Monday, 26 November 2007

Shocked and Appalled

David Irving and Nick Griffin arrived for a debate at the Oxford Union wearing lounge suits and neckties. I am shocked. And appalled. In response to an earlier post, an irate Oxonian whose institutional self-importance had been questioned called Durham "second-rate". Well, we might not have the artificial advantage of a copyright library by law. And we might not have the social cachet that comes from admitting almost entirely from the 150 poshest schools in the country. But at least we always dress properly.


  1. In understood it to be a forum, rather than a debate, so it's possible that this was the appropriate garb...

  2. Hear hear. That lapse in standards was the most disgraceful thing to happen that evening. The Oxford Union should never have allowed Nick Griffin and David Irving to speak if they are unable to maintain the correct standards of dress in front of impressionable young people.

  3. The putsch becomes more urgent precisely as it becomes less clear who is to stage it.

    Seriously, though, the whole thing is mind-boggling. I don't know which is more objectionable, the amount of coverage given to some student organisation (not least when there are much more interesting things to be said about the current political situation in the grown-up City of Oxford), or the implicit suggestion that if the audience had been made up of mere "ordinary" people, then they might have left the room believing that the Holocaust never happened.

  4. There's no dress code for debates at the Oxford Union as far as I remember- I suffered the embarrasment of turning up to my first suited and tied to be surrounded by the not so great unwashed. The white bow tie is reserved for academic stuff such as exams and my many disciplnary hearings. This is typical of the Union; poking and provoking and fair do's I say. 150 poshest schools? I went to school with you, David- check out the social cachet on that!

  5. Quite.

    But that was some years ago now, of course.

    We never had to dress up at Durham, either. Unless we were Officers or otherwise on duty, or were speakers. Surely that applies at Oxford, too? It really should.