A twitter spat to start the day with Hugo Rifkind a journalist who is a journalist because of who his pop is (Malcolm) not because of any great ability. Or in fact any ability at all. Mr Rifkind spews out inane tweets in the same way as my morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley pisses on the doorstep. He does so constantly and the world is none the wiser as a result. Among this morning's bon mots was:
Maybe right-wing columnists who worry there aren't enough right-wing academics should ask themselves why they are columnists, not academics.
This is prompted by a recent survey showing that academics are far more lefty wing than folks of similar intelligence in the population as a whole. But in making his silly suggestion which could only come from someone living inside that privileged London media and political bubble one wonders does Mr Rifkind have any experience of life in academia?
So I retweeted with the suggestion "because if you are anything other than left wing on a liberal arts campus your career is dead in the water".
What followed was Rifkind demanding to know if I had any experience of this. Yes I do my father was and my wife is an academic. Rifkind demanded that I name them so landing my poor Mrs in the soup. A man with an IQ of more than 25 could discover my father . Try typing Winnifrith University into google and you will see where he was. But then Rifkind did not get his job for being especially smart did he?
Because I fail to land my Mrs in the soup. Rifkind said he does not believe me. Like I really care. Little Hugo not believing what I say does not make it any more or less valid. I could not resist asking him what job he would be doing now had his pop been a roadsweeper? He has not answered that.
Meanwhile, eight months after the referendum my wife has yet to dare admit to her colleagues that she voted for Brexit. Still on facebook, her pals, all lefty academics rant on about how anyone who voted to leave the EU is thick, racist and did not understand the issues. Very wisely, when I gave a lecture to her students on capitalism, she stressed that my views were her own and that she disagreed completely. Institutions which no platform even folks like Germaine Greer and the great Peter Tatchell these days because they have expressed a thought crime on transgender issues are beacons of intolerance.
In my wife's field, sociology, there are just no Tories. But then when Marx is on the core curriculum not as a thesis proven almost entirely wrong by events since the publication of the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, but as a valid scientific theory, is that a surprise? To advance her career the Mrs must get articles published in scholarly periodicals read by almost nobody. To get your article in the editorial board must review it and approve it. And that board is made up of existing sociology lecturers of whom none are Tories. Try getting an article in suggesting capitalism rocks? Good luck.
Unlike priviliged Hugo, I have been to events in academia such as the launch of the last book the Mrs contributed to - which was in a way sheer comedy as I noted at the time. On a day when the 100 or so folks in the room should have been filling the heads of impressionable young folks with ideas about the evils of capitalism, they gathered to discuss the book. But by mid afternoon they went off the stated agenda to have a long session - and remember they are being paid by the taxpayer as they yakked away - on how they could bring down the wicked Tories. In such an environment no right winger can even breathe let alone hope for a flourishing career.
Such is life in the real world Hugo. Why not feck off back to your Westminster bubble, say hi to pop, and carry on being a pompous arse opining on matters of which you know nothing.