When David Cameron was elected leader of the Conservative Party in 2005 he claimed he wanted to make Britain "One Nation" and even talked about decreasing the gap between rich and poor. Well, the gap between the rich and poor in 2011 is greater than at any time since the 1930's. So what is Mr Cameron's background? (Don't forget Mr Cameron's claims "what matters most to a child's life chances is not the wealth of their upbringing but the warmth of their parenting").
His father and grandfather were both millionaire stockbrokers (his grandmother was a millionaire Polish banker). He is descended from King William IV.
As a boy he attended Heatherdown Preparatory School in Berkshire (which counts Prince Andrew and Prince Edward among its former pupils).
At 11 years old he travelled to the USA by Concord with four classmates to celebrate the birthday of a classmate, Peter Getty, the grandson of American oil billionaire John Paul Getty. A former tutor of Mr Cameron, Mr R Llewellyn, recalls that Cameron and his friends tucked into caviar, salmon and beef bordelaise. Cameron (age 11) cheerfully raised a glass of Dom Perignon '69, toasting 'Good health, sir'.
At 13 he went to Eton. (There are 28,000 schools in Britain, yet 19 of Britain's Prime Ministers have been to Eton). In fact, 60% of current Tory MP's went to private school. 23 of the current 29 members of the Government are millionaires, and only 3 of the 29 Ministers in the current Cabinet went to state schools. (7% of Britain's population go to private school). 20 of the current Conservative Party MP's went to Eton.
After leaving school, but before going to university, Mr Cameron worked as a Parliamentary researcher for his godfather, the Tory MP, Tim Rathbone. A few months later he went to work for a multi-national corporation in Hong Kong after his father pulled a few strings.
Mr Cameron attended Oxford University. In the last 70 years, 11 of Britain's 13 Prime Ministers went to Oxford or Cambridge University (Oxbridge). In fact the only two Prime Ministers since 1941 who didn't go to Oxbridge were John Major and Jim Callaghan. This is despite the fact that only 0.2% of the British population go to Oxbridge.
At Oxford Mr Cameron was also a member of the toffs' drinking society, the Bullingdon Club. His Bullingdon Club mates at Oxford University included Boris Johnson (current Mayor of London) and George Osborne (current Chancellor of the Exchequer).
Straight from Oxford University Mr Cameron got a job at Conservative Party Central Office. Annabel Astor, the mother of his millionaire fiancée, Samantha Sheffield, suggested to her friend Michael Green (Chairman of Carlton Television) that he should hire Mr Cameron. So Mr Cameron went to work for Carlton Television. So Mr Cameron's C.V. reads - private prep school, Eton, Oxford University, Conservative Party Central Office, Carlton TV and Conservative MP.
Mr Cameron married Samantha Sheffield, the daughter of a Duke who is the third largest landholder in Scotland. She is a director of one luxury goods business and owner of another and also happens to be a descendent of King Charles ll! Mr Cameron, with no sense of irony, describes his wife's upbringing as 'highly unconventional' because she was a 'day girl' i.e. she attended private school on a daily basis and didn't go to boarding school! The height of unconventionality!
Mr Cameron owns a £2 million home in Notting Hill and a £5 million home in Oxfordshire. He lives near Chipping Norton where he regularly socialises with his friends and neighbours James Murdoch (son of Rupert Murdoch), Rebekah Brooks (former Chief Executive of News International) and Jeremy Clarkson (Top Gear). They not only drink together but ride horses together as well.
When his "messy" daughter once emerged at a social gathering in his £2 million Notting Hill house, Mr Cameron was reported as saying "you look like you've just fallen out of a council flat".
Mr Cameron castigated people who stole good during the recent riots saying that they should learn to "save up" and buy goods. Perhaps he can tell us how much saving he did to pay for going on Concorde?
So you can be sure that Mr Cameron understands your everyday concerns through his life experiences. Because, after all, he's just an 'ordinary bloke'.
(With thanks to Owen Jones for some of the material).
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
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