Thanks Terry Pratchett for the quote (yes Terry said it before Russell Brand):
“I don’t hold with paddlin’ with the occult,” said Granny firmly. “Once you start paddlin’ with the occult you start believing in spirits, and when you start believing in spirits you start believing in demons, and then before you know where you are you’re believing in gods. And then you’re in trouble.”
“But all them things exist,” said Nanny Ogg.
“That’s no call to go around believing in them. It only encourages ’em.”
Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies [Parody of Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux]
I’m of the opinion that above goes for politicians and the upper and upper middle classes in general, especially when it comes to resources since we’d all be livestock to the financiers of this world given half a chance. Terry might have applied the above to politicians and voting… But I can’t quite remember. But again thanks to that great man, my favourite author.
So it’s election day and I’m late to the party since the election call and campaigning happened so quickly. But to put it simply Theresa May has made comments that impressed me at the beginning of her run and then failed to live up to them as usual for a PM putting them out of reach so by the time comes another govt is in place ready to scrap them. The differences between manifestos, mandates and what actually happens never fails to take away from the public and I’m jaded. Political U-turns remind me of alllll the promises that were renegaded on and amended straight after Live 8 (2005) when Tony Blair and George Bush’s people decided they didn’t have to go through with charitable promises they publicly made.
I was also unimpressed with neither of having done the interview rounds especially with my [former] favourite news anchor Jon Snow, until yesterday when at the last minute May at least agreed due to pressure from twitter social disgust.
History and Herstory
When I think of Jeremy Corbyn I automatically think of the Bullingdon Club. Why?
This is why:
David Cameron would prefer that the picture did not exist. Boris Johnson, too, in his now more sober guise of Mayor of London, probably wishes it was never taken.
Together with a number of other young men with their eyes set on glittering prizes, they pose swaggeringly in the blue tailcoats and mustard-coloured waistcoats of Oxford University’s notorious Bullingdon Club.
Since becoming Tory leader, Mr Cameron has done his best to play down his days with the elite dining society whose members got drunk on champagne and trashed the restaurants in which they caroused.
Bullingdon boys: Boris Johnson (sitting right) and David Cameron (back row, second left) pose with other club members, including Ewen Fergusson, now a lawyer, and Jonathan Ford, now a journalist
The picture was even withdrawn from general circulation after pressure from his office. In vain, it seems.
A no-holds-barred TV drama portraying the Bullingdon set will acutely embarrass Mr Cameron, Mr Johnson and another former member, Shadow Chancellor George Osborne.
To be shown on More4, it will be set against the backdrop of the miners’ strike, when communities in Labour’s working-class heartlands were brought to their knees.
Questions were raised last night over the ultra-liberal Channel 4’s aim to screen the film in the autumn – just months before Gordon Brown must hold a general election.
Young and free: David Cameron and Boris Johnson are just two members of the Bullingdon Club to enter politics
Tory MP Philip Davies, a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, questioned the timing of the drama-documentary.
He said: ‘They may well say there will be more interest in the programme before we go to the polls, but the timing seems curious to say the least and opens them to accusations they are pursuing an agenda.’
The club – which has been terrorising the residents of Oxford for 200 years – is still going strong.
Not many weeks ago, it was reported that several of its present members were threatened with Anti-Social Behaviour Orders following a raucous house party at which dozens of champagne bottles were smashed.
What’s really interesting to me about all this is that – though it might be a cliche – these really are the young men and women who will fill the ancient professions of medicine, the law and politics in the future.
They ran amok through Oxford
Indeed, it’s fair to ask of that notorious Bullingdon photograph of Cameron and Johnson: How many of the participants will be in the Cabinet in a few years?
Others in the picture have gone on to have equally successful careers, including Ewen Fergusson, now a partner in the prestigious City law firm of Herbert Smith, and Jonathan Ford, a senior journalist at Reuters.
However, it was the presence of the future Tory leader and future London Mayor that really made people sit up and take note.
If this elite Oxford club boasted the two most prominent Conservative politicians in the country among its ex-members, isn’t it about time we learned a little more about it?
In 1986, shortly after Cameron, Johnson and fellow members had posed for that notorious photograph, they ran amok through the streets of Oxford.
One of them threw a plant pot through the plate-glass window of a restaurant, triggering the burglar alarm. The police arrived, complete with sniffer dogs, and six of the ten-strong group were arrested.
‘The party ended up with a number of us crawling on all fours through the hedges of the botanical gardens,’ says Boris Johnson. ‘And once we were in the cells, we became pathetic namby-pambies.’
Back in 1983, when I first went to Oxford, the Bullingdon was reemerging from a period of obscurity in which it looked as if it might vanish altogether.
It was one of several Oxford societies, including the Assassins and the Piers Gaveston, that only began to emerge from the shadows after Margaret Thatcher’s election victory in 1979.
The generation of students that attended the university in the early Eighties – a group that included Hugh Grant, PR man to the stars Matthew Freud and Nigella Lawson – treated Thatcher’s triumph as an excuse to reinvent themselves.
A new era: When the Bullingdon Club began to reemerge in the early Eighties, Hugh Grant and Nigella Lawson were among the well-known names attending Oxford University
The modern, egalitarian Britain of the Sixties and Seventies was rejected in favour of a nostalgic fantasy based on the novels of Evelyn Waugh and P.G. Wodehouse.
In 1981, an unknown photographer called Dafydd Jones decided to enter a photo competition by documenting the excesses of this generation.
The resulting magazine cover story was headlined The Return Of The Bright Young Things and featured the Hon Pandora Mond (the sister of former Greenpeace director Lord Melchett) exposing her nipple, the now respected author Katie Hickman removing a young man’s trousers and – most notoriously – Nigella Lawson playing croquet through the window of a sedan chair.
The publication of these photos – and the attention they received – helped redefine Oxford as a playground for the sons and daughters of Britain’s privileged elite.
That was far from true, with the so-called ‘Bright Young Things’ making up only a tiny fraction of the student body. But the TV screening of Brideshead Revisited in the autumn of 1981 did nothing to dispel this myth.
During the three years I spent there, it was as though Oxford – and no doubt the same was true of Cambridge – was a stage and people like Gottfried von Bismarck and Darius Guppy were the theatrical stars we had all come to see.
The reason they paraded around in tailcoats, empty champagne bottles strewn in their wake, was not because they didn’t care what ordinary people thought of them. On the contrary, they were playing up to people’s prejudices about what people from privileged backgrounds were like – and revelling in the attention it brought them.
For instance, at one Piers Gaveston Society ‘debauch’ I attended, I saw one of the senior members march up to an attractive young girl and grab her breasts. He then looked over his shoulder, anxious to see who had noticed this ‘outrageous’ behaviour.
As someone from a middle-class background who’d been educated at a comprehensive, I was initially as dazzled by the antics of these exotic creatures as everyone else. To my inexperienced eye, they looked as if they had stepped straight from the pages of Brideshead.
But towards the end of my time at Oxford, it became clear that it was just an act – and rather a pathetic one at that.
This dawning realisation meant that I didn’t take the members of clubs like the Bullingdon very seriously – and neither, in the end, did the rest of the student population.
But what few of us imagined was that the Bullingdon would be incubating the leaders of tomorrow.
So what did George Osborne, David Cameron and Boris Johnson know that we didn’t? I think they grasped that the theatrical element of Oxford’s secret clubs and societies, the fact that so much of their activity seemed designed to dazzle and mystify bemused onlookers, is precisely what makes them such ideal training grounds for British public life.
Everyone in this club is fraudulent
As we saw from Gordon Brown’s stewardship of the recent G20 Summit, creating the impression that you’ve achieved an historic agreement, even if there’s very little substance to it, is the key to success in politics. Much of it is artifice, image – and that is what they traded on even when they were irritatingly selfsatisfied undergraduates.
The lesson each generation of Bright Young Things is taught at Oxford, thanks to their membership of these organisations, is that you don’t have to be to the manor born to become a member of Britain’s ruling class – or even particularly clever.
You don’t need charisma or sexual confidence or a sense of entitlement. All you need is the wherewithal to pretend to be someone who has these qualities. Provided you can do a reasonable impression of a person with the right stuff – and provided you wear the right uniform – that’s enough to propel you to the top.
I sometimes wonder what these contemporaries of mine must be thinking as they sit in their glasswalled corner offices, surveying the world beneath them through their picture windows.
Do they congratulate themselves on having fooled people into taking them seriously? Does it strike them as miraculous that they’ve made it, despite having indulged in behaviour at Oxford that would have seen them sent to jail if they were from less privileged backgrounds?
I doubt it. The discovery that all these young pretenders make when they take their seats at the Cabinet table, or become QCs, or pocket £100million on a complicated land deal, is that the people at the very pinnacle of British society – the people pulling the levers of power – are exactly like them.
There is no such thing as the real McCoy, just a bunch of schoolboys parading around in the contents of the dressing-up box. They don’t feel like frauds, because everyone else in this elite little club is as fraudulent as they are.
But then that’s the dirty little secret at the heart of British public life – and for the lucky few who are invited to become members of the Bullingdon, it’s a secret they discover much sooner than the rest of us.
So whilst ‘Millionaire’s Row’ and their offspring enjoy the fat of the land acting like everyone owes them a living what was Corbyn doing?
He was an activist through and through, and has been since
As for Theresa May? She was an Oxford vicar’s daughter and went from private education to Oxford University to the Bank of England and never looked down at us lowlifes from the dizzying heights an elitst birth ensures one.
Human Rights and Go Home
From Corbyn we have an array of social causes and movements he’s been interested in e.g. from his young years to this day he still supports Nuclear Disarmament. From Theresa May we get potential savings on EU fees (though companies are packing up and moving HQ’s to Europe) which should theoretically give us more money for national services but with more ‘freedom’ apparantly comes a lack of or no human rights. So companies vs humans?
Following horrifying events in the UK the age old immigration (and poverty) fears are on high alert and anything those currently in power don’t like is up for takedown using terrorism as a blanket excuse and blindsight. The event at Westminster highlighted woefully confusing and shockingly slow reaction from security forces who were there but somehow axing their jobs en masse prevents further incident and makes people feel safe. I don’t even want to imagine troops and private security firms on the streets and/or in charge, the police are bad enough. Where are those savings/money going?
The irony here is that the UK has never been a fan of the European Convention for Human Rights – or humans rights in general:
International human rights treaties and the UK
The above chart is both a horror story of the past and a ‘terror-ifying’ prophecy of what lies in store for people when their lives are in the hands of those who think they don’t have human rights, don’t have rights for existing and even worse think of any leeway they ‘allow’ as a gift and/or privilege. What I really don’t like is the way any form of ‘human rights’ law or support has been seen as somehow ‘making things easy’ for criminals (those not making the laws because technically when you change laws to suit your purpose and it’s not for the ethics of the people who supposedly elected you but for examples corporations, surveillance/arms firms and their sponsors instead that makes you a criminal – just not one who is easily taken to court let alone a fair, independent ‘court’ i.e. not an ecclesiastic symbol and financial theatre or Black Court). It’s not easy to prove and win anything via appealing to your human rights, it often takes help from charities and a lot of support around you whether you’re a ‘regular Joe/Jane’ or someone a lot of people would think of as ‘criminal’. Anyone going through the court system could be understood for wondering if they were human or legally human by the end of it. The UK has always wanted special treatment in regards to Human Rights, wanting to opt-out and partially opt-out – hey if an individual wants to claim they’re not human and hence doesn’t have human rights that’s their business, don’t make the decision for them they’re not your property and some of us don’t mind being human, mostly.
Anyone remember Theresa May’s run as Home Secretary? It wasn’t that long ago. So on one hand you shouldn’t continue to go to a country, ravish it, train people and give them weapons, backstab them, engage with their enemies, invite your own country’s so-called enemies to your royal weddings, deny them human rights, think of them as nothing but money hungry immigrants just waiting to take our jobs and women and then expect them to like you as well as hide the weapons they somehow got during your previous friendship.
Theresa May – is there a van outside your residence saying ‘Go Home’; I don’t which part of Europe your people mostly likely came from or at least some of them (everybody wants to be a Celt) but it’s ironic isn’t it that you want to leave Europe.
Oh.My.G (and not the G in the Compass and Square since that’s all twisted and abused).
What was he trying to say and why was he censored?
Anyway, moving on. Not.
I hope Corbyn wins it… And doesn’t end up like another Ken Livingstone so -called man of the people. Or that perhaps it’ll be a tie, an indistinct result. That’ll be fun. I’m not of the opinion that public voting really counts anyway in the process of who becomes a leader (especially not in the US) and I’m not advocating Corbyn; I don’t know the guy, I don’t like the guy but at the moment I’m not willing for him to go up in flames like Guy Fawkes.
P.S for me personally my perspective doesn’t challenge my feminism, I’ve been a feminist since before I was born, but to put it simply she’s not good enough. (And for the masons – she’s a false ‘Daughter’, a fake, an insult. I know you love imitation and clinging/caging to/the authentic whilst using a grandstandor figure head to use and play the real one’s part but we’re so sick of watching your tawdry soap operas. They’re not even well written. If I wanted to go to a theatre, I’d pay 15 quid cheap seats and enjoy it, I don’t want to live it going through political sponsored wrestling/amphitheatre in the name of supposedly different sides campaigning and apparently making the little people’s live better.)