Sent in by Cobalt. Investigation by Nick Mutch.
TAP. I attended a Bullingdon Club dinner at Oxford, invited by the son of a top London lawyer, and was sickened by the goings-on (they used an assumed name to be able to book the college dining room). A ‘fellow’ diner made a drunken speech and tipped over the table smashing all the china after a delicious meal of many courses. He paid £4000 the next day to compensate the college for the damaged crockery. The college dining staff were horrified at the loss of their best china. I didn’t want to attend any more dinners, but had no idea then of the significance of the great wealth of the members of the club. I rubbed along with a future Conservative cabinet minister for a while, and he showed his knowledge of how to break into top London hotels by setting off alarms and then walking casually in through the front while staff were running around looking for the break-in.
He got me to handle a tricky phone call from someone he owed money to. At the time I found it amusing, and didn’t cotton on to how wealthy and connected he was. I went my own way ignoring all these connections which could have offered me an easy life. I was too proud to accept their connections and didn’t feel comfortable being around such goings-on. I realise now that I was at school with some very well connected people, and at Oxford too – Blair and so on. I cover some of this in my book, but don’t mention much about the privileged people I knew, except where it affected my own life story.