Sir William Robert Ferdinand Mount, 3rd Baronet (born 2 July 1939), usually known as Ferdinand Mount, is a British writer and novelist, columnist for The Sunday Times, commentator on politics, and Conservative Party politician and think tank operative. He was head of the policy unit in 10 Downing Street in 1982-83, during the time when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, and wrote the 1983 Tory general election manifesto.
For 11 years (1991-2002) he was editor of the Times Literary Supplement. He wrote for The Sunday Times, and in 2005 joined The Daily Telegraph as a commentator. In 2008 and 2009 he contributed articles to Standpoint magazine, published by the Conservative movement think tank the Social Affairs Unit.
He lives in Islington, London. He inherited the Mount baronetcy from his uncle William in 1993. His son Harry Mount is also a journalist and his cousin Mary Cameron is mother of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party.
According to a 2010 report in the New Statesman:
- In a much-discussed speech delivered before she became prime minister, Thatcher had dismissed as incoherent the very idea of "social justice", along with a "progressive consensus" that regarded the notion as fundamental. (It is also worth remembering, incidentally, that in the early 1980s Thatcher had rejected proposals to protect marriage through the tax system, put to her by the then head of the Downing Street Policy Unit, Ferdinand Mount. Mount, who published an elegy to the lost "civilisation" of the English working class at about the time Duncan Smith was establishing the CSJ, has since worked with the think tank's social housing group in what he describes to me as a "fruitful relationship".)
- Ferdinand Mount The Theatre of Politics London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1972.
- Ferdinand Mount The Subversive Family: An Alternative History of Love and Marriage, London: Jonathan Cape, 1982.
- Communism: A Times Literary Supplement Companion (1992), editor, HarperCollins ISBN-10: 0002726726 (US edition: 1993, University Of Chicago Press; ISBN-10: 0226543242; ISBN-13: 978-0226543246)
- The British Constitution Now: Recovery or Decline? (1992) Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd; ISBN-10: 0434479942; ISBN-13: 978-0434479948
- The Recovery of the Constitution (Sovereignty Lectures) (1992) Publisher: Charter 88, ISBN-10: 1873311168, ISBN-13: 978-1873311165
- Ferdinand Mount Mind the Gap: Class in Britain Now (2004) Short Books Ltd; ISBN-10: 1904977324 ISBN-13: 978-1904977322
- Private Life 21st Century (2006) Chatto & Windus ISBN-10: 0701169362; ISBN-13: 978-0701169367
- Ferdinand Mount Full Circle: How the Classical World Came Back to Us, Simon & Schuster, 2010. ISBN 9781847377982
- Lord Young has found that soundbites sometimes bite back. 19 November 2010.
- Mrs. Thatcher sets up her own advisory team. 1 December 1982.
- Ferdinand Mount joins Telegraph. 1 March 2005.
- Standpoint Articles by Ferdinand Mount, accessed 12 April 2011
- Still talking turkey. 28 November 2010.
- Jonathan Derbyshire Poor relations, New Statesman, Published 01 March 2010