I enjoyed Toff At The Top — Peter Hitchens’s Dispatches documentary about Dave ‘Vote Blue to Get Green’ Cameron. I don’t much care for Hitchens, but this time I suspect he was on the money. His basic argument was that Cameron is a shameless opportunist who doesn’t believe in anything, and certainly doesn’t believe in the Conservative values that Hitchens worships.
One interesting snippet from the film came when Hitch was retracing Cameron’s days as an undergraduate at Oxford, where he was a member of the Bullingdon Club, a rowdy upper-class dining club famous for the sound of breaking glass and immortalised as the Bollinger Club in Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall. The Bullingdons dress up in Regency evening wear and Hitchens had the brilliant idea of going to Ede and Ravenscroft, the expensive Savile Row tailor which maintains an establishment in Oxford (and indeed in Cambridge also) to cater for the sartorial needs of wealthy toffs like Cameron. He inspected the Bullingdon uniform and inquired about its cost. About £3,000.
Another interesting snippet. There’s an Oxford photography firm which regularly takes photographs of the Young Bullingdons in their finery. They have a particularly fine picture of young Cameron togged out for a night’s drinking and trashing. But it turns out that the firm has withdrawn the publication rights to all its Bullingdon pics of Cameron’s era — so that they are no longer published anywhere. Can’t even find them on Google Images. I wonder how much the Tories paid for that particular favour.
Hitchens also maintained that Cameron has thirteen Old Etonians in his Shadow Cabinet. Wow! Can this be true? Talk about a vast system of out-relief for the upper classes. It’s almost enough to make one look fondly on Gordon Brown. I said almost.
Update… David Mackinder found the key photograph — it was published by the Daily Telegraph with a helpful index to the main poseurs. Nice caption too: “Cameron as leader of the Slightly Silly Party”.