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A letter to today's Guardian - my father asks if this is irony..don't kid yourself Dad

Tom Winnifrith
Thursday 17 August 2017

Reading the Guardian letters page is not an ordeal I can bring myself to suffer even in the interests of research into the far reaches of the deranged mentality of public sector working, virtue signalling, elitist, money tree worshipping thought. Or what goes for it. But my father, a closet reactionary, is a loyal Guardian reader.

He puts himself through this daily ordeal in memory of my late step mother who had a range of cranky left wing views in the way that many folks born into wealth can afford to but also to appease my public sector working, etc, etc etc sisters. As a result at least five times a week he calls me up incensed by some utter piffle in his rag of choice.

You may remember that my father was a univesity lecturer in the days when very few folks got a Geoff, 2:1s were less common than Desmonds and it was actually not uncommon to get a Douglas. Indeed it was possible to fail in his era. Of course it is all different now and that produced this letter today:

Reading Jonathan Wolff and Andrew Adonis (One-man summer Twitter storm, 8 August), one might be misled into thinking that the senior staff of our universities are a bunch of greedy and unprincipled opportunists. Far from it. Look at their results: in the last decade the number of students achieving first-class degrees has doubled and the number achieving upper-seconds has surged. Let’s not grudge a few extra hundred thousands to the men and women who have brought about an improvement in our national brilliance that is surely unparalleled in history.

Tony Hufton

My father asks if this is irony? I point out that lefty Guardian readers have no sense of humour at all and moreover that the views expressed are mainstream Guardian reading nonsense. He is forced to agree on both points.

At my wife's university the Vice Chancellor has just quit her £350,000 a year job. Natch it is bringing in talent like that that has caused such a leap in standards. As with A levels, it is nothing whatsoever to do with grade inflation is it and anyone who dares suggest otherwise is a heretic who, if it did not cause global warming, should be burned at the stake.

If course not. Praise the great money tree. Pay rises all round.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
[email protected]
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