One of the few traditional Conservatives to have served on the Tory front bench under Cameron, Paterson was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before being promoted to the more high profile role of Secretary of State for Defra.

Candidate of the day

Owen Paterson

One day to go and Sir John Major has weighed in. “Labour divides to rule. To win votes they will turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss." We hope we don't wake up with them on Friday.

Hero of the day

Sir John Major

Another awful Labour woman. The fact Ed Miliband’s carved his pledges in stone doesn't mean he might not break them, campaign chief Lucy Powell has said.

Villain of the day

Lucy Powell

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THE REAL CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO

Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

David Keighley’s BBC Watch: If everyone went to university and smoked pot, the Libs would walk it

Reporter Katie Razzall was recently given 10 minutes on Newsnight to explain why ‘uneducated’ voters had so rashly opted for Brexit and were more likely to vote Conservative or Ukip.

It was a classic example of the BBC’s rearguard action to champion liberal values and globalism, and to heap clichéd derision on the Leave side.

Katie, it should be first explained, has form in this arena.  Last June her Referendum Road reports, especially this, from Cornwall, were heavily skewed against Brexit. And of course, she works in a programme team heavily saturated with former Guardian journalists, such as Ian Katz, the editor.

Her ammunition now was a new YouGov poll which, she trumpeted, showed that (as she described) ‘outward looking, educated’ liberals were significantly less likely to vote Tory (and especially Ukip) than those with a degree.

In sharp contrast, the BBC as a whole this week virtually ignored another poll from YouGov, which showed strikingly that of the 48 per cent who voted Remain, only 22 per cent were sticking to that view – overall 68 per cent of the UK now wanted out.

But no matter. Katie had evidence in the other poll to attack Brexit, and she was jolly well going to use it.

First stop was Durham University where – in its refined surroundings - all but one of her highly articulate, educated, interviewees wanted out. They were given clear time and space to advocate that globalism and cultural diversity were the way forward, and at the same time, to stress that no-one had voted for a ‘hard’ Brexit.

Then it was a trip to the dark side. Up the North-East coast to the near-deserted fishing harbour at Sunderland, then to a deprived area of inner-city Tyneside. Here, among the Brexit, Ukip and Tory voters, Razzall edited a scramble of opinions about gloom, doom – and, of course, fear of immigration. Where else, in the BBC’s world, would such negativity towards it exist?

Lo and behold, in and among her deprived masses, was one woman who had gone to university and had dropped out. And guess what? To her, ‘fear’ – of course - was the reason why Britain had voted ’out’.

In fact, the YouGov poll was much more nuanced than Razzall made out.  Sixty per cent of those earning more than £70,000 a year intend to vote Tory, and even 40 per cent of those on under £20,000.  What does that say about contemporary Britain? Razzall and Newsnight weren’t interested.

And 17 per cent of those with ‘no formal qualifications’ will vote Ukip, compared to only four per cent of those with degrees. With Liberal Democrats, the figure is virtually reversed – 5 per cent against 19 per cent. Could that be because smoking cannabis is a university pastime? The Liberal Democrats’ ace policy card in this election, of course, is the legalisation of the drug.

David Keighley

  • Lagopus scotica

    I went to university, never smoked pot once or took any illegal drugs, and I still voted leave. There, that should make the “liberals” logic circuits implode!

    • RobertRetyred

      Don’t worry: they don’t have any.

      • Lagopus scotica

        That explains a lot :)!

  • It says a lot about the youth of today when the two leftie parties are using “free stuff” and “legal pot” to try and entice the millennials to vote for them.

    • I’m guessing they don’t teach this anymore

      “In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
      By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
      But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
      And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

      Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
      And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
      That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
      And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.”

      • Daphne

        Fantastic!

        • HardcastleCraggs

          Kipling always is, although he is long out of fashion.

          • He always is, indeed, though I’m not sure he was ever really in fashion, not in my lifetime anyway.

  • Guy Family

    Not sure why anyone would need a university degree to work out that the EU is a failing, undemocratic socialist experiment and that the UK will be better off out of it.

  • Benthos

    I have a degree, never smoked pot, served my country in the armed forces and voted leave. There is no hard or soft exit, its just leave. Thats what I voted for and thats what I want.

  • Colkitto03

    “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”- George Orwell

    • Coniston

      Another quote from George Orwell, from an earlier comment in Conservative Woman:

      “The mentality of the English left-wing intelligentsia can be studied in half a dozen weekly and monthly papers. The immediately striking thing about all these papers is their generally negative, querulous attitude, their complete lack at all times of any constructive suggestion. There is little in them except the irresponsible carping of people who have never been and never expect to be in a position of power [But now many of them are in power]. Another marked characteristic is the emotional shallowness of people who live in a world of ideas and have little contact with physical reality.

      England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during ‘God save the King’ than of stealing from a poor box. [In this nothing has changed]

      George Orwell – England Your England – 1941

      • Colkitto03

        Brilliant quote!
        I love George Orwell, he lived and experienced so many things that we will never do..
        There is an old question, ‘would you rather have wisdom or experience’?
        George Orwell had experience.
        It will always trump, wisdom, intelligence, intellectualism. You learn nothing from other peoples ‘wisdom’

  • UKCitizen

    It is not the degree that makes the difference, it is the indoctrination.

  • Am I being a terrible heretic for saying that I am just not sold on the abolition of undergraduate tuition fees? You either do as some countries do, and fund higher education all the way up to doctoral level. Or you charge fees, even if they are deferred, at every stage of the process. Moreover, whatever students got, then so should their peers who were apprentices or trainees. And, of course, vice versa. Why do people vilify the Lib Dems for voting to increase tuition fees, but not for the far worse things that the Coalition did to far larger numbers of far more vulnerable people?

    And not only in Britain. Opposed by Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Barry Gardiner, the war in Libya has turned out to have been the worst of the lot, and that is saying quite something. It is the decisive reason why, in a crowded field, David Cameron was the worst Prime Minister of my lifetime. One Conservative voted against that. But no Lib Dem did. Not one. Sod tuition fees. Look at the wars since Theresa May entered Parliament in 1997. Every one of them has been a disaster. Yet she has supported all of them. Corbyn, by contrast, has opposed them all. On that sufficient basis, he should be Prime Minister, and she should not.

    The Labour manifesto is almost entirely the one for which I have been waiting since I was a teenager. The Liberal Democrat manifesto would serve as a pretty good compendium of everything that I was against politically. Everything from re-running the referendum (although I think that that might happen whoever won) to legalising cannabis (against which I have been arguing for 20 years, against the people who have controlled the Conservative Party for most of that period).

    Here in North West Durham, however, the Conservative candidate, Sally-Ann Hart, resides in Sussex, while the Labour candidate, Laura Pidcock, somehow acquired an address in Lanchester during the week between her loss of her seat on Northumberland County Council and the close of nominations for this election. Ms Pidcock was imposed, using an all-women shortlist, by the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, with no local involvement whatever. On the same day as she was losing her seat in Northumberland, the Liberal Democrat, Councillor Owen Temple, was once again topping the poll at Consett North. The Green candidate lives in Durham City, while the UKIP candidate lives in Bishop Auckland.

    One may or may not agree with the Liberal Democrats about Brexit or any other issue. But voting is for individual candidates. Councillor Temple is a champion of the Teaching Assistants, of whom Ms Pidcock is at best a lukewarm supporter or a fair-weather friend, and of a wide range of other local community concerns, most of which would be unknown to the other candidates. He offers Labour voters a chance to return the contempt that the Labour Party has shown them by treating this seat as a consolation prize for Laura Pidcock, whose own MP has not retired as expected. He offers everyone else the chance to take this seat out of the hands of the Labour Party, including the chance for Conservative voters to return the contempt that their party has shown them by yet again failing to field a local candidate. And the failure to remove Labour from overall control of Durham County Council means that it still needs to be punished for its mismanagement of that authority, which means that all of its parliamentary candidates here apart from Grahame Morris need to be defeated this time.

    Am I a Lib Dem? Not remotely. But Owen is head and shoulders above the other candidates here. Demographically, this should never have been a safe Labour seat. The shock of losing it would be good for the local Labour Party, and making this a seat that had to be fought, as it always should have been, would be good for the constituency. Therefore, I shall be voting for Owen Temple.

    • Daphne

      I can sympathise with your reasoning for a local candidate. Perhaps you should be writing to the Labour Party and explaining why they’ve lost your vote? If we all voted for the local candidate rather than the party itself I think politics would improve.

      • Little Black Censored

        But not if he writes at that length.

  • Thank you, Durham County Council:

    You have attempted to access the following web page:

    http://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/kathy-gyngell-farron-crushed-will-console-joint/
    Access has been blocked because:

    Tru-View has categorised this page as Drugs.
    Access has been logged as:

    10.161.14.49

    • The_Pr1soner

      Just a coincidence, surely! Does any Lib Dem page work? If anything gets stopped for drugs, it’s that!

      • I have also had pages on this site blocked by the Council as pornography because they were discussing Dame Jenni Murray.

        • The_Pr1soner

          *Shudder* The people upstairs must have some weird ‘leanings’, then!

  • Marat

    “Her ammunition now was a new YouGov poll which, she trumpeted, showed that (as she described) ‘outward looking, educated’ liberals were significantly less likely to vote Tory (and especially Ukip) than those with a degree.”

    Can we move away from the idea that having a degree is the same thing as having an education, please TCW? A first class honours degree in Feminist Dance Theory may well make one more inclined to vote Remain; it does not, however, signify that one has been educated.

    • RobertRetyred

      It becoming the necessary requirement to appear on Strictly.

  • Ravenscar

    Then it was a trip to the dark side. Up the North-East coast to the
    near-deserted fishing harbour at Sunderland, then to a deprived area of
    inner-city Tyneside. Here, among the Brexit, Ukip and Tory voters,
    Razzall edited a scramble of opinions about gloom, doom – and, of
    course, fear of immigration. Where else, in the BBC’s world, would such
    negativity towards it exist?

    Has it never occurred to the great sage ones…those echelons of highly educated illuminati who permeate the very walls of al beeb and dear Katie, dripping her venomous poisons, peddling her concoctions of liberal snake oil Yet! After 43 years as members – in the Berlin inaugurated ‘Economic dream’ of a Brussels Utopia where milk and honey are supposed to well out of every street, why it is that there are so many areas of ‘deprivation’ like the deserted fishing harbour at Sunderland and inner city Tyneside…...shurely!! Katie!!…………… ye super intelligent pot smokers can answer that?

  • The_Mocking_Turtle

    Kippers always seem to be the most paranoid, uptight and frenetic of people. Something to chill them out would be beneficial and if weed was legal I would urge them to consider it. Protracted, repeated and ecstatic sexual intercourse would be better but a Kipper’s febrile and exited state would probably render such pleasant recreation unlikely, assuming sexual capability and competence on their part of course, which I consider doubtful given their outspokenness and obvious eccentricities.

  • Bosanova

    I’m sure among the readers of TCW you can find a good number that have either experimented with recreational drugs or had a university education or both of the above and possibly at the same time. Thankfully this experience need not prevent them from seeing clearly the folly of legalising marijuana or voting Lib Dem.

  • Daphne

    With all the laws passed against tobacco consumption why would the liberal democrats think legalising pot is a good idea?

  • PierrePendre

    The not-so-underlying theory that people who are not graduates make less reasoned political choices, or are even unfit to vote at all, is contradicted by votes for 18-year-olds and demands to lower the voting age to 16. These are people who are too young to have been to university but their opinions and votes are highly prized at least by the Left which counts on their supposed idealism.

    (The other half of this argument is that old people, university educated or, not should not be allowed to vote at all because they won’t have to live with the consequences. Suddenly, a degree doesn’t count.)

    Americans pundits, who love statistics and data, the amassing of which seems to be the main reason for playing baseball, write constantly about the superior quality of the college vote which by coincidence is strongly Democrat. But once college students – who are at best half educated – are taken out of the equation, the difference between Democratic and Republican voting by graduates narrows considerably.

    The claim that graduates are somehow better voters seems to based more on projection than evidence but that doesn’t it being promoted ad nauseam. The bait is: even if you’re not one of the the credentialed smart set, you can get honorary membership through emulation.

    University degrees have been massively devalued by opening tertiary education to anyone who wants it and by lowering standards. There’s no reason to think someone with a regulation 2:1 in a soft subject casts a better vote than anyone who just follows the news.

    Thomas Franks wrote “What’s the Matter with Kansas” some years wondering why Kansans didn’t pursue (what he perceived as) their economic interests by voting Democrat. The answer was, of course, the obvious one; Kansans cared more about more things than just their narrow economic interest.

    I think that’s the real reason why a majority, including many Labour voters, opted for Brexit.

  • Little Black Censored

    They wouldn’t walk it, because the younger voters would be even more unlikely than last time to get up and vote. That kind of walking is altogether too great an effort.