Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Thursday, 1 March, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 1 Mar 07, 06:51 PM

gordon_203.jpgGordon Brown announces his plans for Public Sector pay; anxious parents learn of their children’s secondary school placements; Gen Jack Keane, overseer of the so-called “surge” strategy in Iraq talks to Newsnight; and Michael Crick unearths some party leader pics.

Comment on Thursday’s programme here.

Bullingdon and Blair

  • Michael Crick
  • 1 Mar 07, 05:22 PM

Why can the media no longer show that photo of David Cameron in the Bullingdon club?

Tonight Newsnight reveals the painting we've specially commissioned, an artistic alternative to the photo that legally we're no longer permitted to broadcast.


Two and a half weeks ago the Mail on Sunday published the first photo of the Conservative leader David Cameron as a member of the Bullingdon Club, the elitist Oxford University dining club whose public school members have become notorious over the years for vandalising restaurants and trashing students' rooms.

The photo, taken around 1986, showed David Cameron and several other Bullingdon members, including the young Boris Johnson, cockily posing for the camera in their £1,000 uniforms of blue ties, tails and biscuit-coloured waistcoats. The photo was published in several national newspapers two weeks ago, and commentators suggested that the scene of Mr. Cameron and his toffish chums was far more embarrassing to the Tory leader than the recent story about him taking cannabis at Eton.

But last week Gillman and Soame, the Oxford photographers who took the original Bullingdon picture, and who own the copyright, announced they were no longer giving permission for the media to use the photo (or indeed any other of their library of tens of thousands of student and school photos). The firm insists this decision was taken for commercial reasons and that they were not pressurised to withdraw the picture.

The alternative painting commissioned by Newsnight of the same scene as in the Bullingdon photo was produced by the Oxford artist Rona.

tbcrop_203.jpgAnd it's not just David Cameron whose been embarrassed in the past by photos in drunken Oxford University dining clubs dredged up from their undergraduate past. This photo of Tony Blair at a St. John's dinner in the 1970s has been published many times before, but tonight, Newsnight reveals for the first time the lower part of the same picture which until now has always been cropped off. We'll show the extraordinary gesture the future Prime Minister was making below the waist - a picture you'll never forget.


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