Bullingdon deny ASBO claims

first_imgMembers of Oxford’s Bullingdon Club have denied the claims made by a Proctor last month that they have been threatened with Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.In a speech he made in March, outgoing Proctor Professor Donald Fraser said that the first case he was given during his first week in office was to deal with complaints about the club members’ behaviour during incidents in October 2007 and March 2008.Residents in Jericho, north Oxford, contacted the Proctors’ office to report that students living in a house near the Phoenix cinema ‘had taken habitually to the drunken braying of ‘We are the Bullingdon Club!’ at 3am.’According to a transcript given to the Proctors’ office, a neighbour complained but was greeted with what the Times called ‘a well-educated torrent of abuse.’Fraser added that, ‘the transcript of what they called the wife of the neighbour who complained was written in language that is not usually printed’.The matter was then referred to the police because the incident did not occur on University property and the Bullingdon Club is not an official University society.‘After conferring with the Proctors’ Officers, I thought that an ASBO might concentrate the minds of those concerned. I referred the matter to the police, who did mention the word ASBO before awarding the members of the club an ABC – Acceptable Behaviour Contract – that would magically and automatically turn into an ASBO if provoked within six months.’Members of the club are denying the accusations, which recently appeared in the Daily Mail and The Times.A 47 year old single mother and Jericho resident told the Daily Mail, ‘They had a party and were chanting again and started throwing glass champagne bottles out of the window. The street was carpeted with broken glass.’She added that two of the students – Francesco Ciardi and Konstantin von Bismarck – later contacted her to apologise.Bismarck, a descendant of the Prussian Imperial Chancellor who founded modern Germany, rang the woman up to offer apologies. Ciardi, a friend of Princess Beatrice, apologised in person and offered her chocolates, which she refused.The two denied being members of the Bullingdon, but admitted that they allowed the club to use their house. One member denied that they were given the disciplinary orders, saying that the newspapers’ allegations came ‘probably from their more exotic daydreams.’He added, ‘But then again the Mail recently hazarded to allege that the club members ritually burn bags of cash exceeding £500, which really pushes the borders of insanity.’While the inner workings of the club remain secret, the same member did comment that, ‘There is no formulaic trashing ritual’ and insisted that breakages ‘are always swiftly dealt with.’In December 2004, four members of the Club were arrested following the alleged trashing of the cellar of the White Hart pub in Fyfield, an incident that prompted the press to refer to the club’s activities as ‘despicable’ and ‘reprehensible’.The society was founded in the late 19th century as a hunting and cricket club, but has gained a reputation as an exclusive drinking society. It has made headlines in the last few years due to the prevalence of its ex-members on the Opposition front bench. Conservative Leader David Cameron and Shadow Chancellor George Osborne were both members of the society while students at Oxford, as well as the London Mayor Boris Johnson.One member added, ‘We are not a bunch of vandalising socialite terrorists.’last_img

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