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Apologies to the English Couple over-hearing my father and I last night - I was only joking

Tom Winnifrith Thursday 9 June 2016

 

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Winnifrith males have loud voices and we like to tease each other and also anyone unfortunate enough to join us, in the case of supper last night that meant my dear wife. And thus as the wine flowed we found ourselves discussing the output of our various universities.

My father is, of course, a full on elitist but knowing that his deluded lefty wife who forces him to read the Guardian may disapprove sometimes finds himself having to pretend otherwise. And thus as we discuss the Brexit vote, I note that John Stuart Mill raised in "On Democracy" the idea that more intelligent folks should get more votes. Why not, I suggest give 10 votes to those of us who went to Oxbridge (my father and I), 5 to Russell Group graduates, 2 to those who attended other old universities, 1 to those with no degree and minus 1 to those who attended the former Polytechnics. Thus my wife would get 5 votes and her students would all get minus 1 votes. On reflection having lectured to them, make that minus five votes.

I am joking but with this wheeze get a double tease. My wife is naturally appalled at every level but after a while twigs that I am joking and her indignation about posh white male Tories subsides. My father secretly agrees with my absurd proposition but cant bring himself to admit it so must counter that University degrees are not a very good way to test intelligence. He asks " who is to say that he is more intelligent than, er...."

I helpfully complete the sentence with, Sam, the ex husband of my youngest step sister Flea who is almost certainly the stupidest and most feckless individual known to us both. My father - who has never defended this hopeless worm before thus finds himself having to suggest that he has hidden talents and depths. As I ask my father how this man - who makes the students of my wife seem like Einstein and Socrates combined - would have fared when studying for my father's Oxford degree he rather gives up on this one.

I note that the couple at the next table are smirking. They appear to have encountered two Brits who hold rather extreme views. Well one in me - they are not sure about my father. Of course they actually have it the wrong way round, it is my father who is the closet elitist, I just enjoy seeing him squirming in an ever straightjacket created by his refusal to "come out" as an elitist, while annoying the Mrs for a few seconds until she realises that I am joking.

Kardamili is the Mani destination of choice for middle class Brits without kids and so I'm sure that on may tables here there are intense discussions based on the works of John Stuart Mill. It is that sort of place. Tonight we done in Kambos after visiting the Greek Hovel. John Stuart Mill is rarely discussed there.

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About Tom Winnifrith
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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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