I take Tony’s point, in his comment on my last post, that Eton has ‘produced’ (if that’s the word) some good Lefties as well as Borises. But that’s because they’ve rebelled against their background, as many kids do.
My take on Boris is that he’s never rebelled against Eton, or even really left the school. (Sorry, ‘College’.) In many ways he hasn’t grown up. Talk like his (‘piccaninnies’, ‘pillar-boxes’, ‘fuck business’) are part of the natural language of boys at these kinds of school. I know this from my experience at a school that tried to emulate the publics, and then at a very public-school dominated Cambridge college. It’s what passes there as ‘wit’. Some men never grow out of this; probably the ones whose ‘schooldays were the best days of their lives’. You still find it on Oxbridge High Tables, for example, among quite elderly – and, in their fields, of course, presumably brilliant – men. Others, including many of those who become Conservative MPs, still think in this kind of way privately, and in their gentlemen’s clubs, but manage to put on a more democratic and respectful veneer in public.
Boris has never been able to do this. He’s still an Eton schoolboy – the Peter Pan of the Remove. I always imagine him in short trousers. That’s his problem; or, rather, our problem with him, when he becomes our PM.
Is it the same with independent school girls?