As some light relief on election day – here’s an extract from Sonia Purnell’s excellent biography, Just Boris. The 4th June 1983 edition of the Etonian newspaper The Chronicle carried an interview with the then leader of the Greater London Council, Ken Livingstone. Ken didn’t hold back on what he thought about Eton and Etonians:
I think your school system should be integrated into the state system, because I don’t think you should have the right [through] what your parents can buy [to] a privileged start over the rest of society. I look at the people who have emerged from Eton and Harrow, Oxford and Cambridge and I think you’re a load of bloody wallies.
One student decided this couldn’t be allowed to pass unremarked. In the same issue, a 16-year old Boris Johnson responded:
I tell you this. The Civilised World can ignore, must ignore entirely these idiots who tell us that by their very existence the public schools demolish all hopes most cherished for the Comprehensive System. Clearly, this is twaddle, utter bunkum, balderdash, tommyrot, piffle and fiddlesticks of the most insidious kind. So strain every nerve, parents of Britain, to send your son to this educational establishment (forget this socialist gibberish about the destruction of the State System). Exercise your freedom of choice because in this way, you will imbue your son with the most important thing, a sense of his own importance.
Some things never really change.