Boris Johnson claimed today that the naughtiest thing he’s ever done is ride a bicycle on the pavement. In early September however, he alluded to his time at university by advising primary school children not to get drunk.
While at Oxford University Boris was a member of the elite Bullingdon Club that engaged in high jinks such as drunkenly destroying pubs and restaurants followed by humiliating the owners by paying for the extensive damage in cash.
Sexism, vandalism and bullying: inside the Boris Johnson-era Bullingdon Club
The woman who was the club recruiter said: “Boris was one of the big beasts of the club. He was up for anything. They treated certain types of people with absolute disdain, and referred to them as ‘plebs’ or ‘grockles’, and the police were always called ‘plod’. Their attitude was that women were there for their entertainment.”
She said there was a “culture of excess” in the 1980s in which the activities of the Bullingdon Club felt “normalised”. “They had an air of entitlement and superiority.”
In 2013, Johnson – who reputedly still greets former members with a cry of “Buller, Buller, Buller” – described it as “a truly shameful vignette of almost superhuman undergraduate arrogance, toffishness and twittishness”. He added: “But at the time you felt it was wonderful to be going round swanking it up.”