How to get university students on your side, by Gavin Williamson

I’M confident I can stamp out ‘cancel culture’ on campuses because, as education secretary, I have a deep understanding of young people. Here’s how I intend to win them over.

Tell them what to think

At 18, a young person’s mind is a confused mess of hormones and fizzy pop. Without direction the average student will be a gay Marxist by their 21st birthday. That’s why they need a middle-aged white man like me to cancel cancel culture, leaving them free not to think about things.

Freeze fees

Freezing fees at £9,000 a year for one virtual seminar a week makes me a real hero of the people. Sure, lots of them still face decades or a lifetime of stressful debt, but you can’t put a price on knowledge.

A fruit hamper for every one

If there’s one thing students go crazy for, it’s vitamin C. A fruit hamper (actually three oranges) hand-delivered to every student is sure to put me in their good books. Don’t worry about the cost to the taxpayer, we can just stick a few extra quid on their fees when everyone’s distracted by something else.

Enforced lockdown imprisonment

Erecting metal fences around student accommodation at the first mention of Covid is a good way to show undergraduates just how much you care about them. Throw in a voucher for a half-price pizza and troublesome teenagers will soon be putty in your hands. 


In the unlikely event that these measures don’t work, I’ll be visiting universities to personally give out free Tamagotchis. The young people will be so excited about these fashionable new electronic pets they’ll forget what even is.

Sign up now to get
The Daily Mash
free Headlines email – every weekday

Five fantastic new emojis just for Guardian readers

EXISTING emojis are fine for plebs, but don’t convey the complex feelings of Guardian readers. As Apple launches more than 200 new ones, here are some just for them.

Sad face because your child will only eat white bread

You longed for a child who would happily eat olives, or herring pickled by artisan Norwegians, offering excellent humblebragging opportunities. Sadly, your little one is obsessed with bland white bread and shows little interest in the recipes of Yotam Ottolenghi.

Clenched jaw in response to unwoke micro-aggression

Keeping on top of your virtue signalling against unwoke lapses on social media is almost a full-time job – there’s a lot of it about. Ease the strain on your fingertips with this all-purpose, tailor-made emoticon.

Raised eyebrow of condescension at a popular film

What’s wrong with films these days? All these entertaining superhero movies and silly sci-fi things? Why can’t there be more about the climate crisis or the plight of the Uighurs? Establish your right-on credentials and intellectual superiority with one tap on your screen.

Howl of pained anguish at the patriarchy and capitalism still running the world

This takes ages to type, so this distraught emoji is a real time-saver. Highlights the fact that you aren’t stupid enough to keep voting for the same appalling governments – like most people – while freeing up time for you to read another pointless article about lockdown yoga in the Guardian lifestyle section.

Smug face letting everyone know you’ve done something ethical

This range of emojis consists of yellow smiley faces doing ethical things like buying Fairtrade coffee or putting the recycling out. Use them frequently.