Cameron’s Bullingdon hypocrisy laid bare

David Cameron was grilled over his antics while a member of the posh boy Bullingdon Club today, an issue which exposes him and Boris Johnson as hypocrites.

David Cameron was grilled over his antics while a member of the Bullingdon Club today, an issue he’s loath to talk about, one which exposes him and Boris Johnson as hypocrites. The prime minister and Mayor of London have been amongst the most outraged by the criminality of those involved in last month’s riots – yet seem to wish to brush under the carpet their own anti-social behaviour while members of the posh boy club.

Interviewed on the Today programme this morning, he repeatedly said “we all do stupid things when we’re young”, feigning amnesia about the nasty club’s thuggery:

Evan Davis: “The Bullingdon Club, that’s a youthful gang, you can almost call it, engages in violent behaviour, do you see any likeness in that to what occured?”

David Cameron: “I think we all do stupid things when we’re young, and we should learn the lessons…”

ED: “Did you witness stuff as a member of that club that was, did you witness people throwing things through windows smashing up restaurants, you didn’t witness any of that?”

DC: “We all do stupid things when we’re young, I think that’s clear but I think we saw in terms of the riots was actually very well organised in many cases, looting and stealing and thieving, and we have to react very, very clearly to that, and I think you can see that happening in the Courts…

“I thought the Mayor of London made a good point which is, I think the way he put it is that people weren’t stealing from a shop because Gerald Kaufman had got a flat screen television on his expenses, and I think when you listen to the BBC there’s a danger that all these things are equated into a great mush and you make that as an excuse for not acting, some people almost say, well until we deal with the problem of inequality in our society there’s nothing you can do to deal with rioting, well that’s what it can slip into.”

ED: “That’s not where I was going, it’s more that people do just get caught up in things and I’m sure you will say that you got caught up in things, and in a sense one doesn’t want to have a moral panic about that section of society necessarily?”

Listen to it:

As the FT reported last year, Cameron knows a lot more than his squirming interview lets on, and came close to being arrested himself after a night of Bullingdon violence which resulted in a restaurant being smashed up. But I suppose, as with the “second chance” granted to Andy Coulson, unlike the rioters, there were extenuating circumstances for these impoverished, poor little rich boys who had everything to go on the rampage…

183 Responses to “Cameron’s Bullingdon hypocrisy laid bare”

  1. karl thompson

    Cameron's #Bullingdon hypocrisy laid bare http://t.co/9dLpM9l

  2. Eddy Boyband

    Those Tory hypocrites who do they think they are ? Of course, you wont find any hypocrites in the labour party.

  3. Shelley Collins

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cameron’s Bullingdon hypocrisy laid bare http://t.co/yty4MLS

  4. william clark

    Loving this – David Cameron’s Bullingdon hypocrisy laid bare. http://t.co/0WFirof

  5. Ed's Talking Balls

    The antics of the Bullingdon Club are of much greater concern to the general public than rioting and looting across the UK. You have captured the public mood perfectly, Shamik, all the while retaining a real sense of proportion.

    P.S. Obviously this comment is laced with sarcasm, but I should make it clear (before a very tiresome, predictable response about me excusing rich kids’ behaviour) that I wouldn’t see the funny side of a group of posh boys smashing up my restaurant. It’s an unenviable choice, but I still know which kind of criminal I’d rather fall victim to…

  6. Henry

    I love the way the right wingers find all sorts of excuses for the Bullingdon smashing things up. Clearly, it’s quite ok for the feral rich to do this. Jolly japes and all that.

  7. Dave Citizen

    We know that there have always been a proportion of young men (and it seems some women too) who are liable to smash things up when some combination or other of boredom, testosterone, adrenalin, alcohol and a good dose of bravado come into close contact. Throw in a sense of injustice or of being ignored and you really have the ingredients for trouble!

    But listen to how Cameron tries to down play the relevance of extreme inequality – of course the riots weren’t ’caused’ by inequality but it seems pretty likely to me that extreme inequality and the sense of diconnection and unfairness that goes with it made them worse.

    “We all do stupid things when we’re young” but if you have good prospects and the sky’s the limit then it’s a lot easier to put them behind you and move on!

  8. Leon Wolfson

    Ed – Yes, thanks, you’d rather have the rich than the poor under ANY situation. We know, you’re a Tory. You don’t need to be recursive.

  9. Sumanta Barua

    RT @SallyBercow: Loving this – David Cameron’s Bullingdon hypocrisy laid bare. http://t.co/izSX5eb excellent interview by @EvanHD

  10. Ed's Talking Balls

    Prety simple proposition: I’d rather have my restaurant destroyed by jumped-up toffs (who at least pay for the damage and don’t physically harm me) than have my property stolen (and never replaced) and be assaulted by feral youths.

    I’d rather not fall victim to criminals at all, granted, but if I were to be so unfortunate it’s a no-brainer, surely.

  11. Dave Citizen

    Ed & Selo – I don’t get this line that one young man smashing stuff up with their mates is somehow fundamentally different to another young man doing likewise. Young people (men mostly) do these things from time to time, especially when they get in with the wrong crowd, are angry with the world etc. You or I may think that they have no excuse but young tearaways have always existed.

    Knowing this – any society that allowed groups of such young people to drift off into a world with no realistic prospect of doing as well as other groups of their contemporaries would be a particularly stupid one.

  12. Miss H

    Because those in charge are hyprocrites! http://t.co/6oXX1uO @jajapdc

  13. JAJA SOZE

    Because those in charge are hyprocrites! http://t.co/6oXX1uO @jajapdc

  14. Kon The Abstract

    RT @MissHersii: Because those in charge are hyprocrites! http://t.co/eNgknyk @jajapdc <<< That's A Crazy Article Still Uno

  15. Ed's Talking Balls

    ‘I don’t get this line that one young man smashing stuff up with their mates is somehow fundamentally different to another young man doing likewise’

    To be fair Dave, that’s not what I said (or at least, it honestly wasn’t what I was trying to say). I should have known I’d be on a hiding to nothing, but all I was trying to say is that:

    1) Bullingdon criminality and the recent riots and looting are not comparable in seriousness; all they share is the common theme of law breaking (which I wouldn’t seek to deny); and

    2) If I were to have my premises smashed up, I would rather it were done by people who pay for the damage caused and don’t assault me in the process.

  16. Darren Hanson

    Cameron’s Bullingdon hypocrisy laid bare: http://t.co/V0yaOaU – @ShamikDas reports

  17. London IWW

    FYI: #londonriots: Cameron’s Bullingdon hypocrisy laid bare http://t.co/paLnu3u

  18. Dave Citizen

    Fair enough Ed – but I was suggesting that, while perhaps not comparable in seriousness if the worst of the riots is considered, they are very much comparable in terms of behaviour. I reckon if you took the lads from the Bullingdon gang and gave them a few years growing up in the right part of Tottenham you may well find it impossible to spot any difference.

  19. Leon Wolfson

    @17 – You argued in the West Farm thread that the law should be applied, regardless. Your double standards here are notable. Because they’re rich and Tory, not poor and Pavee.

    Of course they’re entirely comparable – overlooking one and condemning the other is the kind of hypocrisy which the Tories *specialise* in. Moreover, “assualt you”, right. A straw man to justify crime.

  20. bus driver

    Loving this – David Cameron’s Bullingdon hypocrisy laid bare. http://t.co/0WFirof

  21. Ed's Talking Balls

    Probably best to read a comment before responding to it.

    I’ve not sought to justify criminal behaviour. I’m not overlooking one and condemning the other. No hypocrisy whatsoever in my position. I prefer to leave that to the professionals, like Polly Toynbee.

    I merely stated (and now state again, for what feels like the umpteenth time) that if I were to be a victim of crime, I would rather that the criminal paid for the damage caused and didn’t physically harm me.

    And as for comparisons, yes, crimes can be compared. But a comparison in terms of scale is a non-starter. Without figures to hand, I’m still confident in guessing that there have been fewer instances of Bullingdon destruction of property this year than there were instances of rioting and looting last month. Probably fewer related deaths too, I imagine.

  22. Dave Citizen

    Ed – sounds like you agree with me that the differences in the crimes are not down to the any great differences in the individuals concerned. It would be interesting to swop some budding Bullingdons with a few rioters in the making and see if, given time, either lot stood out as particularly unusual for their new environment. Somehow I doubt it.

  23. Ed's Talking Balls

    I’m inclined to agree Dave. A yob is a yob, irrespective of how wealthy his family is

  24. Lydia Paynter

    “@SallyBercow: Loving this – David Cameron’s Bullingdon hypocrisy laid bare. http://t.co/Vw0R7DK” most stupid thing that i have ever read.

  25. Leon Wolfson

    @22 – Yes, so why haven’t you?

    The physical harm aspect is something you’ve made up to justify your blatant special pleading for TORY criminals, and shows precisely how you’re willing to lie and cheat to excuse them. That nicely highlights where you come from on this.

    And sure, you agree they’re yob’s. But you only support arresting the poor ones. Got it.

  26. Anon E Mouse

    Leon Wolfson – Are you seriously suggesting that unacceptable behaviour by a bunch of rowdy ill disciplined school children where the damage was paid for is the same as burning people out of their homes and businesses?

    Or are mown down and killed by feral gangs in Birmingham>

    To suggest it is the same and compare the two where one is damaged property and the other is a dead asian is just a racist attitude and if you really believe that a mans life is only worth that then you are well suited to the Labour Party….

  27. Leon Wolfson

    Anon E Mouse – You’re suggesting that crime is dependent on how wealthy people I, I get it.

    And you’re well suited to the BNP. Right.

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