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October 09, 2006



Frank Field and John Prescott have university degrees from the same place, Hull, though Prescott also attended Ruskin college, so I don't think you can assert that one's intelligent and the other isn't. I've never seen anything in their respective political careers to believe it either.

Backword Dave

"It's certainly remarkable that, AFAIK, only two of 23 Cabinet ministers - Beckett and Miliband - have attended state school and have post-graduate degrees." Surely you mean *English* State schools, unless you know something about Gordon Brown and John Reid the rest of us don't.


I agree with you entirely about the prominence of ideas in public life- I find it comical when someone like Alaistair Campbell insists on ideas, you know that he doesn't know what an idea is nor does he understand where one comes from. Its interesting as well to note how separate academia and politics have become over the last generation- no more Ralph Millibands being key figures.


"The ability to keep quiet...and presbyterian backgrounds often give you such self restraint": in my experience, Cambridge combination rooms are dull compared to the lively Edinburgh common room that I used to argue in. Cambridge = solemn; Edinburgh = serious, and serious laddies josh, tease and joke a lot. At least there, back then.

chris y

Matthew, Chris isn't arguing that Prescott isn't intelligent - anyone who's dealt with him will tell you that he's extraordinarily quick on the uptake and knows his brief inside out. But he's not "an intellectual". Field is, and Field is not DPM.


"only two of 23 Cabinet ministers have attended state school and have post-graduate degrees": perhaps the key question should be how many attended state schools without extra private coaching and....

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