The 1990s and the Bullingdon Club

Hail the class of ’92!

1992 – the year that must go down in history as the greatest yet. Forget all references to it being an ‘annus horribilis’ (when have we ever listened to Her Majesty anyway?), this was the year that saw the birth of The Oxford Student (at least according to its slogan), the European Union and, yes, most importantly, myself.

Yet, no matter how significant the latter three events may be, 1992 was also the year which bore witness to Chancellor George Osborne’s entrance into Oxford’s very own Bullingdon Club. Pasty-loving Tories might be trying to strengthen their classless image but 1992 ensures all attempts shall forever be in vain.

A then 22-year-old History student at Magdalen, George (née Gideon) posed on the steps of Christ Church as a member of the now infamous Bullingdon Club to flaunt his club uniform. We know where his post-Oxford life would take him but what happened to some of his other fellow ‘Buller’ men from 1992?

‘Rothschild’ sound familiar? Or should that be ‘the Rothschilds’?! Indeed, it should come as no surprise that one of this most exclusive of European dynasties was also a ‘Buller’. The Honourable Nathaniel Philip Victor James Rothschild, an ex-Extonian, left Wadham with a 2:1 in History only to become Chairman of an investment advisory business. Not bad for a young Rothschild considering his cousin Amschel hanged himself at 41 and another cousin, Raphael, died from a heroin overdose at 23.

Jason Gissing? Ok, so admittedly this didn’t ring any bells with me either, but I’m sure all our Waitrose-loving Tory readers will recognise the name Ocado. As one of the three founders of the online grocery firm, you have Gissing and fellow ‘Buller’ to thank for bringing Waitrose to your door, sorry, porch.

Chris Coleridge. Again, I apologise for this ‘Buller’s’ general anonymity but I had to mention the individual behind the brand V Water. For all those who have mockingly watched others, or indeed have and regretted, flushing (literally!) money away on ‘vitamin’ water look no further for placing the blame than this Exeter graduate.

That’s enough Bullingdon bombardment for one day but, as already predicted, 1992 was evidently a lucky year for the Oxford club’s members. Shame that twenty years later our Chancellor can only look back on it grudgingly. A ‘Buller’ in 1992; a ‘buller’ for life it would seem.  Not to worry Gideon, have yourself a pasty…

-Amedea Kelly-Taglianini