The Bullingdon Club Oxford University

Ex Oxford University Bullingdon Club Member David Cameron New ex. UK Prime Minister

Old Bullingdon Club Member Makes Good

[UPDATE : On 23rd June 2016 after a hotly contested referendum on whether the UK should remain in the EU, voters in the UK voted by a majority of 52% to 48% to Leave the EU. David Cameron (Prime Minister) argued the case for remaining in the EU and his pal Boris Johnson (Member of Parliament) was one of the main protagonists, along with Nigel Farage, Michael Gove and others, arguing the case for leaving the EU. Both David Cameron and Boris Johnson used to be members of the Bullingdon Club in their youth. As a result of the referendum the UK will now be leaving the EU, David Cameron will resign as Prime Minister and Boris Johnson looks at the moment like the favourite to take his place as Prime Minister. Update to the update : 3 hours before the deadline for declaring as a candidate for the Conservative Party leadership election, Boris Johnson's campaign manager, Michael Gove, who had previously said several times that he had no interest in being Prime Minister, stabbed his 'friend and colleague' firmly in the back and threw his hat into the ring. Boris Johnson had little alternative but to withdraw from the campaign. He will therefore not be Prime Minister this time round. The favourite is now Theresa May. Further update: After Boris Johnson withdrew, Michael Gove was eliminated in the leadership election, leaving just Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom. Mrs Leadsom then withdrew , which left only Theresa May, who was therefore declared Prime Minister on July 13, 2016. All very fishy in the eyes of some. Boris Johnson was then appointed Foreign Secretary, Michael Gove was sacked from his post as Justice Minister, and Andrea Leadsom was named Secretary for the Environment.]

UPDATE 2011 - SHOCK HORROR - Riots around the UK. "Mob must be punished" says UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Is this the same David Cameron who was a member of the Bullingdon Club - a club for toffs notorious for smashing up restaurants and then chucking large wads of cash on the floor to pay for clearing up the mess ? Or the David Cameron rumoured to like stuffing pigs ? Surely not ? It must be a different David Cameron, our Prime Minister is after all such a nice boy.

Is this the same millionaire David Cameron who has just trebled fees for students. although he himself had the benefit of a Free University Education ? Has he paid back his student grant we wonder ? C'mon Dave 'fess up - what did you do with all that taxpayer money ? We suspect he hasn't paid back the money paid by the taxpayer to fund his education but we are willing to be corrected, who knows ? After all, he did pay back those expenses he shouldn't have claimed when he was a mere MP - only after he was found out of course, but hey at least he was honest - "it's a fair cop guv" or as he put it "an inadvertent administrative error" in which he had been overpaid £218.91 for mortgage interest payments. I dream of such inadvertent administrative errors but unfortunately I'm not an MP so no-one is going to pay my mortgage for me. - see David Cameron's Expenses

When the Daily Telegraph published revelations about MPs' expenses claims in May 2009, Mr Cameron said he would also repay £680 for repairs to his property, including clearing wisteria and vines from a chimney, replacing outside lights and resealing his conservatory roof.

"It is not acceptable, it is against the law to smash property, to behave in that way ... and I want to make sure that they feel the full force of the law." Is David Cameron schizophrenic ? Was he talking about himself or his chums George Osborne and Boris Johnson (yes, he was born in the USA) who were also members of the Bullingdon Club ? No he has turned his back on such oafish behaviour, 'cos now he's Prime Minister he thinks smashing up property is wrong.

[UPDATE from 11 May 2010 - As of today, 11 May 2010, David Cameron (No. 2 in the pic below) is no longer just leader of the Conservative Party of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, he is also leader of the whole country, including me, i.e. he is Prime Minister, replacing that old bigot-hater Gordon Brown. The UK will now embark upon a bright new future with DC in charge and NC (Nicholas Cleggolus) at his side - somewhat akin to Batman and the Boy Wonder. Nick Clegg is Leader of the Liberal Democrat party, the sworn enemies of the evil Conservatives (until yesterday). They have formed a coalition of the willing in order to change our old and creaking country for ever ! Well that is the spin. They can't be any worse than "let them eat waste" Gordon Brown can they ? Anyway David Cameron used to be a member of the Bullingdon Club for Toffs, and now he has made it all the way to the top of the greasy pole. Nice one Dave !

"Destroying property is totally unacceptable" say David Cameron and Boris Johnson - not bad for ex-members of the Bullingdon Club. When did they see the light we wonder ?

The Bullingdon Club Rules Britannia


You can read about the Bullingdon Club below, it sounds like a bit of a wheeze. And in case you weren't aware his old toffee muckers George (Gideon) Osborne - heir of baronet Sir Peter Osborne is now Chancellor of the Exchequer (i.e. he claims to run the country's finances) and BJ (Boris Johnson - born in New York apparently) is Mayor of London. Boris Johnson is already complaining about the oiks goin' on strike. He says they should have to get 50% of members voting for a strike to make it legal, even though neither he nor his chum DC nor GO got anywhere near 50% of anything when they were elected. But that's politicians for you.

Assorted Bullingdon Club Toffs at Oxford inc. Supremo David Cameron

The Bullingdon Club some time in the distant past. David Cameron is the solid and reliable right-back wearing No. 2 Boris Johnson is the mercurial but unpredictable and overweight inside-left wearing No. 8
The Bullingdon Club some time in the distant past. David Cameron is the solid and reliable right-back wearing No. 2 Boris Johnson is the mercurial but unpredictable and overweight inside-left wearing No. 8
A slighlty miffed Boris Johnson (ex. Mayor of London, England, UK, Europe, The World) accusing debonair David Cameron, ex. Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of having scoffed all the pudding
A slighlty miffed Boris Johnson (ex. Mayor of London, England, UK, Europe, The World) accusing debonair David Cameron, ex. Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of having scoffed all the pudding
Boris Johnson on a day out from his dreary farm on Exmoor gazing in admiration at role-model Toffs and dreaming that one day he too could be Mayor of London or even Prime Minister and El Presidente.
Boris Johnson on a day out from his dreary farm on Exmoor gazing in admiration at role-model Toffs and dreaming that one day he too could be Mayor of London or even Prime Minister and El Presidente.

What is the Bullingdon Club?

The Bullingdon Club

Never heard of the Bullingdon Club? Shame on you, I can only assume you are American or a member of the Great Unwashed. The Bullingdon Club is an exclusive dining club for toffs at Oxford University, it has even been described as the "acme of exclusiveness". Its members are famous or infamous for their wealth and destructive binges. Membership is by invitation only, and way too expensive for most students, as you have to pay for dinners, the uniform and damages.

The Bullingdon Club was founded over 200 years ago in 1780 as a hunting and cricket club. The emphasis on eating emerged in the late 19th century. Back in1875 there were frequent cricket matches and "the Bullingdon Club dinners were the occasion of a great display of exuberant spirits, accompanied by a considerable consumption of the good things of life, which often made the drive back to Oxford an experience of exceptional nature". In 1876 it is reported that the "cricket was secondary to the dinners, and the men were chiefly of an expensive class". The fame of the Bullingdon Club even crossed the Atlantic Ocean as in 1913 the New York Times reported "The Bullingdon Club represents the acme of exclusiveness at Oxford; it is the club of the sons of nobility, the sons of great wealth".

The Modern-Day Bullingdon Club

 

The modern-day Bullingdon Club is primarily a dining club, although members do occasionally take part in sporting events. The President of the Bullingdon Club is known as the General.

The Club often operates by booking a private dining room (under a different name) as restaurants are generally well aware of the Club's reputation for drunken rampages during or after the dinners. Although this varies year to year as the members change.

The two most well-known modern-day former members of the Bullingdon Club are David Cameron ex-Leader of the Tory Party and ex-Prime Minister and Boris Johnson another Tory, ex-Mayor of London and currently Foreign Secretary (July 2016).

Andrew Gimson, who wrote a biography of Boris Johnson, said about the Bullingdon Club in the 1980s: "I don't think an evening would have ended without a restaurant being trashed and being paid for in full, very often in cash. [...] A night in the cells would be regarded as being par for a Buller man and so would debagging (An act of removal of the trousers) of anyone who really attracted the irritation of the Buller men".

In recent years, dinners have been more low key but in 2004 a 15th century pub in Oxfordshire suffered considerable damage during a dinner, and four members were arrested. - BBC.

Oxford University Matriculation Ceremony in Latin of Course

Oxford University

Oxford University Encaenia Ceremony (who let Roy Jenkins in?)
Oxford University Encaenia Ceremony (who let Roy Jenkins in?)
Balliol College, Oxford University - Boris Johnson studied here
Balliol College, Oxford University - Boris Johnson studied here
Brasenose College, Oxford University - Dave Cameron studied here
Brasenose College, Oxford University - Dave Cameron studied here
St. John's College Oxford University - I studied here
St. John's College Oxford University - I studied here
Another picture of St. John's College Oxford - did I mention that I studied here ? - Image reproduced by courtesy of Virtual Archive (c) Ian Fraser - http://www.virtual-archive.co.uk/printpages/oxstj2.html
Another picture of St. John's College Oxford - did I mention that I studied here ? - Image reproduced by courtesy of Virtual Archive (c) Ian Fraser - http://www.virtual-archive.co.uk/printpages/oxstj2.html | Source

Bullingdon Club Dress
The 'uniform' of the Bullingdon Club for their annual Club dinner is a traditional tailcoat in Oxford blue with ivory-coloured silk lapel revers, brass monogrammed buttons, a mustard waistcoat, and a sky-blue bow tie. In addition there is a sky-blue striped with ivory Club tie. The full uniform costs in the region of £3,000.

The Bullingdon Club is an official Club of the University of Oxford but on occasion the rowdiness of members' activities have caused the University proctors to suspend the Club. In 1938 John Betjeman wrote that "quite often the Club is suspended for some years after each meeting" although that doesn't stop them meeting in secret of course.

The Bullingdon Club has been mentioned in works of fiction such as Evelyn Waugh's novel Decline and Fall (1928) where it was called the Bollinger Club, due to the penchant of its members for champagne. Evelyn Waugh also refers to the Bullingdon by name in Brideshead Revisited.

In recent times David Cameron and George Osborne (ex-Prime Minister and ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer) separately said they were deeply embarrassed at their membership of the Bullingdon Club. I don't know whether Boris Johnson has expressed any similar regrets, but would be surprised if he did. Boris likes to play up his toffiness and general buffoonery and he is not so PC as Cameron who is, after all, trying his hardest to climb the greasy pole to the very top (which ambition he achieved in 2010 or thereabouts). Boris may also be trying to get higher than Mayor of London but given the peculiarity of his personality it is hard to see how the Tories will ever trust him with a major cabinet position (well they didn't trust him with Prime Ministership but he is now Foreign Secretary (July 2016).

To sum up the Bullingdon Club let me just say that it epitomizes the individuals that continue to pull the strings in Britain. Toby Daniel Moorsom Young of the Daily Mail says it much better than I could - "The lesson each generation of Bright Young Things is taught at Oxford .... 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. ....

The discovery that all these young pretenders make when they take their seats at the Cabinet table, or become QCs ..... is that the people at the very pinnacle of British society – ..... – 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."

Well that's Toby's opinion of the Bullingdon Club and its members and the entities that rule this country, so who am I to argue?

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Comments 7 comments

Singular Investor profile image

Singular Investor 5 years ago from Oxford Author

Re.: London University for anyone who may have been confused by the ramblings above - "The University of London is a federal University and is one of the oldest, largest and most diverse universities in the UK. The teaching is carried by the 19 Colleges and Institutes that comprise the University. When studying with the University you belong to a particular College as well as the University of London itself."


Singular Investor profile image

Singular Investor 5 years ago from Oxford Author

Thanks Bill - you saved me the trouble ! And itis celebrating 175 years of Academic Excellence to boot ! C'mon Mark reveal who you really are ! David Macaroon possibly ?


Bill Dyers 5 years ago

Mark Clark,

Check your facts before you post. London Uni certainly does exist and comprises a number of colleges including Kings and University.

See: http://www.lon.ac.uk/


Singular Investor profile image

Singular Investor 5 years ago from Oxford Author

Tee hee. Oxford and Cambridge come about 6th or 7th in the world's best universities, the top slots are all taken by American universities.


independentmister 5 years ago

Harvard, Yale and Princeton are nowhere close to being like Oxford, Cambridge or London. Oxbridge, more so than London, is home to the elite-elite. Their roll-call of world famous alumni fills volumes of non-pictorial texts (i.e. 8 volumes for Oxford, 4 for Cambridge and 1 for London). Harvard, Yale and Princeton would be lucky to fill two pages of famous alumni combined. Not to be disrespectful, but really, the ivy league schools are nothing more than cheap knock-off imitations of Oxbridge and London. As a friend of mine on the rowing team once remarked to me: "Harvard and Yale - those two colleges always try to imitate Oxbridge, but they fail miserably!" Who needs Mount Hood or the U.S. Davis Cup when you have Mount Everest and Wimbledon. Academically in every field, socially, athletically, culturally and historically, Oxbridge and London rule the waves in many countries and not just within its own shores, whilst the ivy league only manage regionally within their own territories. Get real, Zimmerman must be deluded and has no substance to anything he has said. Indeed, why is it that the very best students from Harvard, Yale and Princeton fight to get into Oxford, Cambridge and London every year after they graduate with a degree, when none from the latter English universities do the same in the opposite direction? I will tell you why - because their own American degrees are not good enough compared to Oxbridge and London. Had this not been the case, then they would not have to continually stream to Oxbridge and London by the thousands every year in order to attend. The proof is in the pudding folks. Oxbridge and London are the very most greatest universities in the world and the American ivy league universities are nothing more than stepping stones for America's best to attend them. I myself, like generations of true scholars, would go nowhere else. And this shall perpetually remain this way for as long as English remains the language of democracy, opportunity and prestige in the world.


Singular Investor profile image

Singular Investor 6 years ago from Oxford Author

Hi Rick - thanks for dropping by. Congratulations to your daughter, I get the impression that the US is a bit more of a meritocracy than the UK but maybe that's just a myth. Maybe your daughter can come to Oxford after she has finished at Harvard, like Bill Clinton did, to see how we do it in the olde world. :-)


rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio

Good piece, thanks! Just finished reading a book about the historic elites of Harvard, Yale and Princeton — very much like what you describe here. (I have a vested interest, as my daughter just started at Harvard).

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