Eton mess? Elite UK private school’s most questionable students
The most recent Eton alumnus to find themselves in the headlines for the wrong reasons is Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix. The scandal-ridden data analytics company suspended Nix on Tuesday after undercover recordings revealed him allegedly discussing bribery and entrapment with a potential client.
Nix got nixed just before Channel 4 aired its exposé on the company on Tuesday. The report shows Nix claiming his company was responsible for securing Donald Trump’s election victory in 2016. An earlier report showed him telling reporters posing as a potential client that they could “send some girls around to the candidate's house" to get damaging information on a subject.
David Cameron’s legacy as UK prime minister includes the very memorable – and very embarrassing – moment when an incident from his college days emerged. The Eton alumnus reportedly carried out a sex act on a pig when at university in Oxford. According to a book by former Tory treasurer Lord Ashcroft, Cameron put his penis in a pig’s mouth as part of an initiation ritual to get in to an Oxford dining club. Another member of the club reportedly has a photograph of the incident.
However, a penchant for pigs is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of Cameron’s dismal legacy. Cameron was responsible for UK intervention in Libya in 2011 and, seven years later, the country remains a failed state with a slave market trade. The former PM also tripled university tuition fees at the start of his time in government, sparking protests across the country, and resigned in 2016 in the wake of the Brexit referendum result.
Although Bumbling Boris is foreign secretary, he is unlikely to be top of the list when it comes to Eton’s most diplomatic students. Johnson, a former mayor of London, has a long list of past gaffes under his belt, from writing a poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan masturbating and having sex with a goat, to referring to Africa as “that country.”
His more recent blunders include jeopardizing the release of British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, detained in Iran, by alleging she was training journalists in that country.
Another Etonian is mercenary Simon Mann, who attempted a coup against the president of Equatorial Guinea in 2004. Mann’s company, Executive Outcomes, ran wars in Angola and Sierra Leone, while Sandline International, another company Mann worked for, suppressed rebellion in Papua New Guinea.
Mann also says the US asked him to give them a hand in starting the Iraq War. He told Vice a friend of “the American neocons” asked him to “come up with ideas to get the war kicked off.” “The first was to pick an Iraqi city away from Baghdad, go there with a rebel force made up of 6,000 Iraqi émigrés, take the city, then say, ‘Yah boo’ to Saddam. That would have forced him to come get us and be zapped on the road by the UK and US, or let the flag of rebellion spread,” Mann told Vice.
There’s certainly a theme among this set of Eton alumni. Former Conservative MP William Waldegrave, now Provost of Eton College, became embroiled in a scandal after it emerged he was involved in encouraging weapons sales to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, in contravention of sanctions in the 1980s.
The scandal broke after aerospace company Matrix Churchill went on trial for violating a government policy by selling arms to Iraq, but the trial fell apart after it emerged that the Government knew about the sales – and encouraged them. The Scott investigation into UK sales of arms to Iraq found that Cabinet ministers misled Parliament in 1989 and 1990 about the government’s policy.
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