Well, I wasn't planning to return to the subject of Harry, as I'd assumed everyone had had enough of him, but I can't avoid linking to Libby Purves' excellent Times op-ed, "Lord Snooty and his Pals". As an ex-editor of Tatler, Purves knows a thing or two about Hooray Henrys, so when she says that the boy prince is becoming a public menace, it's worth paying attention:
This sliver of “high” society, hermetically sealed from general reality, should
not matter. But unfortunately, it does.
It matters because the Prince of Wales has allowed himself and his sons — especially the younger — to confine their friendships to a widely distrusted set of rude hedonists. Prince Harry has his own “Club H” bar in the cellars of Highgrove. He has not yet trashed a restaurant, but has been involved in rowdy lock-ins, barred from a pub after calling a French barman a “f****** frog”, stripped naked at a party, been photographed drunk, giving the finger and attacking a photographer. Barely three weeks after the Queen’s careful broadcast about racial diversity he — and his supposedly brighter brother — saw no problem in a party themed on “colonials and natives”.
I'm glad she also brought up the subject of that upper-class buffoons' society, The Bullingdon Club. I was surprised their recent antics didn't receive more coverage. Purves has no patience for media apologists such as Adam Nicolson:
He writes that when he was at Cambridge he smashed milk bottles and played a game of getting down a street by walking over cars. “No one gave a second thought to whether we were damaging them. We bent down car aerials . . . to make a hurdle course. We stood on the roof of the college and threw bicycles into the street so we could see what happened when cars collided with them.” He insists that this stuff is useful for “acquiring the moral sense you will later need” and records that his companions in criminal damage are now senior in “TV channels, accountancy firms, the law, City banks . . .” etc.

Well, of course they are, you prat! They were rich, protected, unlikely to get prison records because their families could smooth the feathers of those whose property and peace they destroy....[L]ike the underclass yob, who at least has the excuse of poverty, these rich boys cannot see outside their own rut. It is social autism. In past centuries they might be checked by rigid conventions and parental
severity. Now, they aren’t.
I see that that Mark Steyn thinks that this is all a storm in a tea-cup. For once, I disagree with him. Yes, there's a certain amount of hypocrisy in the European reaction. On the other hand, I don't think it helps to drag in analogies with Bertie Wooster, Spode and Prince Charles' taste in Arab attire.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/01/prince-or-prat-well-i-wasnt-planning.html|||1/18/2005 10:21:00 am|||||||||