Friday, 10 September 2010

CASE 038 - The bullingdon club

The Bullingdon Club is a socially exclusive student dining club at Oxford University, without any permanent rooms, notorious for its members' wealth and destructive binges. Membership is by invitation only, and prohibitively expensive for most, given the need to pay for the uniform, dinners and damages. The club is most known for the fact that the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Mayor of London, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer were all in the club.The Bullingdon Club was founded over 200 years ago. S. P. B. Mais claims it was founded in 1780 and was limited to 30 men, and by 1875 it was considered "an old Oxford institution, with many good traditions". Originally it was a hunting and cricket club, and Thomas Assheton Smith II is recorded as having batted for the Bullingdon against the Marylebone Cricket Club in 1796. In 1805 cricket at Oxford University "was confined to the old Bullingdon Club, which was expensive and exclusive".This foundational sporting purpose is attested to in the Club's crest. The Wisden Cricketer reports that the Bullingdon is "ostensibly one of the two original Oxford University cricket teams but it actually used cricket merely as a respectable front for the mischievous, destructive or self-indulgent tendencies of its members". By the late 19th century the present emphasis on dining within the Club began to emerge. Walter Long attests that in 1875 "Bullingdon Club [cricket] matches were also of frequent occurrence, and many a good game was played there with visiting clubs. 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". A report of 1876 relates that "cricket there was secondary to the dinners, and the men were chiefly of an expensive class".The New York Times told its readers in 1913 that "The Bullingdon represents the acme of exclusiveness at Oxford; it is the club of the sons of nobility, the sons of great wealth; its membership represents the 'young bloods' of the university" its the UK's version of the skull and bones society but is more open and public than the skull and bones. Its a 1st step toward becoming a member of the bilderberg group stearing committee.

David Cameron's and Boris Johnson's period in the Bullingdon Club was examined in the UK Channel 4 docu-drama When Boris Met Dave, broadcast on 7 October 2009 on More 4.

George Osborne Bullingdon Club photograph's 'ghostly apparitions'

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