David Goodhart is one of those brave souls with the energy to engage in a perpetual, corrective dialogue with his former comrades on the Left, for nowadays he describes his support for Labour as purely technical. This puts him in the select category of modern renegades. Goodhart’s book is very much part of a pattern of recent works, ranging from Yuval Levin’s The Fractured Republic, on the politics of nostalgia in the USA, to Christophe Guilluy’s La France périphérique. Although Goodhart does refer to some populist movements abroad (though not in Latin America), the real focus of his book is Britain itself.
Goodhart’s premise is that there is today a simple binary opposition, or rather a kind of mutual incomprehension, between two recognisable tribes in the modern world, though more venerable clashes between court and country surely underlie this.