“I’m dumping dung at Clarkson’s gates so he might understand that his attitude will land us all in the —-,” said Westminster- and Cambridge-educated Tamsin Omond, baronet’s granddaughter, yesterday, as she danced up and down on the pile of horse manure she’d dumped on the Top Gear presenter’s doorstep while dressed as a suffragette.
Her parents must be so proud. But I ruddy well wouldn’t be if I’d forked out £9,172 a term for my daughter’s education. That’s how much the current Westminster boarding fees are. If you’re a day pupil they are a mere £6,352 a term. I dare say things were slightly less expensive when little Tammy was there. But it’s still a fair bet it cost Mr and Mrs Omond an arm and a leg to educate their feisty and fearless young agitator.
What is it about privately educated, toffy rich kids and the modern green movement? Obviously there’s none quite so grand as Old Etonian the Hon Sir Jonathon Porritt (both a baronet and the son of a Lord), but billionaire’s son (and Old Etonian, natch) Zac Goldsmith is hardly what you’d call a smelly prole; nor is eco-columnist Charles Clover (a Wet – ie an old boy of Tamsy Wamsy’s alma mater Westminster), nor is George Monbiot (who went to Palladian finishing school for the nice but dim Stowe); nor of course is desperately WASP-establishment Climate Fear Promoter Al Gore. Then of course there’s Prince Charles, who, though something of a Hanoverian arriviste still knows enough not to eat the peas off his fish knife or drop too many aitches when he goes to dinner with his upmarket chum Sir Jonathon.
As for the Plane Stupid and Climate Camp lot – it is said that even if you went to a good grammar school, they still rag you for being a despicable little oik, rather as George Osborne was by the Old Etonians during in his time with the Bullingdon Club. Even their protest banners are made from 100 per cent Egyptian cotton percale sheets from John Lewis (bought at full price, not in the sale).
But back to that private school question. I am currently making enquiries as to how I might best get my own offspring into decent public schools. Not being born to the purple like most members of the modern green movement, I may have to do so via a bursary. But from what I can see of the alumni of our great schools I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s worth it.
Surely, the point of sending your child to private school is give them a better education than they would have had in the state sector. They would emerge, you would hope, with a capacity for original thinking, an ability to look at the world empirically and understand the difference between objective truth and the mere clamour of the times and the ranting of the mob.
But apparently not. There is nothing clever or original or indeed counter-cultural about the modern green movement. They are protesters pushing against an open door. Any fool can go to Jeremy Clarkson’s house dressed in frills and chant drivel. What takes far, far more courage and originality of thought is to look at the world, see how much money is being made from the “climate-change” industry, see how much taxpayers’ money is being wasted in the name of environmental righteousness, see how much of our beautiful countryside is going to be destroyed in the name of ’saving’ it, then to take a stand and enunciate with your impeccable, public school diction: “Enough is jolly well enough! Up with this I will not put!”