10 hours ago
Once upon a time Worcester College Oxford was a place that proudly believed in free speech. Even in my student days it offered sanctuary to those such as the great historian Norman Stone whose conservative views were considered as appalling and depraved by the Guardian readers who dictate what can be thought and said in the City of lost causes. How times change. Today Worcester has attacked the one minority considered by the liberal elite to below the untermensch of working class males, that is to say Christians.
22 days ago
The folly of the industrial-scale corruption of so many teachers is revealed today with more taxpayers’ cash being pissed away as universities are forced to bribe students to stay away.
112 days ago
The City of my birth is rapidly starting to rival Brighton as the woke capital of Britain. And thus it is no shock to see the local paper, The Oxford Mail, sending out a notice to all pregnant men in the county. In places like Oxford, it is offensive and sexist to suggest that only women, as in folks born with wombs, can get pregnant. No doubt, were a member of the University to flag up this madness, he or she would be censured for their intolerance and insensitivity. In a post fact world, what else should one expect?
124 days ago
I start with a few notes on work at the rain soaked Welsh Hovel and end with thanks to you all as the Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks total is almost at £29,000. If you are yet to chip in, how about you get us close to or past £29,000 tonight HERE. Then I discuss Simec Atlantic Energy (SAE), whether fund managers are always right and why they are sometimes out of their depth, Tern (TERN), Kefi (KEFI) and First Derivatives (FDP).
182 days ago
No I had never heard of the University of Winchester either. It is not quite up there with Oxford. In fact it is not even up there with joke marxist madrassas like Bath Spa. Two years ago its staff went on strike as Winchester announced it was cutting 10% of teaching posts because of a funding crisis. Last year it warned that it needed more voluntary redundancies as covid threatened. However…
191 days ago
Green Baroness and career politician Jenny Jones said she might propose a 6 PM curfew for all men. That Bonkers Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford showed some sympathy with the idea is surely all the proof that you needed that it and Jenny are mad as a nest of snakes. But my wonderful, but a bit woke, daughter Olaf lambasts me for saying so.
236 days ago
Dinah Rose is a leading QC. She is also President of Magdalen college in Oxford but for how much longer? Rather like SNP MSP Joan McAlpine, Ms Rose is a solid lefty with impeccable woke credentials but now she is in the eye of a storm. Her crime? Doing her job.
239 days ago
The BBC and the mainstream media are not reporting it but today the Information Commissioner gave testimony to the House of Commons DCMS Select Committee which demonstrates the true degradation of British Journalism. This reminds me of a talk last Autumn at, my alma mater, Hertford College Oxford.
255 days ago
Ben won’t be losing his job because of lockdown. For him there will be no pay cut, no furlough, no money worries. He is not going to see his house repossessed, the business which he has spent years building up destroyed in a flash. He does not lie asleep at night panicking about how he will pay the bills. Ben does not seem to have had his cancer scan delayed. He has not suffered the misery of being barred from being with a dying loved one or from attending his child’s birth. Ben has not had to tell folks they could not attend his father’s funeral. Ben has a really well-paid job and lives in the lovely middle-class City of Oxford surrounded by lovely green fields in which to stroll. Ben wants you all to look on the bright side and obey all the rules of lockdown. Lucky Ben. Smug Ben. Insensitive Ben. Go to hell Ben.
266 days ago
With symptoms including a form of tourettes whereby whenever a victim of this terrible disease meets some peasant-like oik, he or she feels the need to explain to them why they are stupid, ill educated, racist and xenophobic, it seems that in parts of Southern England the BrexitDerangementSyndrome pandemic is out of control. And there is a new virulent strain in Scotland whereby folks also seek to show how much they want to be independent by ranting on about their desire to hand back newly won freedoms and rights to their own fishing waters to a foreign power. On Twitter, as some of us prepare bonfires for tomorrow night’s Brexit celebrations, those suffering from this appalling affliction can be seen everywhere tweeting#FBPE and their conviction that they are right about everything and 17.4 million of us are just plain stupid.
275 days ago
I note that Matt Hancock has a First Class degree in PPE from Oxford and admit that I cannot match his Geoff. I only achieved a Desmond from the same place in the same subject and, at the time, I remember thinking that I was jolly lucky not to have racked up a Douglas. I am pretty sure that my late uncle Christopher Booker had the same feeling after coming away with a second from Cambridge where he read history.
279 days ago
Daily, on our TV screens we are assured by “public health experts” whose jobs at the Ministry of Truth are safe, whatever happens to the economy, that tier 3 measures are more effective than tier two measures in controlling covid. That is to say numbers often rise enough to push a tier 2 district into tier 3 and then as controls tighten that district can return to tier 2 and eventually to tier 1. But there is a massive logical flaw in this claim which the media, collectively, fails to spot.
280 days ago
She is due for a visit after Christmas and seems to have become ever thirstier since her arrival at Oxford four terms ago. No doubt she will also lead her stepmother astray.
282 days ago
As you may know, my occasional panic attacks consist of a nightmare that I have somehow managed to go back to Oxford as a mature student but, sitting in Schools facing finals again, I realise that I have done even worse than last time and that my Desmond will be removed and I am, if lucky, heading for a Douglas. One of the papers I must face is logic. Observing recent events, if I am compared with the current crop of Oxford-educated poltroons running the country, I reckon I might come top of the class and be set for a Geoff.
285 days ago
In these last days before the UK confirms how we leave the EU, many of those on the losing side of the referendum in 2016 are suffering recurring bouts of Brexit Derangement Syndrome. Pity folks like Steven McKellen for he is not well. But at least he knows why his side lost.
285 days ago
Public school, Oxford, 5 years training to be a City lawyer, couldn’t hack it, so went to work as a policy wonk & bagg carrier for Tory MPs, after 7 years an MP and three years later, Simon Clarke, aged 36, has still not risked 1 cent of his own capital as an entrepreneur or enjoyed one day’s managerial experience making decisions in the private sector. But who cares? That is the sort of chap today’s Tories think should be running Britain. Gone are the days when Tory MPs were entrepreneurs or businessmen so understood how firms grew and hired more staff and how wealth was actually created.
339 days ago
Queens Colleage Oxford has enccouraged students to snitch on their peers and my daughter, now under house arrest, has fallen victim. What a mad and dark world we live in. After discussing this I look at all the mining stocks I own and one I sold, reviewing where we are now and where the real excitement lies at: Kefi (KEFI), Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV), Centamin (CEY), AEX Gold (AEXG), Ariana (AAU), Asiamet (ARS), Jubilee Metals (JLP), Pensana (PRE) and Red Rock Resources (RRR).
353 days ago
Is nothing in the City of my birth, the City of lost causes, safe from the woke cultural revolution? The latest victim is the collection of shrunken heads at the Pitt Rivers Museum which have delighted generations of schoolchildren for almost a century. They featured in an episode of Lewis and are amazing but now they will be hidden from view as the Pitt Rivers tries to decolonise its offering.
372 days ago
Do you remember the Tory party of old? The one that really loved the idea of individual freedom and a smaller state taking less of your money in tax and not telling you what you should or should not do. I rather forget when the rot set in but today the Tories have abandoned the idea of a small state and as for individual liberty, this Government revels in destroying it. On the basis of no hard data whatsoever, we are, on the one hand, ordered to mask up and not meet more than five friends. But on the other hand, we are “strongly encouraged” to go back to working in offices (without masks and in groups of whatever size) whether we like it or not.
386 days ago
This is the difference between we on the right and the new left when it comes to free speech. When one of us says something the left do not like, they form a flash mob and try to get the sinner booted of twitter or youtube, they try to ruin his/her career, and the Marxist Madrassas students and lecturers unite to no platform the miscreant who is denounced. His or her opinion is silenced and his or her career may be ruined without any debate on what he or she actually said. We on the right want our opponents to enjoy free speech, not only because we hope, in vain, for the same for ourselves but also because we are confident that in a free debate, the folly and in some cases sheer toxicity of their views will be exposed. Meet Sasha Johnson, a leading member of BlackLivesMatter in the UK.
399 days ago
The peak years for state school entrance to my old University, Oxford, were in the 1960s. Then, successive Governments and Education ministers including, in a rare error of judgement, the blessed Lady Thatcher, started to scrap grammar schools. That ladder which gave bright working-class kids educational and social mobility was whipped away as they went along to comprehensives. Comprehensive schooling has, almost entirely, failed both the bright poor and the not so bright poor who, on most measures, fail in later life as badly as they did in the “bad old days”. But one institution has a solution… an establishment where most of the senior staff went to public schools and Oxbridge. Yes, you have guessed it…
419 days ago
Long time readers will know that my displacement nightmare activity involves my return to Oxford University. For reasons that are always slightly different, the story starts with me, rather foolishly, deciding that my 2:2 was not a true reflection of my academic genius and somehow I manage to persuade my old college to take me back for another stab at it. Somehow, I then contrive to screw it all up again and suddenly I am sitting in Schools, staring at an exam paper realising that this time around, notwithstanding widespread grade inflation, I’d be lucky to get even a Desmond.
554 days ago
My daughter Olaf seems to be recovering well with her mother in London. That is the good news but I discuss how she must have contracted Covid 19 and the abject failure of Queens College Oxford to show a duty of care and just how useless 111 was when contacted. I look at why the Government statistics on Covid 19 are sheer fantasy as it has been stalking us for far longer than Boris admits. And finally I explain why my family and I are now in self isolation and locked down here in North Wales for the next three months and how we must adjust how we live as a result. By the way I shall do my 34 mile charity walk on June 13 come what may but I sense there will be no team hugs at the end. You can sponsor me HERE.
584 days ago
This podcast is dedicated to all those trolls who have given me and my family such grief over certain stocks. I discuss Indaba and crony capitalists and a bloke who did the wrong course at Oxford. I look at Versarien (FRAUD), NMC Health (NMC), Bidstack (BIDS), Intu (INTU) and Nakama (NAK).
671 days ago
I am not well. I have managed only 20 minutes out of bed today having somehow got home from Oxford at 2 AM last night feeling so ill. Anyhow a few thoughts from me on Dignity (DTY), utitities and Tungsten (TUNG). Now back to bed.
706 days ago
I happened to be in Oxford, for family reasons, and my colleague Nigel Somerville lives close to the City of Lost Causes and so we thought we’d pay Neil Woodford a visit. After the past 1000 articles exposing the soon to be ex fund manager since 2015 it was the least we could do.
707 days ago
Yes Neil, I will be the guy turning up at some point today in a blue van at your luxury HQ to take some photos and maybe shoot a short video. My pal Nigel Somerville may be coming too. It will be good to catch up. See you later! In the podcast today I also look at Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT), backing Richard Jennings at Global Resources Investment Trust (GRIT) and at Optibiotix (OPTI). I also receive complaints about my coverage of Neil yesterday. I despair.
724 days ago
Yes my daughter and I will be at Oxford United tonight to see the mighty Hammers. COYI. As I try to contain my excitement I discuss Neil Woodford and what the dumping of IP Group (IPO) shares tells us, Aston Martin Lagonda (AML), the FCA and mini bonds and Alexander Mining (AXM).
769 days ago
My sister T spent her entire school career coming home from exams insisting that she had screwed up. It would subsequently emerge that she had finished top of the class every time. Okay my hard working younger sister did not get into Oxford but she gained entrance to a place in the Fens which is, I gather, almost as good.
909 days ago
The threat of a photo of Dan Levi's Y Fronts post sore bottom training walk remains, so please donate to Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks HERE. In today's podcast I look at Condor Gold (CNR), the struggling explorer backed so heavily by my good friend Jim Mellon. It looks to be in real trouble. Then good news for Neil Woodford. As of today I am a loyal shareholder in his Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) and looking forward to the AGM greatly. I have a favour to ask of Bearcast listeners living close to Oxford who fancy a day out in the City of Lost Causes in late May or early June.
1018 days ago
I suppose I should declare a bit of an interest in the annual ritual that is the bashing of Oxford University as an institution run by elitist snobs who hate poor people, in that my daughter Olaf spent last week in the City of my birth facing interview panels. We will find out whether she has got in on or around 9 January. But the press, this week, has been all over Oxford as it emerged that, last year, eight of our poshest fee-paying schools managed to get more folks into Oxford last year than the bottom 75% of British schools.
1108 days ago
In the Greek summer heat my ankle causes me no problems. But my return to the colder British autumn nights sees it start to hurt, especially after a long drive, I stretch and it clicks audibly. The pain is minor but nagging. The final smash up was playing for London Irish (amateurs), it ended my undistinguished rugby career. Twelve years before that I had hurt it badly at Oxford playing basketball. But the initial weakness was caused by that incident in the freezing outdoor pool at Warwick School aged 8 or 9. It was bullying by other boys and the physical scar is still with me. And so I think of my old school, of the master who threw my head against the wall twice, Mr Geoffrey Eve, and of the cover up that continues to this day. I had another nightmare about it all last night.
1150 days ago
There is no actual murder in the Dorothy L Sayers novel, Gaudy Night. But as my old Oxford college prepares to throw a Gaudy, a black tie reunion dinner, for folks in my year and the two around it, the book springs to mind. It is, I think, now in Greece so perhaps a summer re-read is due. I am not saying that I would like to see any of my peers murdered, not even conspiracy obsessed loon Carole Cadwalladr. It is just that I have no desire to see them – and I’d bet a fiver that the feeling is mutual.
1209 days ago
My father, like his father and brother an Oxford man, despairs at the way Oxford has become a term of abuse. Seemingly a week goes by without it being attacked for being elitist, a place where only the children of the 1% attend and for being out of touch, or for it being shown to be home to very silly people. Former graduates like Robert Peston, most of the BBC and the Guardian editorial team line up to say how ghastly it is. And the spineless craven fools who run the place do not bother fighting lie with fact but just cower and grovel.
1277 days ago
Rather confused about the clocks going forward, my eighteen month old son Joshua and I prepared to watch some of the old Michael Horden voice-over Paddington Bear cartoons on video. Instead we found ourselves watching Andrew Marr as he introduced Guardian and Observer journalist and all-round nonsense talker Carole Cadwalladr.
1289 days ago
Over the weekend news broke of the UK's biggest ever sexual abuse scandal. This makes events in Rochdale seem like small bear, horrific though they were. Thanks to the Mirror and the Mail we now know that over 40 years more than 1000, nearly all white, working class girls and young women were raped and abused and in a handful of cases murdered by Asian gangs in Telford.
I use the phrase Asian and wince.It is the phrase we are told we must use. My wife is Asian and so my son is half Asian
1380 days ago
Larry Cummins of Black Cactus and Milestone (MSG) infamy has in SEC filings and - until yesterday - on LinkedIn and on the Black Cactus website claimed to have a BA from Oxford. We have now double sourced this with the University and can now say it straight: Larry you are a fucking liar.
1382 days ago
Yes I have spent much of the morning in conversation with folks in the City of my birth. I do have an Oxford degree - does Larry Cummins of Milestone (MSG)? The questions mount, the shares are tumbling - I explain whay happens next. I look at the latest bullshit from holocaust denying fraudsters MySquar (MYSQ), comment on the pointless ramp of boiler room dog Inspirit(INSP) on UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) and on Anglo African Oil (AAOG) and finally have a few words on a stock we own, Sosandar (SOS).
1383 days ago
I popped up to see my father in Shipston on Stour in south Warwickshire last night with a view to heading on to Oxford early this morning for other family business. At 2.30 AM I awoke and looked out of my window and there was nothing to see. By 6.30 AM the global warming was deep, crisp and even and it was still snowing. It is now 9.15 and it is still snowing and the Oxford event has been cancelled. The snow is now at least three inches deep on the roof of my car and the forecast is for snow all day. The best bet, methinks, is to head for the motorway now and go back to Bristol in time to catch West Ham ladies in action at 2PM against Brislington Ladies ( my local team) in the FA Women's Vase 2nd round. Come on You Irons!
1439 days ago
To be fair this is not the University wide Freshers Fair but just that of Balliol College which for many decades has been noted for attracting the nastiest sort of poisonous, liberal minded, guilt ridden sons and daughters of privilege . And so the class of 2017 has ewxcelled itself by banning the Christian Union from its Freshers Fair on the grounds that Christianity is associated with homophobia and other undesirable traits.
1471 days ago
I have written many times about my Great Uncle David Cochrane who, in 1931, died falling down the mountain now named after him, opposite Delphi in Greece. He was at the time a student at Trinity College Oxford. As my father seeks to de-clutter his house a few paintings have been offered to his children and step children and feeling a stronger Cochrane link than most I took these two below.
1471 days ago
Top administrators at even piss poor universities earn more than the Prime Minister. We are told by the, usually sound Louise Richardson that footballers earn more. Surely Louise understands how much revenue a Rooney generates and market forces and how lame is her excuse. But on such salaries at least that should ensure that as they combat evil Tory austerity the Universities spend what cash they have wisely. Er...
1474 days ago
I see that my Oxford Contemporary Jacob Rees Mogg is under intense fire from the liberal left, notably for his views on homosexuality, abortion and because he has never changed a nappie. A woman who once campaigned to lower the age of consent to 14, that is to say the niece of Lord Longford, woman of the people Harriet Harman reckons the nappie offence makes Jacob a deadbeat dad.
1476 days ago
Yesterday it was free speech denial at Edinburgh. Today it is my old place, Oxford, that serves up a tale which just leaves it as an object of ridicule. It started with the Vice Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson who, rather foolishly, suggested that students who are upset with their tutors for expressing views against homosexuality should “challenge” them, rather than reporting their tutors to university authorities.
1481 days ago
I am no particular admirer of my Oxford contemporary, the pompous MP for somewhere in Somerset, Jacob Rees Mogg. But my fellow residents of the Hellenic Republic should at once establish a committee to erect statues of the pin stripe suited buffoon in every town square in our great land. The heroes of 1821 should stand shoulder to shoulder with the man who has arrived at a solution to our economic misery and enslavement by the fucking Germans, sorry I meant the EU, and banksters. Jacob Rees Mogg is the new Byron.
1496 days ago
In most ways I am, as you might have gathered, the black sheep of my family. Am I allowed to use that phrase anymore? The rest of them work for the State, read the Guardian and believe in money trees while worrying about the poor polar bears drowning on melting ice caps thanks to wicked folk like Donald Trump and Margaret Thatcher. But in one respect I followed a family tradition in that I managed to get into the UK's leading seat of learning, that is to say Oxford.
1510 days ago
This morning Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee is in full hypocrite mode warp factor 11. It is not that La Toynbee (Badminton School & Oxford) rails against public schools or privilege. Nor that the offspring of a well known and affluent family rails against inherited wealth. Nor on £300,000 a year paid for by a paper that uses offshore trusts to dodge tax, is she ranting against inequality or tax evasion. Polly has done even better that in her attempt to retain the title of hypocrite of the year for the 24th year running.
1539 days ago
It will be no secret that I shall delight when the falling circulation of the tax dodging Guardian newspaper makes it uneconomic and it closes. Until then it continues to pump out the most odious fake news and spiteful virtue signalling junk on a daily basis. But is the article and headline below a contender for its most appalling effort in history? I think we all now accept that Muslim gangs in places such as Rochdale, Bradford and Oxford have been responsible for the rape and abuse of thousands of young girls. that is a fact. One reason they got away with it for so long was virtue signalling by rich liberals such as the Guardian's Libby Brooks who would, of course, never be affected by what actually goes on in deprived working class communities. Oh no...Guardian writers don't actually mix with the workers but they are very righteous are they not? Read on and feel angry and disgusted...
1539 days ago
A report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies suggests that the average student is now leaving colleague with debts of £51,000 a figure seized on by the left and the liberal media as a sign that everything should be handed out for free. The right insisted that it showed how the system was working. Everybody lied.
1555 days ago
I guess that in England the owner of this dog and this truck would have been locked up by the Health & Safety Executive or prosecuted by the PC nazis at the RSPCA. The poor hound is not muzzled and not on a leash and travels in the back of the truck everywhere. FFS he is not wearing a seat-belt, call the old bill now!
1562 days ago
The students flocked to Jeremy Corbyn after he promised to scrap tuition fees. It was a great bribe what was not to like? Vote Labour and save £9,000 a year. Fabbo. Of course it was based on money tree economics as were so many other Labour pledges and that is the inherent dishonesty at the heart of Labour. In the end they would run out of other people's money. But on this issue the Tories are even more dishonest.
1589 days ago
Lavinia Woodward attends Christ Church the Oxford College known as "the House". 17 Prime Ministers went there, it is the college of of the privileged elite. It goes without saying that like Evelyn Waugh I was rejected by the House and, like Waugh, ended up at downmarket Hertford. The House is for the blue bloods not great writers. Lavinia picked up her boyfriend on the casual sex app Tinder, then while off her head on drugs assaulted him, throwing a laptop and other objects in his direction before stabbing him in the leg with a bread knife. Jail beckons surely? Er...no.
1591 days ago
There are two hardware stores in the village of Kambos (pop 537 including me) providing everything that we peasant farmers need: poisons, fertilisers, tools, plants. You name it we can buy it here. There is one store on the Square where Miranda's and lovely Eleni's Kourounis taverna provide two of the other borders. It has suffered a grave misfortune.
1656 days ago
I noted in a bearcast a while ago that Charlotte Hogg, the - for now - deputy Governor of the Bank of England - was an Oxford contemporary. Two years my junior her first year room was two doors away from my third year room. We did not mix. She was clever but, by a long chalk, not the smartest person of her year but with a grandfather like Lord Hailsham, a daddy in the cabinet and mummy in the House of Lords... well some folks are more equal than others are they not?.
1692 days ago
At the bottom of our big field at Butterwell farm in Byfield was a stream. For a small boy the bank on the other side, that led up to a metal fence and onto the Daventry Road, seemed very steep and since it was lined with nettles I regarded the stream as the border of our lands.
In the summer it trickled gently on from Mr Peter Thompson's field and open country beyond, at one end through our field and on to a neat, wire mesh lined, hole in a brick wall which separated the bottom part of our land from a small house where an old man lived. In the winter the stream became a bit of a torrent, often more than a yard and a half wide. One year it flooded almost all the way up the slope of the field and must have been thirty yards wide.
1695 days ago
It was the last week of my last term at Warwick School and my friend J and I decided we should have a whisky drinking contest. My A levels were finished and I only needed 2 Es to get into Oxford. J was an idle sod anyway and a year younger than me so his A levels were an eternity away. There was nothing else to do other than drink, smoke and chase girls- we were young and were going to live forever.
1709 days ago
In last week's demonstration of how out of touch elite academics are with the rest of us, an Oxford Don reported the half witted Home Secretary Amber Rudd to the old Bill for Hate Crimes for a speech he had not heard. This week Cambridge has struck back in the battle to show which top University is more out of touch.
1710 days ago
Once upon a time, on both sides of the Atlantic, those on the liberal left believed in free speech and liberty. Back in the era of Mccarthy it was we on the right who were, correctly slammed, for stifling debate. I like to think that was an glitch in that for most of us who believe in a small state, freedom of expression is a given, it is part of the DNA of our thought set. It is the Big State loving left that wants to decide what the little people should think and say.
1733 days ago
David Cameron's rich, tax-dodging, stockbroker father paid for him to go to Eton from where he went to Oxford. One proper job ( well sort of) was arranged for young David after Oxford, a stint as the PR man for Carlton Communications. Then he started to climb the greasy pole. With a Mrs who was even more minted by dint of inherited wealth, the Camerons were clearly in the 1% not the 99% and never had to worry about money.
1813 days ago
We all have opinions about what might happen and no-one can prove that your opinion on the future is wrong.The sun will rise tomorrow is an opinion. I suspect few would disagree with it but since it is in the future not the past it is not a fact. Facts (a word derived from the Latin for it has happened) are a different matter. But not it seems if you are a nutty Euro loon who cannot accept the Brexit vote. Meet Petra Mason who has a degree in behavioural ecology and is into pottery and tweeting gibberish.
Petra served up this tweet.
1816 days ago
Out in Colombia a referendum on whether a peace treaty between the State and the loathsome murderers of the Maoist terror group FARC should be ratified has just seen the great unwashed vote the wrong way. It seems that the oiks were not so keen on an amnesty for the butchers and so voted in a way that the liberal intelligentsia across the world do not understand. it is Brexit all over again, why can't the lower classes do what is good for them, wails the elite. Meet academic Caroline Dodds Pennock from Sheffield University. She won't like me posting her photo but since you, the taxpayer, have been paying her wages since she graduated from Oxford you have a right to know how she thinks.
1890 days ago
My father would suggest that those who run insolvency firm Begbies Traynor (BEG) really are not scholars and gentlemen when it comes to their latest pronouncement on Brexit and how UK firms are struggling. I am kinder so shall leave it with an observation that, unlike my father, myself and David Cameron, the Begbies fellows probably did not study logic at Oxford.
1932 days ago
Winnifrith males have loud voices and we like to tease each other and also anyone unfortunate enough to join us, in the case of supper last night that meant my dear wife. And thus as the wine flowed we found ourselves discussing the output of our various universities.
My father is, of course, a full on elitist but knowing that his deluded lefty wife who forces him to read the Guardian may disapprove sometimes finds himself having to pretend otherwise. And thus as we discuss the Brexit vote, I note that John Stuart Mill raised in "On Democracy" the idea that more intelligent folks should get more votes. Why not, I suggest give 10 votes to those of us who went to Oxbridge (my father and I), 5 to Russell Group graduates, 2 to those who attended other old universities, 1 to those with no degree and minus 1 to those who attended the former Polytechnics. Thus my wife would get 2 votes and her students would all get minus 1 votes. On reflection having lectured ti them, make that minus five votes.
I am joking but with this wheeze get a double tease. My wife is naturally appalled
1934 days ago
Prompted by a nasty tweet from Wales from a chap who spits out the words public schoolboy with invective in the same sentence as the word immigrant, this podcast is a follow up to the Cadwalladr article at the weekend. I had childhood & university privilege (public school & Oxford). But so too did folks who went to top comprehensives and Oxford, something some folks are in denial about. And that catchment area based selection is why abolishing public schools would still allow richer folks to buy a head start for their kids.
1936 days ago
Via twitter I come across a couple of articles by lefty Guardian and Observer journalist Carole Cadwalladr slating the posh and the way that privileged Oxbridge types dominate the media and politics. Carole is good enough to admit that she went to Oxford (a year below me and at the same college, as it happens) but insists that she is not part of the elite as she went to a state school - Radyr in South Wales.
Naturally, we posh twits who went to public school are now expected to listen to every word Carole writes on the matter of privilege because she has worked her way up from the grinding poverty of living in an abandoned coal mine with her 15 brothers and sisters eating rats. Heck, as she proudly boasts, she went to a Compy after all. Except that there are comprehensives and there are comprehensives.
2028 days ago
Jeremy Corbyn has called for prostitution to be decriminalised. Cathy Newman of C4 News opposes this and tweets:
Because Cathy is on Channel 4 News you instinctively know she is talking utter rubbish and so here are just a few factoids for you:
2043 days ago
For those not familiar with the City of Inspector Morse. Oxford is known as the City of lost causes. Wadham College is within the university a bastion of the left and has always been active in promoting lefty causes and a Wadhamite, which conveniently ryhmes with sodomite, is someone who attends this loathsome institution and thus knows all about lost causes. That brings me to Alba Minerals (ALBA) - a reader posting as Wadhamite posts on this website:
2104 days ago
#Rhodesmustfall is a crackpot PC campaign to remove a statue of Cecil Rhodes from the walls of Oriel college Oxford. The weedy liberal acedemic establishment is caving and Rhodes will fall. And worse still it is rewriting history as to what actually happened in the era of British Colonialism. After covering this in detail I end this week's postcard by wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.
2190 days ago
It now seems pretty clear that Call Me Dave did not stick his todger in a dead pig while at University but did smoke pot. So did I. On one occasion in a lavatory with a future Labour female cabinet minister in the days before she became a dreary sanctimonius bore. As far as I can remember the only folks who did not smoke pot were the religious maniacs and the thoroughly dull boatie health Nazis.
That Cameron acted like more or less every other student perhaps shows that he is perhaps just a bit more normal than most of the arseholes in politics. In a way I’d rather have a Prime Minister who has been a normal human being at one point in his life rather than some humourless wonk who lectures us all about how we should live while never having lived a normal life himself.
It is also alleged that Call Me Dave attended a party in London in 2008 where folks hoovered up cocaine.
2251 days ago
The Mrs and I are separated by two great divides. The first is that she is a deluded lefty who belies in the State rather than the individual and that capitalism is the root of all evil rather than the engine of mankind’s progression whereas I am a libertarian. The second is that she is a townie who has never lived where I grew up, the country.
So though an enthusiastic meat eater she recoils at the idea of killing anything. I find it easy. And I sometimes think that she thinks that raspberries and potatoes grow in punnets at Tesco. So just for her a couple of pictures…
My father’s garden in Shipston is full of life. And so there are raspberries a plenty to pick, the last of the potatoes and strawberries, red currants, black currants and still to come gooseberries and yet more raspberries.
Note to the Mrs & other townies:
2390 days ago
Today is International Women's day and, speaking as a feminist, I pose a number of questions for my fellow fiminists covering Israel, Oxford, Rotherham, affirmative action, abortion, prostitution and other matters. I sense that some of my fellow feminists might struggle with a few of these questions.
2425 days ago
My strange dream of Friday night about a failed third interview at Oxford brings back memories of my first two bites at the cherry – the whole process was surreal and almost of another era. The year was 1985.
It had been decided that I was capable of applying for Oxford and that I should sit the exam in the fourth term of my sixth form at Warwick School for boys, an establishment that these days also takes girls in the sixth form. The choice of college was not in doubt. My grandfather (Sir John Winnifrith), my father and his brother Charles Winnifrith had all gone to Christchurch as had Richard Hobhouse who married my father’s younger sister Lucy. My maternal grandfather had studied (very little) at Pembroke and my mother had attended St Anne’s which was just about to start accepting men in the year of my application.
Elder cousins Helen & Corinna Hobhouse had both failed to get into ChristChurch so it was not a family connection shoe in. A rather studious cousin Charlotte Winnifrith was already up and so as I always rather liked Lotte who has a hidden wild streak I went for the family choice.
The day of the exam came and I can still remember utterly screwing up an essay answering the question “Is poverty relative?” Of course it can be viewed in relative terms but it is absolute poverty that we must eradicate and that can only happen through the joys of capitalism which requires inequality of wealth for it to work. Greed, the desire to be richer than the best man is the only way to drive enterprise and so to make all of society better off, including the poor. There. I have answered the question in 45 seconds but in November 1985, sitting in the second desk from the front next to the wall, I made a right pig’s ear of it.
Despite that I was called up to the House for interview. The Christchurch of the mid-eighties was a frightful place, known as the home of the Sloane ranger. Do you remember Olivia Channon
2427 days ago
The Mrs is away visiting her folks in the grim frozen Northern post-industrial wastelands and so it is just myself and the cats living a chaotic life here in Bristol. I am not sure the house is terribly tidy and my routine is shot to pieces and so at 6 PM I went up to bed for a nap with the cats but awoke with a start two hours later thanks to a shocking nightmare.
This rather startled the cats who were somewhat perturbed at the intrusion of a stranger in what they regard as their bed although it is in fact that in which the Mrs and I sleep.
As it happens I had two interviews at Oxford, one not quite as successful as the other. Like Evelyn Waugh I was rejected by Christchurch, The House, the college of the establishment and the thick aristocracy and also the college attended by most of my family. And like Evelyn Waugh, I ended up at Hertford, a modest and impoverished establishment rather looked down upon by House types for admitting women, Northerners and grammar school boys. I was thinking about those two interviews as I lay awake pondering my nightmare but the actual history is for another day.
Suffice to say that there is a tradition of great writers being rejected by the House only to end up at Herford.
Back to the nightmare. For some reason it appeared that my second Oxford interview has been unsuccessful as my first but somehow I had been offered a third bite at the cherry
2442 days ago
The City of my birth contains more than its fair share of deluded lefties who worship at the altar of political correctness while singing the praises of the great Money Tree in the sky. They may not be bad folks but they are fools and their sanctimony drips out in a most annoying fashion.
And so this week the Oxford University Press announced that henceforth it would not be showing images of pigs or sausages lest it offend Muslim readers. How many Muslims were offended by a picture of Peppa or Winnie the Pooh’s little pal? Sod all of course. The middle class lefties probably know very few Muslims. The Muslims live in the poorer bits of East Oxford, the folks at the OUP wouldn’t dream of crossing over Magdalen bridge and leaving leafy West Oxford.
Many of us find the writings of Polly Toynbee and Owen Jones offensive
2527 days ago
The nature of my mother’s death has been raised by certain “admirers” of mine on Bulletin Boards, the circumstances of my Aunt’s death I have mentioned en passant here before. There are no secrets in the era of the interweb. Both deaths were mentioned in an article by their brother, my Uncle Chris (Booker) in the Daily Mail last week. Slowly I read it early on Saturday morning as it brought a number of thoughts to the surface. Matters not suppressed just forgotten or not reflected upon for a long while. My mother killed herself. My aunt was murdered. There you have it. A shocking couple of sentences.
My mother died when I was eight and my sisters seven and five. She had become terribly depressed in that amazing sun drenched year of 1976 and – as I discovered only later – first tried to end her life at the height of summer while the rest of us were out walking. My father found her, revived her but thereafter she was confined to various hospitals in Northamptonshire, Banbury and finally in Oxford, the City where she had studied, met my father and where I was born. I saw her once that autumn at the Trout at Godstow and she seemed happy. She clearly was not and within weeks she had hanged herself. I remember being taken out of class by a lovely teacher who was almost in tears as she told me that my mother was dead. I cannot remember how I felt or what happened next. I did not find out how she died until I was fourteen.
Not having a mother was a little unusual in those days
2528 days ago
And this is why the AIM casino is such a farce. The interests of fat cat directors are simply not aligned with those of the owners of far too many companies, that is to say mug punter shareholders. Maybe they cannot be arsed to read Annual Reports but they should and they should be revolted and revolt. Meet Peter Hill, the CEO of casino listed Global Petroleum (GBP).
Peter Hill (MA Oxon) joined in September 2011 when the share price was just over 12p. Before I turn to what happens next I am always instinctively hostile to those who put the words MA Oxon after their names as Mr Hill does everywhere. I went to Oxford too, but it is just another university. Why tag it on to everything? And while we are about it please do not think that Mr Hill has worked to gain a masters. Like me he graduated with a BA. However at Oxford you can after a few years go back and pay a tenner and go through another daft ceremony to get an MA. At other universities you study to get an MA. At Oxford you buy one for a tenner. It is typical of the conceit of the place.
2598 days ago
For the fourth time - the first perhaps for our many new readers - I feel the need to explain what free speech really means. KB, a poster on ShareProphets who thinks that watching CNN makes him an expert on Mid East politics whily studying the subject at Oxford does not, this is really for you. I hope this explains free speech with reference to the comments board on this website very clearly.
2743 days ago
We are 34% ahead in six months on this Nifty Fifty share tip but there is more to come. Advanced Computer Software Group (ASW) earlier announced that it has been awarded preferred supplier status by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. It is not this contract per se but what it says for forecasts that matters.
3097 days ago
For me it is pretty clear. My father, mother and step-mother went to Oxford. And so did all their fathers and three out of four brothers ( C Booker went to the other place). I was born in Oxford and somehow managed to scrape a place there too as did my youngest sister Naomi. And so naturally I support Oxford. Evil Knievil was born in Oxford and his father taught at Oxford and Evil was (understandably) rejected by Cambridge. And so he too supports Oxford.
My sister Tabby went to Cambridge and so as well as supporting ideas such as global warming and welfare hand-outs all round she also supports the ‘tabs. There is a consistency in her thinking.
But most people who do not regard this institution as elitist nonsense seem to support one side or other and for the oddest of reasons. I cannot say that I have any great feelings of warmth for the City of my birth, the City of Lost causes. I do not really care who wins most Varsity contests. But the Boat race is a bit different. Come on the dark blues. Or is it the Light blues. I can never remember which is which. Come on Oxford.
3105 days ago
And so I found my way to Oxford on Saturday to a party at the house of my sister Naomi to celebrate the 25th Wedding Anniversary of my father and step mother and also my father’s 75th birthday next week. My father and step mother are actually second cousins and eons ago when she was an undergraduate at Oxford and he a post graduate he took her to the Opera as a cousin-friendly gesture. 26 years ago they met for the first time in 20 years at the wedding of another mutual cousin. He took her to the opera again and within nine months they were getting married in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
It was a lovely sunny and warm March day. Ireland won a six nations match that day and I mentioned that in my best man’s speech. After 25 years of global warming we gathered to celebrate that day as the snow fell heavily in Oxford. It was my father and Helen’s oldest friends (a group he refers to as the Coffin Dodgers) plus my sisters (and husbands) and my step sisters and brother, young Tom. I am middle Tom. My father is big Tom.
I was banned from mentioning certain subjects in a gathering where I suspect myself and step sister Flea (pictured below) were the only non-Guardian readers.
It was a deluded lefty hothouse. And so I bit my lip and did not say to everyone how many inches of global warming was falling in the garden or raise any other controversial issues like, er… everything I believe in. And so conversation
3133 days ago
A train journey to and from Oxford today saw me visit Paddington where you used to be able to have a quiet smoke in the slipway leading down from the street onto the concourse. That is to say on either side of the slipway. But I see that, at great expense, one side of the (open air) slipway now has now been marked off with enormous “No smoking” signs while on the other side a short stretch of (open) road is a designated smoking zone.
We pariahs are encouraged to use the few ashtrays provided in our “zone” although they were overflowing at 11 AM when I arrived.
As the snow blew into our faces ( the no smoking side was sheltered) a large group huddled together, crammed into one tiny space where we are allowed to pursued our addiction. Since it is all in the open air what health benefit is achieved? At what cost? And to what purpose?
3184 days ago
Lucian Miers often finds himself overshadowed by the larger than life figure that is Evil Knievil (Simon Cawkwell). The two men sometimes share ideas and bear raids but on other occasions they disagree. They are very much their “own men.” I sense that perhaps because of his casual and light hearted approach to life, folks underestimate Lucian. That is a mistake.
Known as East London’s most feared short seller, Lucian is about as much of a cockney as myself or Prince Charles. His family used to own rather large amounts of real estate in the area around Upton Park and hence “the Bard of the Boleyn” is a devoted West Ham supporter. But he is (like Cawkwell) quite a posh public school educated fellow. And like Cawkwell he did not quite make it passed the final interview when it came to applying to Oxford. That is not to say that Lucian is not very clever, just that he is perhaps not a true academic.
The highlight of Miers career as a stockbroker was his short selling of Pan Andean Resources as the world and his wife bought the stock on the back of hopes (and puff pieces in the Daily Mail) for South American drilling success, Miers took the trouble to call the site of the well on the phone to be told that it was dry and that the directors were at that stage flying back to Ireland.
3247 days ago
Almost everyone outside Moscow agrees that the jailing of the incredibly untalented Russian all girl punk band Pussy Riot for producing music (I use the term loosely) that attacked President Putin and the Orthodox Church was wrong. No arguments there. But arguably back here in Airstrip One we are guilty of the same sort of behaviour. I refer to Trenton Oldfield, the Aussie born dickhead who swam in from of the eights to disrupt the 158th Oxford Cambridge boat race. I do not agree with what he did but a six month jail sentence raises alarming issues.
Oldfield was protesting against elitism. Having read his political views I disagree with almost all of them. He is a moronic middle class lefty and he deserves to be punished for an idiotic act. But six months?
3248 days ago
Sir George Young is the new Government chief whip. As it happens I know a bit about him as he is also my second cousin once removed and, rather more importantly, brother of my step mother Helen. And I see that he is now a founder member of a new group of Tory MPs which wants to “reach out” to “blue collar” Tories. The sort of people Young’s predecessor Andrew Mitchell might have described as “plebs.” Young’s qualifications?
Born in a stately home at Cookham, like his grandfather, father and brother he went to Eton then
3389 days ago
Well not exactly. Lucian started with a pint of “Village Idiot” – which Evil might think appropriate but is some sort of real ale. I had a pint of cider and then we enjoyed a bottle or two of Rioja. No lager. No kebabs. Just a pleasant night out in Oxford. The Village Idiot is served in the Turf – a pub my paternal grandfather frequented in days when students were not meant to go into pubs – the Turf has 4 potential exits so allowing for rapid escape. One day I shall write a bit more about his student days in the 1920s.
3391 days ago
Now that I am set to establish residency in the City of Lost Causes the mind turns naturally to the football teams that I support as well as to the affairs of the European Union. And tonight whatever anyone else in this house wishes to do I shall be watching TV. Ireland versus Croatia kicks off at 7 PM.
3396 days ago
It seems as if my cats and I are going to relocate to Oxford. It is the City of my birth and I grew up in a series of villages within 40 miles of here and went to University here so I know the area well. And now I am back here. There are worse places. Cambridge obviously springs to mind. And so on this cold bank holiday a family trip was organised to the Pitt Rivers Museum.