A former teacher at Eton wins her case for unfair dismissal. But who cares? Prince Harry is not a cheat
Cut out of your inheritance? For one Old Wycliffian
the alleged solution is to kidnap one's brother
...and she had left in 1924
If only all public school impostors were as easy to spot.
There is little doubt that few people do knavery so well
as public school men. A splendid example comes from today's news, where the BBC website leads with public school boy Brian Blackwell
who bludgeoned his parents to death to finance a spree. Needless to say, his educational background adds spice to the story.
He suffered, we are told, from narcissistic personality disorder.
The PA wire explains: "The condition made Blackwell obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, power and brilliance."
Few people who have spent time in a boarding school will doubt that this condition exists.H. Strang adds:
I wonder if his parents were competitive? Today's Guardian has this worrying tale of depravity
as witnessed at school sports days.
But, alas for the competitive creme de la creme, the spoilers are out. According to a survey in the current issue of Country Life magazine, schools are getting fed up with overcompetitive parents who yell at their kids and end up injuring themselves in their no-hold-barred bids to win races (I'm sure my children's school isn't the only one that has ended up with bleeding parents being carted off to hospital by the end of the afternoon).
It looks like Home Secretary Charles Clarke (Highgate
) is going to get his plans for a national I.D. card
. So we can look forward to having our biometric data, credit history, criminal records and - who knows - school reports all encrypted into an expensive bit of plastic.
As I see it the problem has been the liberalisation of the public schools over the last half century or so. If Clarke had to put up with defecating in doorless boarding house bogs, he might have grown up knowing that most of us enjoy the chance of a little privacy. Only inner-peace can create a big shit.
So said a blogger
from Christ's Hospital
, founded in 1552 and famed for its silly uniform. The subject of the author's venom? None other than glam rocker Gene Simmons, spandex-clad bassist from Kiss
, who arrived at the school to "bring out the inner rock demon" in the expensively-educated pupils.
In a posting loftily entitled the Barrel is Duly Scraped, the author asks "Which braying, wide-eyed simpletons watch this stuff"? We're at a loss to provide an answer, but wonder whether fellow public school men Bruce Dickinson (Oundle
and Iron Maiden
) and Brian May (Hampton School
) would have attracted the same measure of opprobrium.
The Christ's Hospital blog has vanished without trace
As William Donaldson put it:See
BUCKLAND, FRANCIS TREVELYAN; CHENEVIX-TRENCH, DAVID BRIAN ROBERT; DRUITT, MONTAGUE; FERRERS, ROBERT SHIRLEY, 2ND EARL (for the 13th Earl); JARDINE, DOUGLAS; LOWSON, SIR DENYS.
Now, alas, we must also See DONALDSON, WILLIAM
do so many public school men take part in reality TV shows?
The answer's simple. In the same way that the Daily Mail
was described as being written by "office boys for office boys
", the time that Charlie Parsons spent at Tonbridge School
gave the creator of Survivor
the idea of marooning contestants on a rat-infested island. A sure-fire way to appeal to the public school man, even if schools have been steadily dumbing down since two cartloads of rats' bones were removed from under the floor of Eton's infamous 'Long Chamber'.
'Nasty' Nick Bateman (Gordonstoun
) from the first series of Big Brother
. Ben Fogle (Bryanston
) from Castaway
. These are just two public school men who have braved privation in return for fame and cash.
But the pick of the crop has to be racing pundit and old Harrovian John McCririck. I can't say I care what he and Germaine Greer think about each other as a result of their time on Celebrity Big Brother. It's simply a joy to learn that he used to be "mercilessly thrashed
" by Julian Wilson, his fagmaster and ex-BBC racing correspondent.T Baines Reed adds:
More from Phil 'Tuffers' Tufnell in the Obs
where Will Buckley (who seems to have a public school fixation)
reports the following exchange.
And was being in the jungle more like being at public school or on an England cricket tour?
'I think I'd say, I'd probably say school. Some of the people did make me laugh.'
Bad food, uncomfortable conditions, odd company. Surely like school. It doesn't explain the mockney accent, though.