Shipyard worker turned religion professor uncovers 'crude views' of Barrovians post-Brexit

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13 September 2016 8:56PM

A FORMER shipyard worker who now teaches religion at a London university has uncovered some of the blunt opinions of people in Barrow post-Brexit.

Professor James Crossley undertook the study examining the opinions of people on religion and the EU referendum in a bid to challenge intellectuals' "snobbish views" of northern towns like Barrow.

Prof Crossley, who was born and lives in Barrow but works at St Mary's University in London, interviewed a number of people in Barrow town centre to gauge opinions on politics, the EU and religion and said he was "entertained" by some of the rather crude responses he received.

While we have not published many of the more extreme or expletive-filled responses, many others provide a colourful insight into the views of those interviewed by Prof Crossley, a former shipyard worker.

The language was probably more crude/entertaining than I expected

One described SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon as "that bloody Scottish gnasher" while Michael Gove was labelled a "chinless bloody wonder".

Many expressed opinions on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his ongoing spat with Barrow MP John Woodcock. The Barrow MP was said to have been "stabbing Corbyn in the back since day one" and one even described Mr Woodcock as "arrogant and pig-headed".

Prof Crossley's study described how Barrow, a traditionally industrial town, voted in favour of leaving the EU, with 60 per cent voting for Brexit. Respondents included the unemployed as well as those employed as a nurse, engineer, charity worker, plumber and pastry seller.

One interviewee, who voted Leave, said that "England would never be free tied to the yoke of the continentals" while on the topic of religion, one said "I don't mind people being religious as long as they don't try and make me religious".

Prof Crossley told the Evening Mail: "The stark difference between politicians using religion and voters in a place like Barrow not liking or noticing this (some didn't even believe me when I showed them that politicians said such things) is an important result for my research and needs to be explained.

"I was also irritated by snobbish attitudes among intellectuals towards people who voted leave in places like Barrow and I didn't think the ways "northern towns" were being portrayed showed much understanding.

"I wanted to provide a non-romantic view of Barrow where the reasons people gave for leave or remain were not necessarily stupid or deluded but similar to the views given up and down the country, elite or not.

"But I also wanted to jolt some (non-Barrovian) readers with the humour of the responses and the language was probably more crude/entertaining than I expected!"

READ THE FULL STUDY HERE

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