In October, for the first time in its history, the world’s most infamous gentlemen’s dining club admitted that it failed to attract sufficient membership applications.
So, farewell then, dear Bullingdon Club, taken from us this Michaelmas at the tender age of 236. Yours was not an easy life. Of course, there were the good times: the braying laughter of friends in high places; that reassuringly expensive dress sense; the broken glass and opened doors; those very smart photographs on all those steps and things. But, near the end, your ailments came in crowds.
How unkind Evelyn Waugh was to write, in his prophetically named Decline And Fall, of your ‘epileptic royalty from their villas of exile; uncouth peers from crumbling country seats; illiterate lairds from wet granite hovels in the Highlands’. Illiterate? Uncouth? What rot! Don’t these people know that three of your younger sons – Johnson, Cameron, Osborne – recently made it to the pinnacle of government? (Never mind that the latter two – oh cruel fate! – have since felt their own decline and fall.)
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