Sunday, October 26, 2008


Shadow of the Bullingdon Returns to Haunt Tories

The Bullingdon Club of 1992: pictured are (1) George Osborne, (2) Harry Mount, (3) Chris Coleridge, (4) Lupus von Maltzahn, (5) Mark Petre (6) Peter Holmes a Court, (7) Nat Rothschild, (8) Jason Gissing.

So much in politics- like voting for instance- is based on which side is disliked least. I thought the Corfu business was media driven froth a few days ago: how wrong I was. It has dredged up all that stuff again about the Conservative leadership being 'toffs' in the worst possible way. Never mind that Peter Mandelson's relationship with Oleg Deripaskais is possibly a more fruitful area for press indignation and investigation, it is George's connections with Nat Rotshchild and their former membership of the infamous Bullingdon Club that has won the focus.

'Not so Smug Now' reads the ST's headline under the above picture of the astonishingly smug looking very rich bastards who clearly have a withering contempt for every bit of humanity excluded from their awful little clique. I challenge anyone to take a look at the expressions and postures of the majority of those in the picture and disagree with my assessment. I reckon more than a few will be reminded by this affair and the widespread publication of the above picture, just which side they dislike more.

But it is more serious than the dash of tribal class spite which probably inspires people like me. Andrew Rawnsley today, makes the point that in response to Brown's charge that 'this is no time for novices', they replied that 'character and judgement' were more important. Well, in the midst of 'Corfugate', both qualities are looking in the shortest possible supply right now in the topmost reaches of the Conservative Party.

[Incidentally, if you haven't seen it take a look at Chris Riddell's simply brilliant cartoon on the Osborne embarrassment in today's Observer]

Did you see Paul Merton on "Have I Got News For You?". Looking at the Bullingdon photo he remarked on : "George Osborne's look of absolute contempt for anyone who isn't George Osborne".
I worked with Mark at TWI about 10 years ago. I've rarely met a more lovely, kind, humble and gentle man. He died in 2004 and I have only fond memories of him.

Pictures don't always tell you the whole truth and you should be careful about jumping to such damming conclusions.
Yes, you are right. I didn't know the guy but I judged him according to a 'tribal' reaction and he was clearly not as I assumed he was. But the whole Bullingdon thing casts them all in such an appalling light, such judgements are kind of inevitable. But I do take your point.
I knew Mark at Oxford and he was a warm and friendly human being. He didn't care that I came from a state school background or that I was on a full grant. In fact I didn't detect a hint of snobbery from him.

When he died in 2004 a lot of people were very upset.

It is very upsetting to now read your 'reverse snob' comments and poisonous verdict on a lovely man you never even met.

No excuses.
Both anons
Well, I've been put in my place and no mistake. I've amended the post accordingly.
a heartfelt thank you to the anons who are sticking up for my late brother. whoever you are, it means alot to know there are people out there who still remember him for the fine man he was. all this unfounded judgement is sickening to the core.
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