Sunday, 21 December 2008

Studies In Crime

It comes as no surprise to me that there is growing resentment against the totally different ways in which certain patterns of behaviour are regarded when engaged in, on the one hand, by undergraduates and, on the other hand, by their non-university peers.

It baffles me, and it always has done, that universities are treated as entirely exempt from the drug laws, when absolutely no such exemption exists. Not that it is only drugs, you understand. It is more or less anything. And it has ever been thus.

Consider, for example, what would happen if a group of boys on a council estate, the same age as Oxford undergraduates, formed themselves into an organisation - complete with a name, a uniform, officers and a membership list - specifically for the purpose of becoming drunk and disorderly before committing criminal damage and even assault.

They would rightly be sent to prison.

Whereas the Bullingdon Boys go on to become, simultaneously, an aspirant Prime Minister, an aspirant Chancellor of the Exchequer, and an actual Mayor of London.

Living in rural England, as I have done most of my life and which is a very different matter from merely owning great swathes of it while living in Knightsbridge or Notting Hill, I suspect that the publicans of Oxfordshire are not without connections in the local constabulary and magistracy.

One of those publicans should simply tell the Bullingdon Club to stick the money that they offered them at the end of one of their "events", because he would be seeing them in court. How would it look for Cameron and Osborne if the Bully Boys were to be locked up for just long enough to have themselves sent down?

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