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

.

THE REAL CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO

Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

Niall McCrae: Is there a single British don who voted Leave?

The golf club is a regular analogy in the debate on Britain’s departure from the EU. But this time, it was issued from the club’s perspective. I’m at a panel discussion event run by the alumni society at King’s College London: Brexit: What’s Next? The chairman, in his reasoned eloquence, suggested that a mutually-satisfying deal would be found, and that we’re not in a zero-sum game. But his remark that the chap who relinquishes his pass to 18-hole pastures mustn’t get better terms than the remaining members was overshooting the green. The fate of an ex-member is neither of interest to the golf club committee, nor is it in their control. He has simply left: no more tees, no more fees.

In the packed Anatomy Lecture Theatre, I’d guess towards eighty per cent were Remainers, which would be expected at a London university. But a major flaw was the composition of the panel. This is no criticism of individual speakers, each of whom stated their case well, but let’s do a thought experiment. Imagine a similar format in Glasgow on the topic of Scottish independence, where the panel was entirely English and unionist. How would that look? Well, here at King’s, none of our experts were British, and none were Leavers.

Scotland arose in a question from the audience. Remainers seem excited by Nicola Sturgeon’s spanner in the works, and an alumnus asked about the prospect of Scotland leaving the UK to rejoin the happy European family. A panellist averred that the Scots would be welcome. I couldn’t let this pass, so took the microphone to criticise the ignorance of the metropolitan elite on Scottish sentiment. Despite not a single political party, institution or newspaper north of the border supporting Leave, over a million chose the second box on the ballot paper. The Scots, I argued as a Renfrewshire lad, are fundamentally no less Eurosceptic than the English. I may not have persuaded the panellists or many in the audience, so it was nice to be vindicated by the next day’s newspaper headlines showing exactly this view in two Scottish opinion polls.

To the famous Coal Hole pub afterwards, for a review with history alumnus George Carter, and neuropsychologist Adam Perkins. The verdict: ‘bland’, ‘a fest of group think’, ‘no answer to dissenting questions’ – but the event provoked lively discussion over a few ales. Adam perceived the panel as high-flying academics, out of touch with ordinary people. His key note is that none of them have ‘skin in the game’: unlike the working class, their livelihoods and lifestyles are unlikely to be damaged by cheap migrant labour.

Jonathan Portes gave an accomplished performance, asserting that immigration has boosted society, and that it hasn’t depressed wages. Such thinking may be lapped up by a forum of intelligentsia, but try telling that to my landscape gardener friend, who has been severely undercut by waves of east Europeans. Those 3.2 million Europeans include French architects, Czech surgeons, Polish plumbers - and countless untaxed builders and beggars. Jonathan quoted Nigel Farage, who said that if cutting immigration detracts from GDP, this is a price worth paying. We Leavers agree: economic argument, devoid of cultural and social concerns, is tunnel vision. Tellingly, the event passed without a single mention of the fundamental purpose of Brexit - sovereignty.

Perhaps the lack of British representation on the panel was most obvious when discussing the right of EU citizens to remain in the UK. One panellist thought the government should have made this gesture before issuing Article 50.  Nobody expressed any concern for Brits on the Continent. Lord Tebbit would surely have had something to say about this subversion of national interest.

The best moment, we thought, was the final question from the audience. A man at the back boomed: ‘What surprised you about Brexit?’ The panel was flummoxed by this mischievous challenge. Eventually one panellist spoke of racism following the vote. But they were honest enough to admit that they hadn’t expected Brexit. Jonathan Portes was the least flat-footed, describing the quite remarkable feat of Tory unity after years of bitter EU schism. Earlier, the response to a woman in the audience who wanted the ‘chaos’ overturned drew limited support from the panel. Brexit really does mean Brexit.

Before leaving the event I asked Lily Flaherty, one of the organisers, why no Leavers were on the panel. The problem was that no academic biographies in King’s stated such a stance. But you can count on me next time, Lily. Just gimme a call…

(Image: David Davies)

Niall McCrae

  • Alan Llandrindod Wells

    Shut most of the universities, nobody in British industry would notice.

    • RobertRetyred

      Reduce the Social Science (it’s not Science and it’s not social) and Humanities departments by 50%, and repeat for a further two years running.

      • HampshireVoter

        Actually I would say it was good for a “Five Year Plan”.

      • TheRightToArmBears

        Shut any university that offers courses on gender studies.

        • Paul Robson

          Just be honest. If you do this course your chances of getting a job are nil. It’s not sexism or a wage gap ; it’s that your skills are useless and if anything make you unemployable even flipping burgers. At least those who haven’t done “Uni” might have some real work ethic rather than an overdeveloped sense of self.

      • Vera

        Go back to the basic subjects on offer in the 1950s and 1960s when only 5% of the population got degrees. None of this golf course management or nail painting. All it does is fill them with entitlement.

        • Cynical Ex Academic

          The Golf Studies once pilloried by Private Eye was an HND, although I’m not up to date on this. I personally detest golf, but the Golf Studies course was well worth doing if one wanted a job as the Professional at a Golf Club, where a knowledge of running the shop, bar, restaurant, including the staff, managing the buildings, greens and course generally, including the grounds staff, and being prepared to play a round with a wealthy member who turns up unexpectedly without a partner and still give tuition while doing so, demands a range of skills (and probably a decent handicap, whatever that is).
          Perhaps not an intellectual pursuit, but not as stupid as it at first seems for a course of study.
          But then what would I know? Although everyone I ever taught got a job with a salary that very quickly incremented to more than the average salary in the UK (engineering).
          Odd about nail painting, but then they do seem to be able to afford High Street rents and taxes on the proceeds of the job without sucking on the public teat. Unlike sociologists.

          • Vera

            I see your point about the golf except it doesn’t need a degree, it needs some talent for golf, common sense, a good attitude to work and someone to show you the ropes,. Nail painting is an exaggeration to prove a point – at least I hope it is.

          • Cynical Ex Academic

            ‘Someone to show you the ropes’ is education, which is more economically done (even if it is not better done) in a lecture than on the job, one to one. Today’s watered-down degree is yesterday’s HND, so it probably does require a degree. Note that the Golf Studies includes: Business Management, Horticulture, Economics, Accountancy, and Estates management, Sports science, First aid and that’s before you include some skills in playing.

          • RobertRetyred

            I also heard Golf Studies was a useful course: it applies business practice to a business, and the knowledge could be applied elsewhere, not necessarily golf!
            The other unusual course was the MSc in Brewing (the was one at Birmingham) where jobs were fixed up well before the end of the course. It did need a good Chemistry/ChemEng degree to be accepted. With British micro-brewing booming, many of the the jobs were probably ‘jack of all trades’, starting at the bottom but, with good career prospects, what a wonderful career to be in!

          • Cynical Ex Academic

            My understanding was that a golf handicap of 7 (whatever that equates to) was an entry requirement, so perhaps it was tailored to that business!
            Given that today’s degree is yesterday’s HND, then it isn’t quite so stupid.
            I once worked on a brewery extension. The beer allowance for staff was 8 pints per day to be drunk in the taproom, and 8 to take home. Contractors (like me) got half that. There was never a problem of drunkenness – most folk eschewed it all, or only took carry-outs for the weekend. It was like a brewery run by teetotallers!

        • Reborn

          I picked up in the 1960s two qualifications that are now degree equivalents.
          The one I followed as a career paid me as such – teaching in FE.
          Polytechnics & even high level FE courses were as good as many
          degrees are today.
          University courses, many with nearly absent teaching contact, save in the
          tough, real, courses, often produce young people with a totally inappropriate sense of entitlement.
          Save in the sciences, (which do not include economics & sociology),
          most degrees are worth very little.
          Fine Art (not Art History) & Government & Politics are probably the
          worst.

    • RandomBritishDon

      You could say that of any two things that are not the same. Shut most Hungry Horses and nobody in Beefeaters would notice. I guess your point is that not everyone getting degrees at the moment really needs a degree, which may well be right.

      • Paul Robson

        Comically obvious. About five times as many get ‘degrees’ now as did when I went to University (1981-84). They seem to spend less time at University “reading weeks” “Moodle weeks” and do fewer days a week,

        I don’t , with my ex-teacher hat on, see a significantly more able population (actually I think it is less able for all the touchy feely cr*p they can now supposedly do).

        It’s an obvious financial racket ; get as many people as possible in under almost any circumstances, use the “loans”.

        IMO in the medium term it will collapse.

        • RandomBritishDon

          “IMO in the medium term it will collapse”

          Hmmm, yep, that thought has crossed my mind …

      • John C

        90% of them don’t. The idea that 50% should go to university is outright lunacy.

        • CRSM

          I’ve found that employing enthusiastic autodidacts is far more cost-effective than trying to get those with top university degrees.

  • John Birch

    I know it’s not a simple as this but it does seem the majority of remainers obtain their wages from the public purse and the leavers work in the real world jobs.
    I google the authors of letters of despair in my local newspapers and all of them are paid by the taxpayers.

    • Labour_is_bunk

      Not quite – our company solicitor was practically in tears at the news “a disaster”, he said.

      But then, many solicitors probably don’t count when “real world” jobs are under consideration.

      • Mike

        I would suggest it is to do with character. Those with a pioneering and adventurous spirit are more likely to leave. Remain voters are more likely ” Hanging onto nurser for fearing something worse” and are spiritually incapable of coping with any risk. The remainers have a herd mentality and are sheep and leave are goats. There has always been this divide in society it is just the proportions which vary and attitude to risk and safety. Nelson said ” The boldest is often the safest “.
        Ever since the nationalisation post 1945 ,there has been more career openings for sheep) herd mentality ) than goats( can think and act for themselves).

        • RandomBritishDon

          So Remain was the natural vote for a conservative? (small “c”) :-o)

          • TheRightToArmBears

            Certainly the Tory party has been for remain and regards any of its placemen who differ as apostates and treat them as do their kindred in Islam, which May finds so appealing since she dons a head-scarf with alacrity at every opportunity.

          • John C

            The Tory party is now traditional Labour with a different logo.

          • Mike

            Those who are risk averse and like well regulated ordered structures where they do not have to use their initiative, take responsibility, require fortitude , respond quickly to threats or opportunities. They lack the pioneering spirit whether in exploration or innovation.The difference between someone who is threatened with violence and gives over their money and someone who looks the muggers in the eye and says ” You will get me in the end but two of you will go down. Now do you still want my money “. Various EU leaders are making financial threats against the UK. It would appear that many remainers tend to be brittle with a low pain threshold rather than resilient : the idea of being able to roll with the junctures, remount the horse, accept the pitfalls of life, is difficult for them. An absence of the qualities which made Drake, Cook, T E lawrence ,Clive of India, creators of the Agricultural and Industrial revolutions, Nightingale, any explorer or pioneer. As Barnes Wallis said ” My every achievement is in spite of the experts, not because of them”. They will discuss problems endlessly, write vast numbers of reports but will not make risky decisions; Sir Humphrey but without the classical scholarship.
            As A Bryant points out in his second volume of British History , gentlemen were taught to fight in the 18C, bare knuckle boxing, cudgels and fencing, in order to stand up to tyranny. Those with a servile mentality lack the spirit to resist tyranny. Shalamov said if 10% of the USSR had resisted Stalin there would have been no genocide.

          • RobertRetyred

            “Those who are risk averse and like well regulated ordered structures where they do not have to use their initiative, take responsibility, require fortitude, respond quickly to threats or opportunities.”

            So true! So true! But structures need people who ‘use their initiative, take responsibility, require fortitude, respond quickly to threats or opportunities’ in order for the structure to be ‘well regulated and ordered’: in other words, dynamic!

            It is the difference between ‘static’ and ‘steady state’ system. A system in steady state, with its internals moving, can seize opportunities that arise, and ‘fight tyranny’. A static system cannot.

          • Bik Byro

            It’s undeniable in my view that leaving represented risk whereas remaining represented certainty. However – and this is the crucial bit – “certainty” is not synonymous with “good” or “best”.
            For example, by remaining there was a certainty of (1) having to continue to make huge payments (2) having no control of our borders (3) being governed by unelected people we only ever saw fleetingly in the news (4) being part of an expensive oversized and often unaccountable bureaucracy … etc etc
            Which I think, on balance, made it a risk well worth taking.

          • Vera

            Exactly! I thought the risks in Remaining were greater. We could be certain the EU would carry on with ever-closer union and they would undermine more and more of our parliament. Cameron said there was no chance Turkey would ever join the EU but he wouldn’t be PM for ever and Merkel has been playing fast and loose with Erdogan over immigration and visa-free travel for all Turks. If the result had been Remain, the best we could hope for would be the EU collapsing under it’s own ineptitude.

          • RobertRetyred

            We haven’t had to wait long:
            ‘Holy wars will soon begin in Europe’ Turkey’s foreign minister issues grave warning to EU
            http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/780050/Holy-war-Turkey-EU-Netherlands-Rutte-Erdogan-Cavusoglu-Juncker

          • John C

            No.

          • CRSM

            For a small ‘c’ conservative, then probably yes.

            As I’m a revived 19th century Gladstonian, and not a conservative, then the answer was NO for me.

    • Vera

      Those public purse institutions likely receive EU funding, many do, which they can never seem to see that it is not EU money, but our money recycled.

      • TheRightToArmBears

        And EU money doesn’t have to be accounted for.
        It is available for any purpose and means the lifestyle of those receiving it is considerably enhanced.
        It is not income, thus HMRC are not interested. It is EU money and therefore not to be questioned.
        No wonder the BBC, receiving millions in EU largesse, love Brussels.

      • Paul Robson

        They just have no idea IME. They think the money they get from the taxpayers is out of a magic box or something.

        As a very young teacher I ran up against the Head (I was HoD by virtue of being the only teacher in the department) ; I had been brought up to save, buy carefully, look to see if there were things I could use we already had, that sort of thing and I was mystified by the sudden demands to buy stuff, anything, just spend up.

        I didn’t realise at the time the racket of spend up your budget and plead poverty otherwise it gets cut.

        • TheRightToArmBears

          A fact of jobsworth life that never gets included in economics classes.

        • John C

          Sorry, IME?

          • CRSM

            In my experience?

        • Vera

          That still happens – it being the end of the financial year now is why the roads are full of road works – spend it or we lose it.

      • Billy Lindner

        Thomas Sowell wasn’t thinking just of the EU when he wrote this, but it sure fits:
        “First you take someone’s money away from them quietly and then you give some of it back to them flamboyantly.”

    • John C

      Ditto.

  • Andrew Tettenborn

    My informal researches suggest that more academics than you imagine discreetly voted leave, and then kept quiet about it.

    • Bik Byro

      I noticed an atmosphere before (and since) the referendum that implied to vote remain was intelligent, worldly and charitable whereas to vote leave was to be an ignorant, selfish little-englander.
      Like voting labour means you are a charitable person with love and compassion in your heart and not voting labour means you are a selfish greedy racist.

      • StellaJ

        The BBC and other left-leaning media have been pushing that nasty (and demonstrably untrue) piece of propaganda for a long time.

        • TheRightToArmBears

          Its so easy to go with the flow of a stream of EU money into your pocket, and the BBC receives millions of the folding stuff, which they don’t have to account for, even to HMRC.

      • RandomBritishDon

        I know one academic who will admit to current Labour support, and he stood for election as a councillor. Even he doesn’t bother standing up for Corbyn.

        • Catherine Allinson

          Well this is a tricky one in the real world – you do know that Jezza has never been an EU supporter and it is widely believed that he voted Brexit. I certainly heard his brother Piers say exactly that at a public lecture at that home of socialism – Conway Hall – at a climate change debate earlier this year. Make of that what you will.

          • RandomBritishDon

            Yep.

      • Vera

        Thanks for the LOL moment. Yes I agree. Remainers are more interested in keeping their cosy little lifestyles. Leavers are more interested in sovereignty. Which is the more moral option?

    • John C

      The fact that they had to keep quiet about it tells us all we need to know.

  • Salmondnet

    Do former academics count? I’m guessing Roger Scruton voted leave.
    I’m also guessing that many currently in post might fear for their social standing and future careers if they came out as leavers.

    • RandomBritishDon

      Yes, I’m sure you’re right, although in my experience, saying outright that you don’t agree with the ‘approved’ view usually has no bad consequences at all. The point is more that there is a particular way of voicing disagreement; if you transgress this, then heaven help you.

      • John C

        Really? What about openly and perfectly politely supporting Israel? One is immediately subjected to antisemitic abuse – and worse.

        • RandomBritishDon

          I do that all the time, and wouldn’t hesitate reporting someone for racism if they gave me antisemitic abuse. Admittedly I’m not Jewish, so don’t at all claim to speak for those in Universities who are.

          • John C

            Good for you. However, you shouldn’t even be in a position where you might be subjected to it.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      This suggests that most universities are run on 1920s/30s Soviet lines, with those traditions of freedom of expression and thought.
      Yes, I’d go long with that.

      • Vera

        I think so. There are students who demand non platforming (is that the term?) of speakers who they disagree with – isn’t this a denial of freedom of speech? And colleges seem to agree to accommodate these wet-willy snowflake students rather than telling them it’s no more than what they will be dealing with out in the real world.

        • Paul Robson

          I went to a right leftie University (Essex) in the 1980s ; the lefties would argue the heck with you, but they didn’t (IME) try to shut people up (on one glorious occasion someone tried to be a smart alec with Shirley Williams of all people and got cut to pieces …)

          They would think their modern counterparts a joke. Whilst I agreed with almost nothing they did, they did actually go out and actively try to change things.

          • John C

            Nowadays, you can’t even support Israel openly at British universities without being subjected to antisemitic abuse – and worse.

    • John C

      The fact that only a few ‘admit’ it shows up academia for the repressive bullying group-think shithole it really is.

  • Katabasis

    “here at King’s, none of our experts were British, and none were Leavers.”

    An ivory tower, completely distanced from the plebs?

    Say it ain’t so!

  • RandomBritishDon

    A fair point, but I do know a few academics who admit to voting Leave (which means that there will be more who did but won’t admit it). I think a more interesting divide is between academics who “get it” and those who don’t; even some of the latter are far from cloth-eared when it’s pointed out that Leavers may have had a point about various matters. Moreover, the as-hol-s that spend half of their time accusing others of -isms and the other half supporting Hamas and Stop The War are far more isolated than they may seem. We’re not all bigots.

    • John C

      No, but the fact that only a few ‘admit’ it shows up academia for the repressive bullying group-think shithole it really is.

      • RandomBritishDon

        My point is that much of it is self-censorship. When you say what you think, there’s usually no consequence (although admittedly there are strong social conventions on how you say it).

        • John C

          Not sure I agree. First, there are several posters here who believe it could harm their careers if they did. Second, it is simply not the case that supporting Israel openly has no consequences, at least in some universities.

    • Reborn

      A reassuring reply.
      At least one Don is not a bigot & he testifies that he is not alone.
      Those of us who are well educated (& that does not automatically mean a degree),
      are hurt by, but ashamed of, the assumptions made about us by persons who may be
      experts on a given subject, but have no more expertise on Brexit than
      Bob Geldorf or the dustman (who is likely to have better manners than Geldorf)
      I was greatly offended by Richard Dawkins’ intemperate snobbery.
      I admire the man’s expertise in his chosen area, but he seemed not to realise
      that an aspect of social Darwinism includes persons who live a privileged,
      and in many ways, parasitical, life. They don’t like change per se, anymore than their
      French equivalents did in 1789.

  • Cynical Ex Academic

    Salmondnet beat me to it: do retired university professors vote Leave? As a sample of one, I can state categorically that the answer is ‘Yes’.

    As for Robert Retyred, ‘Social Science’ costs very little, but Science, Technology, Engineering if not Mathematics are expensive to run. There are costs in laboratories and their technicians and equipment, in some disciplines field courses, and in most of them a diet of more lectures, more assessments and professional body accreditation. If Universities are to support an upper echelon of VCs and their staff of Eloi at astronomic salaries, then the Morlocks have to work harder, and there will be fewer of them.

    • Paul Robson

      Can I ask, is the main cost not simply staffing ? (I appreciate this includes technicians).

      Yes, if you study Electronics you need labs, but are these significant costs compared to staffing ?

      • John C

        Yes, certainly, high-tech equipment can be VERY expensive.

        • CRSM

          As I know only too well, though for general-purpose electronic test equipment (PSUs, signal generators, oscilloscopes, even spectrum analysers) the Chinese have proved a godsend.

        • John Birch

          That’s why years ago the tech collage near me shut down all practical classrooms and installed desks and computers.

      • Cynical Ex Academic

        It isn’t imply that high-tech equipment is costly, but that the items can’t be bought singly if they are needed for teaching. Clearly, some things can, but others are needed in multiples. Take a civil engineering department teaching topographic surveying as one of many topics. Take 45 students on a field course, and you probably need 15 theodolites with all the ancillary kit of tripods, targets, pegs, ranging rods, spares and so on – probably £100k of investment. Some compression machines are that – each. Then there are dataloggers, computers, software, instrumentation …
        A geology department may have a huge collection of rocks, needing a store.
        In any case, the space reserved for those laboratories has a cost, especially as it isn’t readily usable for any other purpose. Not like a lecture room, for example, that can be used almost continuously.

    • RobertRetyred

      ‘Social Science’ costs very little, as long as it remains within the senior common room and students are not brainwashed by it.
      STEM graduates should generate more wealth in their career than the costs of their education but, in many other subjects, the costs can never be repaid with the graduates becoming not far off unemployable and very unhappy because of that. The disaster within the ‘elite US universities’, with their safe-spaces and all the other rubbish is a large economic, emotional and political drain on any wealthy country, let alone a struggling country. Just think of the waste caused by the perpetuation of all the Agenda21/Green/ClimateChange agenda. And all for nothing.

  • John Smith

    close the places and stop turning kids into drunken debt slaves

    £50000 of debt for a crappy meeddyyaa studies “degree”

    to go and flip burgers in miccy d

    very useful

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Unfortunately the minimum wage campaigns that many of these graduates, with dodgy degrees, have been happily marching on, have resulted in MacJobs being replaced by National Insurance-free robots.
      If only they had listened to us fascist racist old fogies who would have told them what the future held for idiot students thinking they knew it all.

      • Vera

        Bliar has much to answer for.

        • Paul Robson

          Lots of people started working in McJobs. It teaches you to get on with people, reliable work patterns, that sort of thing. I wouldn’t knock it (I worked in a chicken factory !).

          • Vera

            Nothing wrong with these jobs, even volunteering in a charity shop can give youngsters the right attitudes for work , but they hardly require a degree.

          • TheRightToArmBears

            My adopted son is in touch with siblings in Hastings who, not receiving his chances, look upon a position in a charity shop as an aspiration, with the flood of Muslim and African lowlife taking the little the government offers the bottom of the heap.

    • Bik Byro

      Teenagers today are being sold a lie that will burden them massively for the sake of the profits of the masses of so-called education establishments which have sprung up out of mediocre polytechnics.

  • forgotten_man

    “here at King’s, none of our experts were British, and none were Leavers.”

    So what were they then? Anybody know?

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Like most of our politicians, Miliband, Sadiq, Straw, Mandelson, Vaz, Chukka, Abbott, they really aren’t us in the sense that we know what we are and what we are for. They are for their own which aren’t us.
      Each of those politicians would angrily demand to know what I meant, but asking it shows they know really and resent someone pointing it out.

      • Paul Robson

        Straw used to be ; I recall him getting shouted down for raising the issue of rape gangs ?

      • RobertRetyred

        Yet Gisela Stuart MP, born in Germany, does get it! 🙂

  • Thomas

    Would it have been so hard to put a call in to Economists for Britain? There may not be an embarrassment of dons in favour of Leave, but there aren’t none either.

    • Vera

      I like that – ‘an embarrassment of dons’ – a good collective noun.

  • TheRightToArmBears

    Academics always look for the difficulties which justify their presence.
    Those at the coalface look to the simplest way to actually do the job.
    Thus, if May would stop sending money to Brussels she would find that the EU would have a completely new attitude to this country.
    Stopping the money for just a month would be enough.
    The short sharp dose of reality would work wonders.
    But May is with the academics, never having experienced a real job in her life.

    • John C

      Not only that: she lacks backbone and brains. She folds before bullies.

      • TheRightToArmBears

        With all the attributes to be a manageress of a typing pool, frowning at girls who know what to do with boys.

  • Paul Robson

    Immigration hasn’t hurt society or crashed wages if you live in London and ignore places like Tower Hamlets conveniently. Whether the population of Burnley agree is a question that is never asked. I suspect they don’t know or care where Burnley is.

    • Vera

      Not sure I agree. My home and work is in West London. I have been retired more than 10 years but I noted in an employment bureau window recently that the salary of a similar job hadn’t changed in far longer than the 10 years of my retirement. Of course the job ad in the window could have been there for some time, but over 10 years???

      • Paul Robson

        You might be right. I’m sure there are some problems. It’s the attitude of some relatives of mine (and other people). They have no idea why people voted Leave. I live in East Anglia but I’m from Teesside and I wasn’t in the slightest surprise.

        Very little of it is to do with “racism” (and what is is objecting to the dumping of usually Muslim populations in an area and them effectively taking over)

        They’re also very fed up with m0rons saying of various terrorist acts and ISIS “it’s nothing to do with Islam”. It is crashingly obviously “to do with Islam” ; it might be a horribly contorted version of it, but it *is* to do with Islam. From their point of view the “southern banking gent” (Farage) had more clue than all their supposedly local MPs.

        I thought it was summed up by a Telegraph article a day or two after the vote where some idiot drivelled on about how terrible it was that their little cafe in the street might have to close because the owner was Italian.

        Places like Savile Town (near Dewsbury in West Yorkshire) and similar do not seem to register. They don’t (apparently) exist. It’s getting like Sweden.

        • Vera

          Well the previous chief honcho at the V & A museum in London who was German obviously thought he would have to leave – I went to a talk there some months ago and he mentioned he was leaving and returning to Germany ‘because of Brexit’. Silly Ass, I thought.

        • RobertRetyred

          You mean people like David ‘it’s nothing to do with Islam’ Cameron?

    • John C

      “Immigration hasn’t hurt society or crashed wages if you live in London” – utter nonsense.

  • Vera

    I suspect that if there were any Leavers they would have chosen to keep their politics to themselves in such company.

  • marshall

    yes, I did

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Good for you.
      But did you tell your colleagues, so that they could shout “I’m Spartacus” too?

  • Reborn

    Is there a single British Don who lives in the real world ?
    One can understand multimillionaire big business types valuing an
    internationally mobile labour force in a Dutch Auction with UK indigenes
    over modest jobs.
    But Dons are not responsible for wealth creation, they don’t even work hard to earn more
    than most productive workers.
    Above all they are subject to group think, & that particular group thinks along the lines
    os Sgr Gramsci.

    • John C

      Yes, their bubble is as bad as that of the British Pravda Corporation.

  • John C

    “Jonathan Portes gave an accomplished performance, asserting that
    immigration has boosted society, and that it hasn’t depressed wages” – I don’t care what his academic quailifications may be, but the man is a pathetic cretin.

  • Quentin Vole

    I knew that something was up in early June, when I discovered my friend and neighbour, a retired Oxford don in the traditional mode – Guardian reader, Amnesty supporter, … – was planning to vote Leave.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Is he still in or has he been released from the mental institution he was obviously destined for?

    • Rob

      In my case retirement from the academic factory group-think farm also brought greater clarity of thought.

  • phil

    if you do not have a panel of diverse opinion passionately arguing their own views In any discussion, then any lecture degrades into a self supporting talking shop which merely confirms the prejudices of the panel’s opinion and actually reinforces a blinkered mentality.

    • John C

      Just look at QT.

  • Mojo

    And there is the problem with selling the virtues of Brexit to London and the Academic fraternity. They just don’t believe that anyone who voted Leave has the intelligence to work out for themselves that the EU does not benefit UK. Their whole educational system is based on socialist ideologies. EU is based on socialist ideology and many countries in EU and Europe are socialist leaning.

    The academic world wants UK to become heavily socialist but that goes against the grain of a trading society. The U.K. Has been successful throughout most of its history by not being social ideologists. We have knuckled down to practicalities. We have spent the last 43yrs struggling to maintain those practicalities. It is extraordinary that we have been able to maintain a strong and respected status in the world whilst holding off the thrust of academic ideology. We have our middle class and working class to thank for this.

    However, the children of this sector of society have been sold a dream that will only return them hardship, suppression and mediocrity. Brexit now gives us the opportunity to reverse this misdemeanour. Not just a once in a lifetime chance but an historical shift of the magnitude of the printing press, the breaking with Rome, or indeed the invention of electricity.

    • John C

      Invention?????????

      • CRSM

        Just like Isaac Newton ‘invented’ gravity!

  • Grope_of_Big_Horn

    “Tellingly, the event passed without a single mention of the fundamental purpose of Brexit – sovereignty”
    I bet no-one on the panel mentioned the primary fiscal activity of the EU, and the prime feature of the Customs Union, either.

  • The_Mocking_Turtle

    So well educated and intelligent people voted remain more often than less intellectually capable individuals. I would have thought that would have been self evident.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      They certainly voted more often in Muslim areas.

      • The_Mocking_Turtle

        That’s very commendable. Everybody should cast their vote in referenda and elections both the dumb and the clever alike: only in death and the ballot box are such people rendered equals.

    • James Chilton

      Did you vote remain? Just checking how “well educated and intelligent” you are.

      • The_Mocking_Turtle

        Compared to most people commenting on this very site I feel brighter than a thousand suns. Comparatively speaking. Which, if I’m being honest, isn’t saying much really.

        • St Louis

          Your arrogance is nonetheless breath taking. Time for you to be made into soup at last.

        • D J

          Thankyou for deigning to educate us poor thick Leavers Lord Vishnu.

        • ratcatcher11

          Well like Icarus try not to fly too high with your ego, or you will come crashing down. Idiotic troll.

        • John C

          The evidence I have seen in your unhinged rants is that you are very thick (and, of course, childishly pretentious).

        • wibbling

          A giant ball of burning gas? Sounds about right.

          • Labour_is_bunk

            Hot air, I think you meant.

        • alecto

          Oh dear – should we genuflect or bow?

    • Vera

      Don’t be silly. The Leavers are the intelligent ones, voting for sovereignty The Remainers just protecting their nice cosy life-styles, money grubbing in other words.

      • The_Mocking_Turtle

        A populous country, smaller than Oregon, divorcing itself from the greatest single market that the world has ever seen doesn’t seem like the action any intelligent person would welcome. We have an economy being kept afloat by domestic spending and a minor boom caused by a devaluation in the pound which won’t last forever. Our influence on the world stage is vastly diminished and eventually we will be forced to suck up to all sorts of awful states and people in order to try to win dozens of favourable “trade deals”, in order to keep the country afloat, which were never enjoyed historically by the United Kingdom before.

        Perhaps the Chinese may one day offer to keep us as pets.

        Leaving the EU is one of the dumbest economic mistakes the UK has made.

        • Tricia

          So so keeping yourself shackled to a moribund statist European Union is the best option? Britain has traded around the world and actually governed many countries in the world for hundreds of years. We can trade with who we wish rather than who we are allowed to. Make our own laws and run our own sovereign Parliament. The EU has failed to publish accounts for 20 years and is corrupt. It is a failed venture and will collapse within the next 10 years. We don’t wish to be dragged down with it.

          • And most of us former colonials are damned glad of it, even if we don’t say thanks very often.

        • Vera

          Meanwhile we have to suck up to Merkel who isn’t even an EU bureaucrat, she’s just the Chancellor of that country which was the cause of 2 World Wars. Of course they are doing well out of the euro while ruining the economies of the rest of the Eurozone, but what do they care so long as Germany is top of the pile. As I said, Remainers are just money grubbers.

        • Mill House

          Yawn !

        • John C

          Screeching drivel.

        • wibbling

          The EU is a failed economy. Massive unemployment, poverty and a poor market.

          The UK is rich, successful and leaving.

    • Mike

      Intelligence is not the same as judgement. Many academically gifted people supported Communism but patriotic Labour People such as Ernie Bevin fought against the cult.

    • ratcatcher11

      Don’t confuse narrow subjective intellect with overall knowledge and common sense as many have done. Many of these people can hardly function outside of the bubble of the University environment where a closed mindset keeps everyone ticking along happily, regardless of the outside world.

      • RobertRetyred

        That is what universities were for, focusing on a particular subject, and thinking a specialist is clever at everything is a mistake.

    • Rob

      Oh hark at you. Aren’t you the condescending, arrogant toe rag. Indeed, the very embodiment of why the so-called “less intellectually capable individuals” voted to get the hell out of the EU, an organisation that’s full of and run for the benefit of vile snobs just like yourself.

    • John C

      Smug drivel.

    • wibbling

      Ahh, I get it! You’re saying fick people voted to leave and thinking you’re superior because you voted to stay chained! No dear, you’re thick as two planks and blatantly ignorant of the damage the EU does to the UK.

  • c50

    Such a boring, desperate and tired argument, trying to be all Breitbart and edgy just plain against anything that threatens the power elite. Forget the current right wing obsession with a liberal elite, the reason academics vote ‘left’ is because the prvileged public school elite wouldn’t urinate on a job that doesn’t allow them to afford a chalet in Meribel and school fees for little Farquhar and Penelope that would be equivalent to a don’s salary. Inequality due to this power elite has created a left leaning academia who can’t or would feel embarrassed having jobs in merchant banks or other money printing occupations they can dominate. Conversely, I would say a fair proportion of academics are actually right wing at LSE, a supposedly socialist institution.
    You would need to pay dons in excess of 200k a year to make it even an option for the Camerons and Osbornes but even then it would be a hobby compared to their 30 million pound banking incomes. Grow up and think of some well thought through arguments Niall.

    • Colkitto03

      I think that terms like Left and Right are becoming redundant. The article above reflects a deep seated feeling from working people of all persuasions that we are not invited to the party. Its the people against the establishment now.
      When I campaigned for Leave, our group had 3 conservatives, 1 green, 1 Liberal, 4 UKIP, 3-5 of no know persuasion and 3 labour. And of course the Socialist workers (who were very friendly but had thier own pitch)
      The labour guys were great, proper old Labour, they knew working class people and what they wanted.

      • I think so, as well. The worlds are crashing about, realigning. The old groupings, whether Tory/Labor, or Republican/Democrat, or others don’t seem to fit very well any more. For us, it’s rather like the change that came about from Andy Jackson’s presidency, when we pretty much ceased to think about subsistence agriculture and started turning to industry. Where it ends…Well, who knows? But like others have said, we, the Anglosphere have done it before and successfully and prospered from it. I dare say we will again. And where we lead, others will follow, as they have for at least 500 years.

        • RobertRetyred

          It makes the word ‘Remain’ seem a poor choice, no matter what the battle was.

          • The attitude itself, I think. Rather like playing in the middle of a two way steet, liable to get run over in both directions.

    • Mike

      c50, I think you have a good point. The criminal and human rights bar appear to be dominated by leftwingers whereas high paying commercial bar appears more conservative. Until early 1970s, public service was relatively well paid( coapred to managers in industry), public school fees low or god quality grammar schools available and house prices low. From 1987 and Big Bang and increase in City salaries, increase in house prices and closure of grammar schools and failing of most comprehensives public service has not attracted so many concervatives and as a consequence has become dominated by left wingers.
      In the late 1960s, being a professor at most universities combined with a little income provided an upper middle class lifestyle: those large Victorian house in N Oxford were affordable ,especially if wife/husband worked. I suggest that many Dons now resent the fact that those less academically able from school and/or university having gone into the commercial world are far better paid.

      • RobertRetyred

        I don’t know that many less academically able are earning a lot and, if they are, their income may not be consistently good over a career. However, with few grammar schools around, comfortably off won’t easily put your children in a ‘good school’ or a good neighbourhood.

        • Mike

          I was thinking of the Don who was awarded a Starred First and the person who was awarded a 3rd or 2:2 or someone who went in business after A levels. The Headmaster of Ampleforth once the scholars often end working for those who had been in the Remove ( bottom set ). Those who define academic success as everything that is needed in life often ignore character and in particular that pioneering and adventurous spirit which often determines ones life.

  • c50

    The ultra-rich in London are increasingly protecting their wealth through the use of “family offices”, says research from the London School of Economics.
    These are teams of professionals – such as lawyers, financiers and psychologists – employed to ensure the “dynastic wealth” of the super-rich.
    These offices work for families worth at least £200m, says the study.
    Researcher Luna Glucksberg says their role “demands scrutiny”.
    The study, from the LSE’s International Inequalities Institute, says more attention should be paid to the rise of such “shadowy” family offices, which are employed full-time to protect the interests of their “elite families”.
    The study describes how they support a “bunkered” and “fortified” way of life of the “global super-rich”.
    Family offices have grown alongside the concentrations of the ultra-rich in cities such as London – and researchers say they have moved on a step from buying in specialist advisers.
    These are full-time professional staff, which could include investment experts, property advisers, economists, trust fund advisers and lawyers, who work for a single family, in the way that a corporation might have its own dedicated staff.
    The study quotes a US report from 2010 that found that 50 of the wealthiest such family offices were looking after $500bn (£407bn).
    Rather than getting external advice from bankers and financiers, these family offices will keep such information private and in-house.
    Their role “goes far beyond that of private bankers”, says Dr Glucksberg.
    “They are about creating dynasties, ensuring generational transfers of wealth,” she says.
    As well as maximising financial interests and investments, such family offices can look after every aspect of the private lives of their employers.
    This can be everything from buying clothes and organising holidays to arranging divorces and making financial arrangements to prevent money being lost to in-laws.
    The study says that for an individual family to have a family office, they would need to be worth at least £200m and probably much more.
    But there are cases of “multi-family offices” – where families worth from £80m upwards could share such services.
    The growth of extreme wealth, alongside poverty and low-income families, means that there needs to be more analysis of how such wealth is perpetuated, the study suggests.
    These family offices “play a crucial role” in how advantages are handed on between generations, with full-time staff able to make long-term, strategic planning, says the study.
    “The rise of elite dynasties, economic inequality, and the vast concentrations of global wealth in recent times means that the role of the ‘family office’ in our society demands scrutiny,” says Dr Glucksberg.

    • Colkitto03

      This is a very interesting post and I believe its very true. The terms you use are interesting. I dont beleive that ‘nepotism’ quite covers the situation we have today. Its different from that. Its wider and more insidious
      Thank you

  • Benthic

    I always thought that voting remain was for the non thinking dullard that does not the have wit or the inagination to think we can suceed outside the EU.

    I like Europe and have worked there frequently however I dont feel akin to them. I have more in common with Americans, Canadians or Australians.

    • RobertRetyred

      Yes, even the rebellious Americans appear not to have lost their roots.

      • Benthic

        Good for them I say.

      • We’d say that we left when a German king tried to suppress the rights of freeborn Englishmen. So did Pitt and Fox, the latter wearing Continental Regimentals into Parliament itself. In some ways, we may have kept to our roots better even than England did.

  • Andy

    Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, let me give this a considered opinion.
    NO.

  • John Birch

    Probably not.

  • Rob

    Academics, due to the nature of their jobs within hierarchical knowledge factories, are inevitably very narrow-minded, selfish, arrogant and very corruptible. I say this having been a professor at several Russell group Universities over a 30+ year career. Nevertheless, many of my best friends are academics and they are friends because I enjoy their company despite these woeful professionally-induced group-think characteristics. I also don’t in any way rely upon these aspects of their personalities outside of the academy and I would tentatively advise others not to either.

  • David

    I’ve always considered Remainers to be weak, timid types always looking to shelter inside big institutions, as they doubt whether they, or their country, can succeed, on its own, in the big, outside world. The UK will do well as we are fast on our feet and innovative.
    Although I have good friends in both Norway (not EU) and France and Denmark (both EU states) I always find it so much easier to work with and relate to, socially, people from the anglosphere, Americans, Canadians, Australians and Kiwis. This is because we share a language, and many of our laws and cultural assumptions are very similar.

  • Nockian

    University is an outgrowth of the state and is essentially funded by taxpayers, either directly through grants, or indirectly through state backed students loans. Universities naturally cling to statism and on the institutional nature of the echo chamber they inhabit. Things outside the university are to be controlled and independent people seeking a break away from the status quo are considered dangerous. The university environment looks for order, and acceptance, not for dissent and this is applied to the society as a whole. Radicals are unwelcome.

    • alecto

      i.e. institutionalised and brainwashed.

      • Nockian

        I don’t think they are brainwashed, quite the opposite, they see common dissent as a direct threat to their cosy existence. Academics live in a state protected bubble in which they worship those who provide it and fear those who might remove it. Self made men of independent production are a threat to those who live off the backs of others like parasites. University academics fear discovery, they fear those who won’t respect them as expensive necessities.

        In the end it’s about two things: a) cold hard cash-academics don’t want to compete for productive jobs b) self esteem-academics don’t derive their self esteem from productive effort, but from those of their peers and the patronage of the state. They easily identify the enemy.

  • lojolondon

    The opening paragraph – “But his remark that the chap who relinquishes his pass to 18-hole pastures mustn’t get better terms than the remaining members was overshooting the green. ” Remember that the whole pretence of the EU is that it is a massive benefit and a privilege to be playing the game, and that there would be terrible damage caused to the leaver. Funny how the Remainders keep remembering and forgetting this alternately as the mood strikes them!

  • Debs

    If there are any leavers amongst the dons they are probably keeping it a secret.Having worked for many years in a social services department where conservatives were the devil incarnate, I can say its sometimes best to keep such information under wraps.

  • Jack Rocks

    Whenever I read about whining academics, it always brings to mind this Yes Minister clip.