And for the coup-de-grace…they’re outrageous

I have a hard time following UK politics. All their leaders look alike to me (except for Boris Johnson) and I *still* don’t understand why mumbling “sinjin” over and over again makes for a convincing argument, even after watching a lot of Christopher Hitchens on tv. But I do like this story:

The news came as David Cameron and George Osborne were seen laughing and joking during a ‘raucous’ meal in an expensive ski resort restaurant hours before figures showed the economy is on the brink of an unprecedented triple-dip recession.

[….]

Ben Stewart from Greenpeace was dining in the same restaurant, and likened the scene to the ultra-exclusive Bullingdon Club at Oxford University of which Mr Osborne, Mr Cameron and Mr Johnson were all members.

He told MailOnline: ‘It was all good Bullingdon stuff. It was “Oh Boris this, Boris that”, with lots of raucous laughter.

‘I did assume that maybe I needed to phone someone in the City and say “I bet the GDP figures are good”.

‘I asked Osborne about a triple dip recession and he made a face like he was swallowing a wasp and then said “no comment”.’

The Bullingdon club:

The Bullingdon Club is an exclusive society at Oxford University, noted for its grand banquets and boisterous rituals, such as ‘trashing’ of restaurants and college rooms.

[…]

The Club’s modus operandi has often been to book a private dining room under an assumed name, as most restaurateurs are wary of the Club’s reputation for causing considerable drunken damage during the course of dinner.

I guess it’s nice to know that we’re not the only country in the world that is often ruled by douchetastic frat boy types.

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76 replies
  1. 1
    Violet says:

    I guess it’s nice to know that we’re not the only country in the world that is often ruled by douchetastic frat boy types.

    The British are world leaders in this regard.

  2. 2
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    The Piers Gaveston Society is more interesting.

  3. 3
    quannlace says:

    Can’t understand then why they didn’t take more to Romney.

  4. 4
    schrodinger's cat says:

    We learned our bad habits from mummy.

  5. 5
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @quannlace: Too boring, plus he doesn’t drink.

  6. 6
    Doug Galt says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Isn’t that the sad truth?

  7. 7
    Brachiator says:

    @Doug Galt :

    I have a hard time following UK politics. All their leaders look alike to me (except for Boris Johnson) and I *still* don’t understand why mumbling “sinjin” over and over again makes for a convincing argument

    You might like listening to the occasional BBC Radio 4 Friday Night Comedy podcast. Doesn’t always make UK politics more understandable, but the mockery makes clear that privileged Eton and Oxford types are even more douchey than mere frat-boy types.

    It’s also a hoot to hear their take on our politics. And they will miss mocking Sarah Palin even more than our comedians.

  8. 8
    LGRooney says:

    Speaking of “frat-boy types,” anyone hear from JC? Apparently the storm that’s headed my DC-way in a few hours, ripped the hell out of Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, including northern WV.

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    @Brachiator: Friday Night Comedy is a gem. Love listening to it.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Also too, it’s not like the French, German, and Italian elites are famous for being pillars mod moral rectitude.

  12. 12
    Jewish Steel says:

    I say! Fraffly, fraffly rawthuh. Whot?

    Edit: First sentence should read “I seah!”

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    Whew. Talk about wearing your snobbishness on your sleeve.

  14. 14
    mds says:

    Ben Stewart from Greenpeace was dining in the same restaurant

    I’ll admit, that reduces the “Will you look at these toffs” impact of the observation slightly.

  15. 15
    scav says:

    Friday Night Comedy! and a half hour from Cabin Pressure on BBC4 as I type! After the Shipping forecast last night, is everybody here haunting the beeb?

  16. 16
    Brachiator says:

    BTW: MA Gov Patrick has made his selection:

    Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick on Wednesday appointed his chief of staff, William “Mo” Cowan, to serve as interim U.S. senator for Massachusetts following John Kerry’s confirmation Tuesday as secretary of state.

    Let the whining, braying and “He betrayed us! Where’s my Barney Frank?” begin.

  17. 17
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Ben Stewart from Greenpeace was dining in the same restaurant

    And then pretends like he’s striking some kind of blow for justice and the common man. I love the British. They do hypocrisy like no one else.

  18. 18
    Maude says:

    @LGRooney:
    John is prolly at work.
    He would know about the storm. In NJ, we are to get 50mph winds, but nothing like what the middle of the country got lat night.

    At least our snobs are only the upper crust because of money. Take away the money and they are just folks.
    There’s a good reason that titles aren’t allowed.
    The class system in Europe and UK is rotted at the core. It makes investment bankers look good.

  19. 19
    smintheus says:

    I was up at Oxford at the same time as Cameron, and remember him carousing in the streets at night near my college. He was your standard loud, obnoxious upper-class twit.

  20. 20
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    OT: Howard Woolfson, ex-Hillary staffer, current deputy mayor to Bloomberg, who’s whining about Obama not being tough enough on guns, says Bloomberg will again support Scott Brown for Senate. Wolfson says he agrees Scott Brown is the kind of moderate Republican we need more of, speaks patronizingly of his “friends on the left” who will disagree.

  21. 21
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @smintheus: He does kind a look like one of the extras in Bertie Wooster and Jeeves adventures. One of the blokes at the Drones Club.

  22. 22
    smintheus says:

    @Brachiator: Our Harriet Miers.

  23. 23
    Maude says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Of course.

    GA just had tornadoes.

  24. 24
    smintheus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Almost that bad in person, but not quite. He could be moderately affable when he wasn’t drunk.

  25. 25
    Jewish Steel says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Steady on! My thoughts exactly.

  26. 26
    liberal says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    What an idiot.

    I’m pretty sure that, at least for a few year now, the leftmost Republican senator was to the right of the rightmost Democratic one (probably Ben Nelson NE).

  27. 27
    Mandalay says:

    @quannlace:

    Can’t understand then why they didn’t take more to Romney.

    Romney gave everyone in the UK good reason to treat him like a wet turd on the living room carpet.

    And they did.

  28. 28
    shortstop says:

    @mds: My thinking exactly. Not to assail the witness, but Greenpeace must be doing better than I thought.

  29. 29

    OT, but it is Dick Cheney’s 72nd birthday. As per the “constitution”, he can shoot a lawyer in the face today and force that lawyer to apologize for getting in the way of the buckshot. Watch out, Juicer-lawyers!

  30. 30
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Maude: of course, climate change being another area where the five foot colossus finds Obama to be testicularly-challenged, and Ed Markey is a climate hawk.

  31. 31
    shortstop says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Not possible. I had him pegged at 105.

  32. 32
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    TRIPLE-DIP RECESSION?!

    Holy crap. Can we start mocking the austerians with complete impunity now?

    Who gives a shit about fratboy antics or appearances when these assholes are actively sinking their country?

  33. 33
    shortstop says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: If she drafts him, Ickes and Penn again in 2016, her candidacy is doomed. Those three could sink Molly Brown.

  34. 34

    @shortstop: When he got a “new” heart, they rolled the odometer back some.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Countme-In says:

    “Ben Stewart from Greenpeace was dining in the same restaurant.”

    I know that restaurant.

    Barbecued dolphin is the specialty.

    That noted, if we made a meal of the elites of all political persuasions who prescribe austerity of one kind and another for the est of us, how should we sauce the entree?

  37. 37
    Brachiator says:

    @Violet:

    Friday Night Comedy is a gem. Love listening to it.

    Sandi Toksvig rules! And when Susan Calman gets her Scottish nationalism rant on, I just have to raise a glass of Buckfast to her.

  38. 38
    Doug Galt says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    That’s part of what I liked about this story.

  39. 39
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: A wise man once said “Evil will always triumph, because Good is dumb.” Tony Blair shouldn’t have been so publicly subservient to W, because he ruined the credibility of the Labour party and enabled the Tories to come back in. Is it really that surprising that when conservatives are elected, they start implementing disastrous policies?

  40. 40

    @Maude: The year that Cheney shot his buddy, I was “Hunting Dick Cheney” for Halloween. I live in a military town and made it through most of the night until some dudes finally had enough and broke my prop toy hunting rifle. SADFACE.

  41. 41
    Jewish Steel says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    In any kind of just universe Cheney’s new heart would have re-booted his conscience, leading to a montage of atrocities he has evoked, thus compelling him to do the honorable thing.

    But we don’t live in that universe, I guess.

  42. 42
    shortstop says:

    @ranchandsyrup: Even after the heart rejected the host body?

  43. 43
    patroclus says:

    Nick Clegg, shame on you, shame on you for turning Blue!

  44. 44

    @Jewish Steel: I think he believes that being forced to accept teh ghey via his daughter’s status is enough humanization to outweigh the corrosive evilness.

    @shortstop: They set his new heart to pump bile and resentment.

  45. 45
    Jack Bauer says:

    Doug, you should learn a little more about UK politics, there are deep parallels.

    But yes, us horrible British lefties fucking hate them because of shit like this. Further up in the comments section someone likened them to investment bankers ~ well that’s exactly right, but with extra arrogance. The term “to the manor born” better exemplifies it, especially with the current lot.

    What’s fun for me right now is commenting to anyone who will listen here in the US about how much of an utter fail UK austerity has been. How cutting lots of government money from the economy… wait for it… shrinks the economy! It’s no surprise, and how lucky we all are that the US has a nice centrist POTUS who is happy with stimulus.

  46. 46
    patroclus says:

    I think Cameron and Osborne should still be in mourning because of Lady Sybil’s recent death from eclampsia which, of course, was mis-diagnosed by the high fallutin Lord Sir Doctor.

    I also think Prince Harry should be prohibited from wearing Nazi insignia whilst prancing around naked in Vegas.

  47. 47
    handsmile says:

    Slightly off-topic, though Omnes did provide a slight opening above…

    On the subjects of Assholes and Elites, Silvio Berlusconi never disappoints. His latest contrattempo, praising Fascist dictator Mussolini during a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in Milan last week:

    “Within this alliance [between Hitler and Il Duce] came the imposition of the fight against, and extermination of, the Jews. Thus, the racial laws are the worst fault of Mussolini, who, in so many other aspects, did good.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....61697.html

    Is there a more outrageously cynical, more flamboyantly contemptuous, political leader in the world today (and yes, he’s back for an election at February’s end)? Meanwhile in this country, we must settle for the merest pretender, the rankest amateur, to Silvio’s supremacy, the Donald.

  48. 48
    quannlace says:

    Sandi Toksvig rules

    I just like saying her last name.

  49. 49
    patroclus says:

    And Cameron and Osborne should really do something about the horrific way that Adele’s boyfriends treat her!!!

  50. 50
    Tripod says:

    @patroclus:

    Those voters sure showed Labour.

  51. 51
    Doug Galt says:

    @Jack Bauer:

    I would really like to learn. The trouble is, I know a lot of English mathematicians, and they’re all from Oxford and Cambridge, and even though they are all left-wing, they have this incredible arrogance that is indistinguishable to me from what is being described here. (With one exception: the UK mathematician I know who is from Pakistan originally, he’s not like that.)

  52. 52
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Doug Galt: Hey even Keynes was an upper class English twit, from Cambridge I think.

  53. 53
    Jack Bauer says:

    @patroclus:

    I also think Prince Harry should be prohibited from wearing Nazi insignia whilst prancing around naked in Vegas.

    Fixed that for you.

  54. 54
    Calouste says:

    @quannlace:

    Romney’s own fault. Of course they had suspicions about him as a nouveau riche (Cameron on the other hand is an illegitimate descendent of one of the 19th century kings), but the comments he made disparaging the London Olympics definitely showed to them that Romney didn’t have the proper breeding. One just does not insult one’s host like that.

  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    Money probably makes it easier to be a douchebag. You get to hire better halls and entire restaurants. If you get the bill to fix up what you trashed you can afford the lawyer to fight paying the bill. You can drink better alcohol. And more of it. If you run your car into a tree, you have twelve more to use and don’t even have to fix the now well used one. Do rich fuckers even get points on their licenses?

  56. 56
    handsmile says:

    @Jack Bauer:

    Now that the Netherlands’ popular Queen Beatrix has relinquished the crown to her eldest son, I’d have to imagine there will be some uncomfortable dinners at the palace between Charles and his mum.

  57. 57
    Calouste says:

    @Doug Galt:

    In the view of Oxbridgians, there are only two universities in the top 10 in Great Britain, the rest starts at no. 11. There are quite a few jobs in Britain where it is practically impossible to get hired unless you have been to Oxford or Cambridge.

  58. 58
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: Do you want growth in GDP, or an increase in virtue?

    The price for arranging things so that the lower orders, with their dreadful Northern accents, have less to piss away on Woodbines, whippets, and pools tickets, and displaying greater deference to their betters, may be a lower GDP.

    If GDP goes down, but forelock-tugging goes up, isn’t that a sort of win?

  59. 59
    Bill Murray says:

    @quannlace: she’s now the Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth and is no longer affiliated with the Liberal Democrat Party

  60. 60
    Calouste says:

    @handsmile:

    British monarchs can’t retire, and the whole abdication thing has a bad smell since Edward VIII, so that’s not an option.

    Dutch monarchs have always either abdicated or died early.

  61. 61
    Mandalay says:

    @Doug Galt:

    they have this incredible arrogance that is indistinguishable to me from what is being described here

    I once worked in England and knew an English lawyer who went to Cambridge. He came from a rich family and spoke just like Cameron. But he was also the most generous person I have ever met, worked pro bono for the poor, and visited prisoners in his his spare time. I learned to ignore his awful accent, and embrace everything else, and I realized that his apparent arrogance was actually just immense self-confidence and assuredness with a posh voice.

    Of course that doesn’t say anything about your Oxbridge mathematician colleagues (who presumably have something to be arrogant about, and really may be arrogant pricks). But my experience was that a lot of baggage went away when I simply ignored the accent; the problem lay with me and not the speaker.

  62. 62
    PeakVT says:

    @liberal: Correct. (The data from the last Congress is missing, but there was a substantial gap between Nelson and Brown.)

  63. 63
    Walker says:

    @Calouste:

    Which is rich, because there is only one university in the UK any good at computer science: Edinburgh.

  64. 64
    Doug Galt says:

    @Mandalay:

    The one I know the best is both generous AND incredibly arrogant.

  65. 65
    Xenos says:

    “Say, isn’t that awful chap wearing a Bolly tie?”

    /waugh

  66. 66
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Doug Galt: Have you ever been accused of arrogance, DougG?

  67. 67
    Xenos says:

    Obligqtory link: University challenge, Footlights College Oxbridge v. Scumbag College. If you have not seen it before, spot the stars back in 1985.

  68. 68
    Urinated State of America says:

    Some observations from Oxbridge from a state-school, free school meals kid.

    The “public” (i.e. very elite private schoolboys) were not so bad. In fact, no matter how much you recited “class enemy, class enemy” in the back of your head while talking to them, you had a hard time hating them: they’d charm the socks of you. There’s a certain confidence and poise that comes from being told you’re Born to Rule from age six. And they didn’t have

    The real douchebags were the second-tier private schoolboys/girls. They’d be sobbing in their beer/sherry for not getting into dining clubs us state-school types hadn’t even heard of. They were insecure social climbers, and the ones most likely to stick cutlery in your back.

  69. 69
    Urinated State of America says:

    I would really like to learn. The trouble is, I know a lot of English mathematicians, and they’re all from Oxford and Cambridge, and even though they are all left-wing, they have this incredible arrogance that is indistinguishable to me from what is being described here.

    From my experience, most Cambridge mathematicians were (1) left wing, (2) had a good reason to be arrogant, (3) were even more eccentric than most mathematicians. It’s a brutal tripos (curriculum) that they go through with a high kill-ratio, so it’s not surprising they’re a bit full of themselves at the end.

    Don’t know about Oxford mathos, ‘cos us in the STEM fields at Cambridge tended to look down our nose at Oxford, reckoning Imperial was the true rival in the sciences and engineering. In political science and making Prime Ministers – Oxford hands Cambridge its arse, though.

  70. 70
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    You may very well think that. I couldn’t possibly comment.

    Yes, we’ve been watching the original “House of Cards” this past week. Wouldn’t mind seeing ol’ FU “put a bit of stick about” these jackasses.

  71. 71
    Brachiator says:

    @handsmile:

    Is there a more outrageously cynical, more flamboyantly contemptuous, political leader in the world today

    Putin?

    Now that the Netherlands’ popular Queen Beatrix has relinquished the crown to her eldest son, I’d have to imagine there will be some uncomfortable dinners at the palace between Charles and his mum.

    Especially when Charles broaches the subject and, when Chuck mentions how much Camilla wants to be Queen Consort, Elizabeth retorts, “why don’t you and I both bow out in favor of Wills?”

  72. 72
    handsmile says:

    @Brachiator:

    When Vlad starts bragging about his “bunga-bunga” parties, then we can talk. Given all the testosterone-pumped photo ops he staged for his last election campaign, I thought there might be a chance, but sadly no.

    http://photographyblog.dallasn.....ties.html/

    Presenting Gerard Depardieu with an Russian passport is simply no comparison to “assisting” “Ruby the Heart Stealer” with her own immigration problems.

  73. 73
    Jason says:

    Don’t you mean the “coup-ay dee-grah?”

  74. 74
    Calouste says:

    @Walker:

    Well, it’s perception, not reality.

  75. 75
    Brachiator says:

    @handsmile:

    When Vlad starts bragging about his “bunga-bunga” parties, then we can talk.

    Putin don’t brag.

    Rumors are buzzing around Russia that the country’s renowned gymnast, Alina Kabaeva, has given birth to a baby boy. However, the news is not being celebrated the way one might anticipate due to rumors of who fathered the child – one Vladimir Putin.
    __
    Russian news sources have been reluctant to print stories announcing the birth. Previous rumors of the Russian prime minister’s alleged extra-marital affair with Kabaeva have incited Putin’s ire.
    __
    Still, sources say that the 26-year-old gymnastics champion has been having an affair with Putin since 2006, when she retired from gymnastics having won two Olympic medals and 18 World Championship medals. She was later elected to the state Duma, Russia’s parliament, as a representative of Putin’s political party.

    Hot Russian gymnast beats “bunga bunga” parties.

  76. 76

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