“Why”, asked Co-Editor Laura Perrins on 22 August, “should you risk sending your children to university for a full three years of left-wing propaganda?”

For the parents of a young adult raised in any household inclined, even moderately, towards social conservatism, EU-withdrawal, a smaller state, lower taxes and free-market economics, this is an increasingly pertinent question. Higher Education and Academe as a bastion of left-wing indoctrination is an impression that’s widely held.

But to what extent is it true? Fortunately, we have some empirical data from within the last two years. The chart below shows the results of a poll taken shortly before the 2015 General Election, asking for the voting intentions of UK University academics.

The responses leave little room for doubt. In no discipline did the intention to vote Labour drop below 40%, while you have to go as low as 20% in every academic discipline before even encountering a voting intention other than Labour or Green.

Overall, the academics’ voting intention went 83% to the four main parties of the Left (Labour, LibDems, SNP and Green), while in the General Election proper, those parties’ vote share was only 47%. In other words, university academics inclined towards parties of the Left at a frequency nearly double that of the electorate as a whole.

A similar poll of UK academics’ voting intentions was conducted in the run-up to the 2016 EU Referendum, by Times Higher Education. Here, the results were even starker.

In no discipline was the intention to vote Remain below 80%, while in only one did the intention to vote Leave breach the 15% threshhold. As everyone knows, the result was 52%-48% for Leave. Once again the academics leant Remain-wards at a rate more than 1½ times that of the voting population.

So, on the face of it at least, the opinion of a University experience as being an academic indoctrination process in Europhilia and Leftism has evidential support. If you have the impression that your child has emerged from University as a brainwashed, ardently-Europhile, Leftist, you’re probably right.

But what seems explored much more rarely is why this should be so. Why should the supposedly academic and intellectual elite overwhelmingly incline towards leftist and statist policy prescriptions that concentrate decision-making power in bureaucracy rather than democracy, and reject those which elevate liberal-individualism and free-market competition, at a rate nearly double the adult population as a whole?

This phenomenon isn’t new. Hayek analysed and excoriated it decades ago in his “The Intellectuals and Socialism“, famously referring to “the professional second-hand dealers in ideas”.

The Academic and Intellectual Elite has an aversion politically to capitalism and free-market competition because, being a system based on voluntary exchange reflecting consumer preferences, it fails to accord them either the superior societal status or monetary rewards to which they consider themselves entitled because of their (assumed) far superior intellect.

Arguably, Robert Nozick put it even better in his 1998 essay “Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?”

“Intellectuals feel they are the most valuable people, the ones with the highest merit, and that society should reward people in accordance with their value and merit.”

This is especially marked when they compare themselves with people successful at designing, producing and marketing products that people will voluntarily part with their hard-earned and post-tax cash to own. Think of how much more popular in the public mind James Dyson is than A C Grayling. The old disdain for “trade” has crossed over from the Aristocratic Landed Elite to the Intellectual Academic Elite.

Consequently, they incline, politically, away from free-markets democracy towards the more collectivist politics of markets-averse, leftist-statist bureaucracy: it not only values them more than competitive free-market capitalism does, but it can use the coercive power of the state manifested in taxation to enforce on society at least a pecuniary recognition of their assumed superior intellect and desired superior status.

This also explains their near-homogeneous support for remaining in the European Union. Academics and intellectuals favour the EU, not only as an additional source of funding, but as an essentially socialistic, authoritarian, top-down bureaucracy, they view it as a mechanism to push the UK further to the left without the necessity of mass democratic consent.

For how long do the academics’ and intellectuals’ pro-Left, pro-EU biases continue to influence their recipients’ voting behaviours after inculcation? A YouGov poll earlier this year suggested that the Left-Right crossover point comes roughly at age 34.

However, more recently, Iain Martin has written of “the widespread assumption among those aged below 45 that Tories or pro-market people are an inherently bad bunch with motives that are inherently evil”. The Tories’ current intellectual atrophy, particularly in making the case for capitalism and free markets, sadly suggests that this is more accurate.


  1. I am slowly reaching the opinion that until we suffer a prolonged bout of socialism in this country there will be no change in the big picture. I was born in 68 and can just remember the winter of discontent.
    People have to really live through that nonsense for is to have an effect. The experiences of 40 years are owned by the older generation.
    As I was once told no one really learns from other peoples mistakes.

    • Having a competition, with winners being offers holidays in Venezuela, and film crews checking in with them on ‘progress’, would be cheaper for us, and less traumatic.

      • That is an excellent idea for a new “reality” TV program. There is only one drawback. The program makers would edit out the boring bits and just focus on the important part, who was going to end up in bed with who?

    • Me in 1966.

      I remember 3-4 things constantly on the news 1972-79……..miners’ strikes and power-cuts, car-workers’ strikes, IRA terrorism and then the municipal workers’ strikes.

      I remember my parents (both teachers) having little money because of government debts, huge interest rates, rampant inflation and a potato shortage.

      Then in the 1980s, steel-works closures, ship-yard closures, the big miner’s strike, and working class unemployment…….UK needed to change away from manufacturing, and this was procured swiftly because the unions – aided by incompetent management – had priced workers out of jobs.

      The Left demonised Thatcher, same as they are trying to do to Tories in general and Boris Johnson (because they see him as the biggest threat) specifically…….

      ……..in 1984, Thatcher broke the hard Left, Scargill, McGahey and their undemocratic miners’ unions in – to fail in that would have been a catastrophe for Britain……

      …….now, after 3-4 decades of brain-washing in schools and in higher education, young people have no idea of history and absolutely no idea of what is right and wrong politically. The Left is about to reap a return from Cultural Marxism.

      May be time to get out of Britain.

    • I wish you were wrong. I’m a little bit older and recall the “winter of discontent” all too well. The problem with wishing a bout of socialism on the country is that there won’t be any way to get rid of it, afterwards. It will be entrenched, as chavismo is in Venezuela. Jim Callaghan was a decent man. When he lost the ’79 election, he handed over power to Margaret Thatcher.

      Gordon Brown, however, was very reluctant to surrender Number 10, in 2010. Once ensconced in Downing Street, Corbyn would employ absolutely any conceivable measures to remain there.

    • I do happen to agree with you regarding British population need a dose of socialism in this country. It is this reason we need the Conservative Party to collapse and something conservative replace it.

      I have been believing for sometime that things will need to get worse before we see improvement.

  2. Indeed not new:

    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. Another marked characteristic is the emotional shallowness of people who live in a world of ideas and have little contact with physical reality. Many intellectuals of the Left were flabbily pacifist up to 1935, shrieked for war against Germany in the years 1935-9, and then promptly cooled off when the war started. It is broadly though not precisely true that the people who were most ‘anti-Fascist’ during the Spanish Civil War are most defeatist now. And underlying this is the really important fact about so many of the English intelligentsia – their severance from the common culture of the country.

    In intention, at any rate, the English intelligentsia are Europeanized. They take their cookery from Paris and their opinions from Moscow. In the general patriotism of the country they form a sort of island of dissident thought. 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. All through the critical years many left-wingers were chipping away at English morale, trying to spread an outlook that was sometimes squashily pacifist, sometimes violently pro-Russian, but always anti-British. It is questionable how much effect this had, but it certainly had some. If the English people suffered for several years a real weakening of morale, so that the Fascist nations judged that they were ‘decadent’ and that it was safe to plunge into war, the intellectual sabotage from the Left was partly responsible. Both the New Statesman and the News Chronicle cried out against the Munich settlement, but even they had done something to make it possible. Ten years of systematic Blimp-baiting affected even the Blimps themselves and made it harder than it had been before to get intelligent young men to enter the armed forces. Given the stagnation of the Empire, the military middle class must have decayed in any case, but the spread of a shallow Leftism hastened the process.

    • “Don’t hold back, Mr. Orwell– tell us what you REALLY think!”

  3. Any academic establishment from nursery school to university is run as a Patriarchy (even when the patriarch is female). Teacher always knows best.
    Practically no-one anywhere in academia has ever known any other system.
    Socialism is likewise Patriarchal- politicians and civil servants are accepted as knowing best.
    They are simply voting for the only system they know.

  4. The truth is that left-wing academics lack the drive and the social skills to go out and find a job in the real world, and so they stay in their “safe space” of academia where they’ve been since they were a child, churning out meaningless, pointless “research”.

    • Some of of their ”research’, like the Climate Change Myth, destroy wealth well beyond the cost of their labours.

  5. I don’t think it is so complex a question why academics think the way they do. Generals think that the world would be best run by generals, philosophers by philosophers, scientists by scientists, businessmen by businessmen and so on.

    The crucial difference in academia, and particularly in the arts and social sciences, is that there is nothing to burst bubbles of human self-importance. Soldiers can lose wars, businessmen can fail, and scientists can find their theories proven wrong (as a scientist, I have noted with interest that the more ‘hard’ a science is, the more likely its academics are to be conservative, and even religious. I don’t think this is a coincidence). Or, as Thomas Sowell puts it:

    The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.

  6. This is good, but I think there is more. Most people like to think of themselves as moral and upright. With the demise of religion, leftism now supplies the definitions of “moral and upright”. If you listen to these people, you will find that they have constructed a complete worldview. It’s built on sand, to be sure, since it’s ultimate progenitor was that old failed journalist who died in poverty, Marx. However, few seem to be prepared to point out how tired and thoroughly out of date socialism is.

    • G.K. Chesterton, in the 1920’s, to the effect of “The business of Progressives is to keep on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to keep mistakes from being corrected.”

  7. Firstly, your charts don’t work – not on my computer anyway. That aside, your point about the Conservatives’ current inability to argue in favour of capitalism is correct and very timely. I was on the motorway when I heard that Theresa May’s stalwart defence of capitalism amounted to the notion that its abolition would be “a backward step.” I nearly drove off the road. Does May have any idea how grim (and short) the lives of our pre-capitalist ancestors were?

    If a supposedly “Conservative” Prime Minister can’t present a better case than that for capitalism, she really is in the wrong job.

  8. Capitalism is about the ability to chose which lap top or which cup of coffee to buy. Tell those who like state control imagine if there was only 1 lap top on offer and 1 chain of coffee shops run by the government and one could not complain about the service.

      • Like when less than half the time my local council fail to collect my rubbish on its own schedule and complains that the road is too narrow for its vehicles. My suggestion that they use narrower vehcles is ignored or derided. Every delivery service from supermarkets to furniture retailers have no trouble delivering.
        And yess I live in the People’s Republic of South Wales Valleys.

    • I saw the results of “just one model” for all sorts of things in Czechoslovakia in 1976. Of course most people had almost nothing, and only the few had access to “the one model”.

    • A lack of choice for laptops and coffee would be a dismal world. But just for fun (and curiosity:

      What do people think of state owned power, electric, gas, water?

      • I think you should ask a Briton who lived through the 70s, or ask a Puerto Rican, in seven or eight months after they again have electricity. Or for that matter a South Australian.

        Which is a bit unfair, of course, in Nebraska most of the power companies are owned by the government, but are managed as separate entities, and required to be self sufficient. Not ideal, but it has worked fairly well.

        • Of course because naming a country that has a failing government such as Puerto Rico (or the Soviet Union in its latter days) is a little unfair.

          People who lived through the seventies will complain rightly of union strikes and therefore power cuts. But they will also tell you that it was simpler with one provider that did not have shareholders to pay – the myth of lowering prices in competitive markets has not held up well since privatisation.

          • It is a bit unfair, but also on point, because with Corbyn, I would expect Britain to transition fairly quickly to being a failed state.

            Organizationally, the best method I have seen here, is the co op, where the members own the organization they buy from. Non -profit but with the same sort of management (usually better , because of the closeness to the customer) as a private company. Those that really care get involved, but it almost never gets extreme. But that’s my experience.

            The worst is direct government control, it’s too subject to extraneous factors, such as the public employee unions and corruption, not to mention lack of accountability, to get better. Corruption is the problem with Puerto Rico, as it has been for decades, at least.

          • The strange death of cooperatives in Britain has puzzled me. Along with the disappearance of building societies and mutual companies. I think during the eighties and nineties the UK population was short sighted and went in for shares they could immediately cash in, believing it was ‘free money’.

            I am amazed no one has made a case for their return. Maybe it would be an interesting CW blog post idea that could be explored.

          • I don’t understand it either, but you’re correct, they don’t compare well in an economy that never looks beyond the quarter – we too have that disease. Long term they are ideal for many things.

            Forgotten, perhaps, and some gave a stench, like Robert Owens. Still it would be interesting.

        • National ownership of certain sectors ie rail is successful in many countries but is consequently not newsworthy or reported

      • In France , the state sectors are run people from the Grand Ecoles, which are similar to Imperial but geared to technical management and they have not allowed the industries to be run by the leaders of un and semi skilled unions. The Problem was in the UK 70% of the TUC comprised un and semi-skilled unions such as the TGWU which stopped technical development which would have reduced their employment. Craft unions such as EETPU would support technical development as it would not reduce their numbers. People do not realise the drive post 1945 by the unions was for full employment which mitigated against movement from un and semi skilled work into skilled work as it would reduce the numbers.

        The reality is that the development of electronic control systems in the 1960s did not lead to adequate reduction ( probably 50%) of un and semi skilled staff in the utilities which was needed by the early 1980s. The problem was that by the late 1970s, the utilities were not attracting enough good quality engineers and managers who also had the back bone to stand up to the leaders of the un and semi- skilled unions. If the management had been adequate and received the support of the Government the utilities could have produced a return on capital relevant to risk- say between that of a building society and a retail bank. The Government would have kept a 30% Golden Share to ensure nothing detrimental to the UK took place.

        The decisions made by Thatcher were extreme. This is because the modernisation, the movement from un /semi skilled work to skilled which started in Germany , France and Italy from 1948 did occurred at a much lower pace in the UK or not all until late 1970s under Callaghan. Ralf Darendorf of the LSE said the UK should have followed Germany, France and Italy in modernising industry and then created a welfare state. The German Tripartite system of education produced craftsmen educated to ONC/HNC standard which we have failed to do and which are needed to install electronic/ computer control systems. A German on a YTS scheme in the 1980s achieved in 6 months what a Briton did in 2 years. German unions have been dominated by craft not unskilled people and have supported modernisation.

        The German success depends upon the below. https://www.fraunhofer.de/en/institutes.html

        Privatisation was needed otherwise the companies would have collapsed under debt but this could have been avoided if German/French post 1948 modernisation had taken place.The last chance was Wilson ; he promised the White Heat of Technology but this required breaking the power of the un and semi skilled unions – not the EETPU, AEW, Power workers, NACODS. Cousins of TGWU ran Wilson’s ministry of technology- a disaster as development his members to lose jobs so he opposed it.

        The post 1960s expansion in higher education produced mostly worthless arts degrees. If it had created the fraunhofer and only expanded arts courses at Oxbridge, London, Red Brick and 5 Scottish universities , then things would be better. A degree in English from Sussex is not the same as Greats from Oxford. We have gone from an aristocratic ring wing contempt for technology and industry to a left wing middle class public sector arts graduate one.

          • I think that is correct. It was basically undertake radical and painful surgery or the patient dies: there were o painless options left. It was only recently reading Ralf Darendorf’s comment that I fully appreciated the difference in priorities between the UK and G/F/I which led to our problems. The problem is Conservatives who understand technology and industry are almost as rare as socialists.

  9. I think this article is wrong, not because it doesn’t note the obvious symptoms of the underlying rot, but because it fails to tackle why that rot exists and the source of it.

    The problem is philosophical and the key philosophical concept is altruism. It’s altruism that sits deeply within intellectual and academic philosophy which informs collective subjectivism. The belief that every man is responsible for his brother and that selflessness is a moral virtue. Isn’t it obvious ? This is how intellectuals justify the state taxing individuals to pay for their services and how they persuade students that education should be free. Once that evil is part of the framework, then a university or school can only expand upon it – it becomes the base for every kind of immoral behaviour because it targets basic human rights-the primary one being the right to own our own property and hence it tramples on all other rights without exception, including the freedom to speak.

    Make theft acceptable in an education system and the academics will teach that theft is a justifiable public good. It teaches that the initiation of force is not always an evil. It teaches that some people can be sacrificed if it leads to a better social outcome. This is what we hear over and over, that education benefits ‘society’ which is why it must be free-society then is the standard of judgement and anything good for society is acceptable, hence the individual can be sacrificed to the collective without guilt.

    • Altruism is good. Charity is good. Giving and caring and consideration for others is good. But, as travel broadens the mind, so education expands the ego. The higher the education, the bigger the ego.
      And the egos in academe have become so full of their own self-importance, so corrupted by power, they believe it’s better to receive than to give, and they should be the recipients. Worse than that, they believe that indoctrination into their own world view is education at its best.
      Such distortion in the narrow minds of these people is a sign of the impending collapse of our civilisation.

      • Firstly, charity and kindness aren’t altruism. Altruism is a very specific kind of concept which puts duty before self. It means selflessness. It isn’t the giving of some money to a homeless man, but that the homeless man has a claim on your money and hence your life.

        Egoism as opposed to egotism is self esteem, confidence in ones own abilities to cope with reality and to do so by a code of ethics obtained rationally. Therefore education should benefit the egoist, but the academic is not and egoist, he is incompetent in the face of reality, he chooses face it through the competence of men who can. The academic is not a person of esteem, but one of prestige. He is a secondhander, a parasite, reliant on the false virtue of altruism for his survival

        Egotism is power seeking- it is the need for prestige obtained from those seeking the same dependence within a collective group. They seek not to master reality, but to master men. Those kind of men recognise the same weakness and incompetence in others, but they also recognise the individual, self reliant, independent man and fear him. The independent man doesn’t need them, they cannot exist within him and he seeks nothing from them. This kind of man they reject, they call him selfish, egotistic, an exploiter of men and resources, a profiteer, a dull fool incapable of their level of intellectualism-they hate and despise him and would kill him if they could.

        Most definitely it is the academics and intellectuals who hold a great deal of responsibility for the collapsing of western civilisation, for it is they who educate our leaders, our politicians, lawyers, teachers, economists, writers and new academics.

        • I pretty much agree with what you say here, though I believe altruism, along with charity and kindness, are all generally good things. Selflessness, the most admirable of qualities, sums it all up. But we must not discriminate and pick and choose who shall be the recipients, the deserving over the undeserving.
          Unfortunately, our academics and intellectuals are so much in thrall to totalitarian ideologies such as Socialism, Marxism, feminism, etc., the pursuit of knowledge and understanding has been replaced by intolerance and a new politically correct Inquisition.

          • If you believe altruism, selflessness is an admirable quality, then by what absolute standard do you hold that the be true ?

            If you hold mans life as the value, as sacred, then selflessness would require require a renunciation of that standard. It would make death the standard.

            Lack of discrimination would be the mindless sacrifice of anybody to anybody.

            Academia has certainly used altruism to claim moral superiority, because altruism is not an ideal that men can hold in pursuit of their own existence and happiness. Altruism infers guilt. An ideal that cannot be achieved without the ending of someone’s life. That’s where the contradiction lies. Altruism is evil because it is anti-life, anti-mind and anti-reason.

            All those ‘isms’ rely on the concept of altruism. That some must sacrifice to others. That selflessness is a virtue, that sacrifice is a necessity. It only remains to sort out whom is sacrificing to whom.

          • I disagree with your understanding of altruism, which for me is the principle or practice of unselfish concern for the welfare of others. In this sense it is synonymous with selflessness, and does not infer guilt. Self-sacrifice in the service of another is a noble thing. But to expect others to sacrifice themselves is the opposite of altruism. And this is where the guilt creeps in, to make others feel guilty for not being altruistic. But this ignores the fact that altruism and selflessness are a personal choice, dependent upon the individual who makes the choice and upon the circumstances of any particular occasion. This is where our academics are in error. It’s all subjective, and cannot be imposed upon others.

          • You are holding that selflessness and therefore sacrifice, is a virtue. By what standard do you hold that it is a virtue ?

            Certainly it is the guilt of the selfish to be unselfish. That’s exactly what I said.

            Of course it is a personal choice, but for an altruist there are no ‘circumstances of any particular occasion’ if altruism is to be non discrimatory as you previously claimed.

            Nathan Brandon gives a very good example of a Son giving up his dream career, in order to follow a path that gives his mother greater self esteem through the eyes of her peers. In other words giving up his happiness in order for his mother to have prestige.

            Another example is a man who takes a wife, not because he loves her, but because he doesn’t care for her at all. He feels nothing for her, thinks nothing of her, not even pity, nor hate. He marries her because he doesn’t care.

            You clearly agree that imposing altruism is evil. So, why not accept that having such a concept is always going to be a problem if you consider it noble ? In other words it’s a good. This is the same argument from socialism. That socialism is a good, it’s just that people aren’t rational, hence they cannot correctly identify it as a good, therefore the state must impose it on the foolish individuals.

    • > The belief that every man is responsible for his brother and that selflessness is a moral virtue.

      Is it? Or is it, maybe, rather a herd instinct: I scratch your back today so you’d scratch mine tomorrow.

      Academics are weak – both physically and morally. They sit in the closure of their educational monasteries preaching peace – for they can’t handle war. They can’t compete – so they cry for a world where any form of competition is banned.

      Altruism (and socialism – and Christianity) is merely a self-defence mechanism of the weak. “We need a mob to survive – and everyone is equal while in a mob”.

      • We don’t have instincts on the level of animals, that’s what seperates man from beast, we don’t have automatic knowledge of how to survive, instead we need to build conceptual knowledge through perceptive experience. Men trade with each other value for value, but this allows through the man who does not wish to produce in order to trade, instead he uses guile to obtain the unearned by claiming that pure value/value trading is immoral in a society, or, as you say for religion.

        He claims it is immoral, not on the basis of the trade itself, but of the pleasure gained as a result of that trading. The altruist claims that it is the selfish pleasure which is immoral and he seeks to induce guilt for that pleasure in order that the men of value must atone for their sin by giving up that pleasure in part, or whole, by presenting the priest/King/Ruler/Society with a proportion of their production/trade.

        It is not the academic per se that is weak, it is the philosophy by which he lives which proves an attraction for others of that persuasion. Immoral people attract immoral people. A man must choose to be a man a modern academic chooses to be a parasite.

      • Christianity is a self defence mechanism ? How novel. As for Equality, There is no equality, except as equally love£ Children of God.

        Christianity accepts inequality in other ways, because as a Paul says, men and women, Greek and Gentile, Slave and free are one in Christ Jesus.

        Leftism, the ideology of equality, too often rejects Christianity, so must deny the existence of natural inequalities, often very nastily, even when faced with the plain evidence of their existence.

        • > Christianity is a self defence mechanism ? How novel.

          Not very. “On the Genealogy of Morality” was written in 1887.

    • Altruism is evil?
      ‘Theft’ is a justifiable public good??
      Come on..get real.
      Your idea really distils further into a debate on true human nature.

      • Taxation is considered justifiable and a public good is it not ? It is theft if no one has a choice but to hand over their money.

        Altruism is evil because it says to sacrifice yourself to others. The twisted version of subjectivist egoism is to sacrifice others to yourself. In either case it holds that human existence requires martyrs; that some men are the mere means to the ends of others.

        Objectivism holds that individual human life as the standard by which all other values are to be judged. Evil negates life and good promotes that life. Therefore mans life is incompatible with sacrifice as such-of anybody to anybody.

        As men determine their own lives, therefore their income from production is a necessary good to their own lives. Taxation is the utter renunciation of that right to ones own life. It is justifiable only to those who’s morality is to regard man as the sacrificial lamb.

  10. Soon it won’t matter. We can give the 2nd rate universities (most of them) about ten to fifteen years before the internet blows them away. People are beginning to realize that starting life with a degree in English Lit and a £40K debt is a really, really bad deal. Oxbridge and some of the Russel group will remain, but as for the rest….my guess is they will be converted into crappy ‘apartments’

  11. this is quite shocking – adults are leaving home with the freedom to make their own mind up!! clearly this has to be stopped!!

    hmm i can’t think why the author refers to students as children, when they are all adults.

    I thought that the1960s established that when a new generation doesn’t accept the directives of its elders the end of the world is not nigh. oh no it was the 1920s – and that’s where this article belongs, 100 years ago.

    • My children are 26 and 29 and I regard them as children because they both behave recognisably like adolescents, as do their friends, and show no signs of growing up. It takes more to be an adult than reaching the government’s arbitrarily-decided age of 18. The sad thing is that neither seems particularly happy in their protracted childhood. Just stuck.

      • Do they still live at home? Are they not in full time employment ? Do they have serial boyfriends/ girlfriends with no thought of marriage?
        I think “Yes” answers to those questions are the best best indicators of unnaturally prolonged adolescence.

      • ‘civilisation’ being used in the most generous possible way, given that western europe had produced nazis and colonial empires in the few years before the 60s.

        • That is a very facile remark. It is incorrect to assume that other cultures / civilisations did not also produce their genocidal racists and Empire builders. It is thought that Genghis Khan reduced the population in the Mongol Empire by some 100 millions.

          The Turks had a huge Empire which they conquered, as Gladstone remarked, under a tide of blood. The Muslims invaded the Indian sub Continent in what the historian Will Durant described as ‘the bloodiest story in history’. The Chinese Communists for example, continue to rule an Empire in Tibet, Mongolia, Szechuan and elsewhere. There were Empires in Black Africa, Empires in Indo China, Empires in Meso and South America, ruled with oceans of blood. Empires all over the place in fact.

          The difference is that the West fought its genocidal elements and gave independence to its colonies after bringing them at least the basics of modernity, badly needed in many cases.

    • “can’t think why the author refers to students as children, when they are all adults.”
      They are children emotionally.
      Non students, including apprentices, are adults.
      Only children need safe spaces & need to be shielded from serious opinions with which they might disagree – mainly through ignorance.

  12. Why do our young students buy all that the left is selling? Because their a combination of dumb and spoiled, I had a conversation with a young man the other day about just what a Corbyn government would mean for the country, he was gobsmacked when I said “we had all this in the 1970s and I remember well what it meant for people, I can remember walking out my parents house to a mountain of rubbish, I remember only having electric for two hours per day, from 4pm to 6pm, I can remember the country being on strike and Blighty being branded as the ” sick man of Europe”, at this he stopped me and said what do you mean you only had electric for two hours per day? And what do you mean when you say the country was on strike? I explained to him that the reason we only had our electric on for two hours a day was because the electric company was on strike, the reason we had mountains of rubbish on our streets was because the bin men were on strike, as were the railways, as were the miners, as were every nationalised industry in this country, all of them walked out of work, it was called “the winter of discontent”, we also had the labour government bang the tax rate for high earners at 92% which meant anyone with any money left the UK and because most rich people are rich because they own businesses, when they left so did the jobs their business employed, the knock on effect was that we had record breaking high unemployment, when I left school there was 4.6 million people on the dole. I added everything Mr Corbyn wants to do has been done in the past, and the results of it meant the UK was a business dead zone, yet Corbyn wants to follow exactly the plan that failed so badly in the 70s, the lad was gobsmacked and admitted he had no idea that Corbyn’s ideas had been tried in the past and no idea at all that they failed so badly! We need to show the young examples of what a socialist UK was like, and like the lad I was talking to, when they can see for themselves what it was like, they’ll run a mile from it.

    • Quite. It was quite amazing, back in the 60s we Americans enjoyed all those bands – the so-called British Invasion. Well it was, by the mid 70s most of them were Americans simply because they got to keep some of their earnings. Not that we learned much from it either.

    • Hear bloody hear and well said.

      I can remember that time too. I can recall feeling thoroughly fed up with hearing stupid men going on about ‘we got to tek it t’arbitration’ on the news every night.

      And meanwhile the cars they made fell to pieces (remember ‘Friday afternoon’ cars?), the mines were unprofitable and nearly every other nationalised industry was paralysed with bureaucracy.

      happy days…

    • Well said. But do not ever think that the Labour Party will be ho est enough to own up to their ghastly history. Now even the Co servatives want to go down the same route. Roll on UKIP!!

    • If this government is to survive against Corbyn, it needs to point out all this again and again so that the message strikes home.

      Venezuela, so admired by Comrade Corbyn, would also serve as another dire, contemporary warning of what would lie ahead which needs rubbing in.

      That the only real choice should lie between two really is an illustration of the threadbare nature of our excuse for a democracy.

    • I saw on Talking Pictures, the vintage cinema channel, Brittania Hospital.
      This film was made by a top director & had a strong cast.
      Virtually forgotten, it gave a harsh, symbolic, picture of the UK in the 1970s.
      As in real life, unqualified union drudges were pompously deciding who got operations & who didn’t.
      As the title implies, it was a report on contemporary UK.
      As someone who lived through it, I can vouch for the veracity of the unions’ behaviour.

  13. Yes, but there is more. The people who do well in school, usually smart and nerdy, go on to college, where again they are rewarded. But if they try the rough and tumble of life in the real world, they find they are not rewarded for being smart and nerdy (not an exact usage, of course). The real world rewards people for doing real things, almost always against opposition. And so those smart and nerdy ones retreat to the tower of academe where status and money are awarded for being smart and nerdy, not for real accomplishments, but for regurgitating things other smart and nerdy people said or wrote.

    Exceptions? Sure, quite a few, both ways. But if you want to get rich, it’s better to be a footballer, a rock star, or an engineer, than an adjunct professor of (pick one) studies at Podunk U. Them that can, do. Them that can’t, teach, and look at the doers with envy and disdain, and teach their children to do the same.

  14. Many parents have been asking the question on the quality of university education for some while. In fact there was a huge and prolonged campaign to keep grammar schools because parents were also noticing that primary and secondary education were going backwards too. We succeeded in keeping the Kent Grammar system in place but it took a lot of donations and hard work from parents. We also set up some wonderful relationships with local businesses who would come and talk to the students about their businesses and the opportunities they would give to 18yr olds who chose not to go to university. It was surprising how many very bright young people actually chose not to take up a university place. Both my children got 6 GCSE at A level but chose to avoid university. Both have done exceptionally well in the work place, as have their peers who followed the same path. All own property!!!! All feel engaged in society and a number now run their own businesses.

    Successive governments are leaning further towards socialism and the big state. This comes from 43 years of EU membership. Let us not forget that UK diverged from mainland Europe in the 8th century when we rallied together and created common law. We traded around the known world and built up a strong capitalist society with a social chapter. We had a King…Alfred the Great who started to form common law that Magna Carta eventually grew from. Because of this we have governed ourselves and our leaders have been by consent rather than large bureaucracies or dictatorships. We must be about the only country in Europe who has never been under a fascist or communist dictator. Most of the countries we now call Europe were not even formed when we were living under common law. They were small states fighting each other, lacking any cohesion or laws. Probably the biggest and nearest to our own values was Russia.

    However, the EU are changing this slowly and by stealth. They have promised to give us our money back in the way of university subsidies but with a political condition attached. They tried to do this with the Philippines recently. Thank goodness the Philippines declined their underhand offer. They have tried to do this with Azerbaijan too. But again they declined and set up the Russian/Asian project that circumvents EU but allows us to trade with them. Hence our gas pipes now being built. The EU caused the unrest in Ukraine, we had a very articulate Ukrainian student talking to us at the UKiP hustings about the underhand dealings within his country. So much so that his parents left and came the the UK where they felt safe. There are many things the EU will do by socialist stealth and if we do not stop this happening soon, it will be too late.

  15. In the later 1960s I was on a teaching course at London University.
    I enjoyed the classes on philosophy & liked the lecturer, even his dress sense,
    at a time when hippiedom was rife.
    I was a Labour voter, but felt a little uncomfortable when he regularly ended classes
    with the phrase “vote Labour”.

    • You fail to comprehend the difference between miseducation, brainwashing, lies
      and education.
      Presumably you are a graduate of a Cuban university, or possibly North Korea ?

  16. It’s a brilliant strategy by the left, if you think about it.

    Introduce pointless degrees at University. Increase the numbers attending and allowing them to get into University with less than average A-level results. Convince the less than average students that they’re now intellectuals, having attended University. Rely on herd mentality — “vote left, vote socialism” — to do the rest for for you.

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