24 Jul 2012

Capitalist Bullingdon Club

The Bullingdon Club is a British secret society dining club exclusive to students at Oxford University. The club has no permanent rooms and is notorious for its members' wealth and destructive binges. Membership is by invitation only, and prohibitively expensive for most, given the need to pay for the uniform, dinners and damages.


The Wisden Cricketer reports that the Bullingdon is "ostensibly one of the two original Oxford University cricket teams but it actually used cricket merely as a respectable front for the mischievous, destructive or self-indulgent tendencies of its members". By the late 19th century, the present emphasis on dining within the Club began to emerge. However, Walter Long attests that in 1875 "Bullingdon Club [cricket] matches were also of frequent occurrence, and many a good game was played there with visiting clubs. The Bullingdon Club dinners were the occasion of a great display of exuberant spirits, accompanied by a considerable consumption of the good things of life, which often made the drive back to Oxford an experience of exceptional nature". A report of 1876 relates that "cricket there was secondary to the dinners, and the men were chiefly of an expensive class" The New York Times told its readers in 1913 that "The Bullingdon represents the acme of exclusiveness at Oxford; it is the club of the sons of nobility, the sons of great wealth; its membership represents the 'young bloods' of the university".

The Club's modus operandi has often been to book a private dining room under an assumed name, as most restaurateurs are wary of the Club's reputation for causing considerable drunken damage during the course of dinner.


A photograph of former Bullingdon Club members wearing their club uniforms, including David Cameron and Boris Johnson, was revealed in 2007. Cameron student photo is banned (BBC 2007)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - The Bullingdon boys want to finish what Thatcher began (The Guardian)