Public-School alumni - from David Cameron to Chris Martin
As Donal Lynch looks at the Irish old-boys' network,our reporter lists five famous public-school attendees from across the water
1 DAVID CAMERON
"What school did he go to?" "Eton." "Yes, I had lunch with pater at his club. But what school did he go to?" Sorry. That's what's known as a mis-punderstanding. Cameron is regarded by some as the worst prime minister of all time. They say he will struggle to find work with that on his CV. We say he should contact the Nigerian regional government that paid Bertie Ahern to give them a talk on economics in 2012. Our guess is, they probably don't read the newspapers.
2 BORIS JOHNSON
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, to give him his full title. Now that name is about as English as making eye contact on the Tube. Boris won £1,000 this year for writing a saucy limerick about the President of Turkey having sex with a goat. (It's true. He actually did.) The Turkish response? "There once was a fella called Boris, who was more against us than for us, he's loved by the Brits, the ignorant shits, we hope they f**k off." (Needs a bit of worky, Turkey.)
3 BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH
In Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch plays a sexually ambiguous character who has contempt for everyone. That can't be easy for someone who came through the public-school system. His female fans call themselves Cumberbitches. Benedict said on a TV show the name was a setback for feminism, and could they choose something more empowering. Their response? "Show us your willy!" (Only messing. But imagine.)
4 CHRIS MARTIN
The Coldplay frontman went to posh Sherborne in Dorset. That came as a huge surprise to us, given how many of his songs are about the ravages of Tory spending cuts on desolate council estates. (None, says you, after a spot of googling.) Everyone knows that Coldplay songs are about giving accountants something to listen to on their way to work. Chris has a son called Moses with Gwyneth Paltrow. He's a fierce man for laying down the law, says you, mad for the Bible.
5 DOMINIC WEST
We're not sure what this ex-Etonian thought when he arrived in Dublin to study at Trinity. Obviously he didn't say, "Oh, I see, they have foppish, smug assholes over here, too", because that just isn't true. (One or two aren't foppish, says you.) Dominic was said to have plans to help manage his wife's hotel in Limerick. We can imagine female guests ringing reception. "I'd like to see the manager. In the nip. And send up another bottle of Prosecco."
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