Saturday, May 24, 2014


This is Professor John Curtice, FRSA, FRSE, who is alleged to be what is intriguingly known as `an academic.`   He is currently Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and is reported to be particularly interested in electoral behaviour and researching political and social attitudes.

He turned up last evening on BBC News 24 giving us the benefit of his wisdom following the local council election results.   He admitted that UKIP`s success had been `a remarkable achievement.   The party`s vote is proving to be highest in wards with more older people, fewer graduates and few ethnic minorities,` he opined.   He then went on to suggest that the reverse was true in London, where UKIP had not performed as well and where voters tended to be `more intelligent` than in the rest of the country.   Seriously. I`m fairly sure he didn`t make it up.

It`s really quite astonishing but perhaps not all that surprising that these remarks go unnoticed and unreported (possibly because not many people watch BBC News 24 midway through a Friday evening) but they strike me as being at least as offensive as anything we heard during the election campaign.   But I think what his comments do confirm is that London has almost become a country of its own, separated from the rest of the UK by its own unique `culture,` its own demography, its inward looking assumed entitlement and self importance.  

In Curtice`s world, it seems the rest of the UK is populated by dimwitted forelock-touching bumpkins who have failed to come to terms with the reality of life in modern day Britain. There might be an argument that suggests a generational divide as much as anything else, with an increasingly elderly population who find it difficult to acknowledge changes in social behaviour, but that does not mean that they are therefore less intelligent or perceptive than inhabitants of the great smoke.  They`re just older and having been injured by the crass assumptions that surfaced during the election campaign, they now find themselves insulted by the kind of sweeping assertions that could only come from `an academic.` 

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