David Goodhart - A Young Economists' Dinner Discussion

Held on Wednesday, November 8

With support from Ruffer LLP


  • David Goodhart (Policy Exchange)



A change of pace for our little dining group (attendance at which is notionally restricted to those of you fortunate enough to be still the right side of 40)… We’ve had politicians (Michael Fallon, Nigel Farage, Nigel Lawson), regulators (Jon Cunliffe, Rachel Lomax), entrepreneurs (Jon Moulton, Luke Johnson), economists (John Kay, Charles Goodhart), even socialites (Lynne Rothschild). But this may be the first time we have had as our chief guest someone who has transformed himself from financial journalist to a nationally recognised commentator on social and economic trends.

That may be a clumsy way of putting it. But it is hard to pigeonhole David Goodhart.

Formally, he is the head of the demography, migration and integration unit at Policy Exchange. But he is a lot more than that. Educated at Eton and York, he is a member of a fearsome Anglo-American family that has produced far more than its fair share of intellectuals. He began his career at the Financial Times, before founding Prospect magazine in 1995, where he is still editor-at-large. He then left to be director of Demos, the centre-left think-tank. He is also the author of two books – The British Dream (2013), about post-war multiculturalism and national identity, and The Road to Somewhere (2017), which (IMHO) is the most significant analysis of the problems facing contemporary Britain in many years. 

You will (no doubt) remember that Mrs May picked up, and misquoted, David’s division of the UK into “anywheres” and “somewheres”. You will also, no doubt, remember that (despite his impeccable liberal credentials) David found himself excoriated (e.g. by Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian) as ‘misguided’ or worse. But he is no Katie Hopkins; he is a deeply thoughtful journalist-cum-sociologist who has dared to tackle some of the most fundamental, and divisive, issues of contemporary Britain.

I think he is a breath of fresh air – but judge for yourself. If you (or a colleague) would like to join us for what I can promise will be a stimulating, and eye-opening, evening, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing alex@csfi.org or by calling the Centre at 020 7621 1056. Thanks to Ruffer’s generous hospitality, I can promise excellent victuals. However, since spaces are limited, an early response would be appreciated.

Sincerely yours,

Andrew Hilton