Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bullingdon again - Osborne was a member too

The Daily Mail reveals (complete with photo) that Gideon George Osborne was a member of the Bullingdon Club too, in 1992. As the Mail says, it deals a blow to the Tory attempts to portray the current version of their party as "classless", especially as Bullingdon is "open only to sons of aristocratic families and the super-rich.".

As described in the previous post on Cameron, Bullingdon specialises in the feudal pursuit of trashing other people's property for the "fun" of distressing them (Bullingdon destruction has included smashing up 17th century restaurants and destroying a Stradivarius), and then buying them off to demonstrate the members are above thelaw and can do whatever they want.

What is it about the characters of the current Tory leadership that draws them to clubs like Bullingdon? I can't imagine Mrs Thatcher or John Major joining any club that indulged in vandalism (indeed the very idea of people destroying private property would have horrified Thatcher's bourgeoisie sensibilities).

Tories are trying to spin the disapproval in the Mail and elsewhere as class envy. Actually it is not. Nobody minds if someone is born rich. What they mind is rich people refusing to socialise with middle-class and poor people (Bullingdon for instance wouldn't have admitted Stephen Hawking as a member) and they mind rich people treating the poor and their property with disrespect.

There is a world of difference between someone like Bill Gates, who was born to a wealthy background, channelled his energies into building a company that revolutionised the way people used IT and then started giving his money away to the poor in a massive attempt at philanthropy; and someone like Gideon Osborne, born to a wealthy family, joined a club exclusively for the rich that specialises in distressing the poor by vandalising their property, and now spends most of his time in childish sneering at more talented people.

A Bill Gates would be worthy of leadership, a Gideon Osborne shouldn't be let anywhere near power. Liberal democracy is all about protecting people's private property. It's only in feudal societies and dictatorships where your property can be destroyed or confiscated at will. Trashing property for fun is the sort of thing Kim Jong-il would enjoy.

I also feel very sorry for ordinary Tory members who come from the middle and working classes. How dreadful it must be for them to know that no matter how talented and clever they are, they have no place at the Tory top table (as evidenced by Cameron freezing them out in favour of ex-Etonians and other public school people). But you can't help wondering at their cowed spirits. Why don't they stick up for themselves? Why don't they demand that the shadow cabinet is more representative of the Tory party as a whole. Do they like being second-class in their own party? Do they like doffing their caps to Gideon and co? If so they have even less in common with the rest of Britain in the 21st century than first appeared.

4 comments:

Aaron said...

Ah! Who would have thought Gideon "hang Nelson Mandella" Osborne would have been a drunken toff too?

Of course when I was a student, such drunken bafoonery simply wasn't tolerated. ;o)

Anonymous said...

As with Dave the public don't seem to give a toss what they did 20 + years ago.
From comments at work the Brown nose picking and then eating the contents of his nose seems to be much more of a talking point.

jams o donnell said...

Why am I not surprised Snowflake! There is only on consolation from all of this - no place at the top table for my MP Andrew Rosindell

Not much of a silver lining in this cloud, I know!

snowflake5 said...

Anonymous - the press have been presenting Bullingdon as "merely" a weird clothes club. They have been skating past the vandalism aspect.

But the vandalism side will eventually come to the fore, as people keep digging and asking what these men destroyed. While people in general are tolerant of silly clothes, they arn't tolerant at all of grown men destroying property. The English in particular are very attached to their property.

There is also no statute of limitations on vandalism as far as I'm aware. If you destroy property, you should get charged and tried for it. I look forward to Gideon and co being brought to justice - if vandals from council estates have to face court, so should vandals from Oxford.