By now everyone knows of the antics of the Bullingdon Club, and whether it is trashing pubs or throwing other students ‘in the Mercury’ nothing comes as a shock any more. Even being members of the Tory front bench comes as no shock.
However, there are a number of surprise members that tell you a lot about it. Whether it is Kings, Princes, Knights or Lords, two stood out for me as surprising.
Perhaps ‘pillars of the establishment’ like Darius Guppy, Nathaniel Rothschild and Gottfried von Bismarck from the modern era might not come as a much of a surprise. Nor, for that matter might Cecil Rhodes, Edward VIII, Lord Randolph Churchill or Rasputin’s nemesis Prince Felix Yussupov from yesteryear. The description ‘colourful’ does not do these chaps justice. You might even be impressed to know that David Dimbleby, John Profumo and Alan Clark were members whilst at Oxford.
Two notable Liberals stand out from the list.
Tim Beaumont, President of the Liberal Party in the 1960s, who later joined the Green Party, sitting in the House of Lords, as The Rev. Lord Beaumont of Whitley, was a very engaging chap, funny and charming he surprised with his later politics as a member of the Bullingdon Club.
The other, the much lamented Sir Ludovic Kennedy, who died recently, contested Rochdale for the Liberal Party in the 1950s, and was also a Bullingdon member whilst at the University.
It makes you wonder if there are any more Liberal Democrats out there who were members of the Bullingdon Club, especially of the present crop of Liberal Democrat MPs and peers.