Brexit. The free movement of labour,
and the removal of borders following the Schengen
Agreement of 1985—that by 2008 witnessed
The social liberalism of high-end service
meccas like London now contain caste
systems based on extreme wealth and
income stratification, where a largely
immigrant menial class services a free
spending, Anywhere oligarchy.
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