29 March 2006
Caspar Weinberger & an Oxford Union blow job.
Shall we have a little stroll down memory lane? Caspar Weinberger has cashed in his chips, which reminds me of the one and only time that I actually met the man. This was in the Oxford Union in early 1984, when he had come along to debate the motion that "This House believes that there is no moral difference between the foreign policies of the USA and the USSR," or something like that.
The debate should have taken place about a year earlier when a certain Andrew Sullivan had been President, but Michael Heseltine had pursuaded the Americans to postpone it for some reason or other. If I remember Sullivan's account correctly, the first he knew about this was when Heseltine got on the telephone to him and began by saying, "Mr. President, you are not going to enjoy this conversation. . ." Anyway, when the debate finally was allowed to go ahead, Malcom Bull, the then president, invited Sullivan back to present the motion. I don't think that Sullivan was anti-American, I just think that he was cheesed off that the debate had not taken place during his term and wanted to stick the boot in.
The chamber was packed and the left for once turned out in force. Put another way, Ruskin College had about twenty people there, which for the Oxford Union meant a large left-wing presence, because we were all that they had. None of the Ruskin men spoke in the debate. We tended to prefer the bar, anyway, but on this night we did leave our principles behind and went into the chamber.
I cannot remember much about the debate. A young man named Lawrence Grafstein led for the defence, as it were, and gave a speech that pretty much won the crowd over. He was cheered to the rafters and the bar-brigade decided to mark his card there and then. His later term as president was made a misery, largely because the bar takes an exception to clever buggers who spoil the fun. We, that is High-Tory Christ Church and very low Ruskin, were eagerly anticipating the beagles getting to the bunnie, as one Houseman remarked. Cheated of the sight of blood we returned to the bar, but Grafstein was going to be in for it.
The debate ended and most people left the building. I was dragooned out of the bar and marched up to the president's office by a rather nice young lady who explained that I was needed for drinkies and to meet Caspar. I did the decent thing, and then scampered back downstairs as soon as possible.
While I was upstairs the most memorable event of the evening took place in the garden. It is reported - indeed it has entered Oxford lore - that a rather sweet young thing took it upon herself to provide a memorable blow job for a friend of mine out in the garden. By all accounts they were sheltered by the large tree that grows there, and he just leaned against a wall. The story is told that he uttered the imortal line, "No, Sally, you have to suck - blow is just a figure of speech," at some point during the proceedings. Needless to say, since this fellow went on to work for GCHQ, he has consistently refused to either confirm or deny the tale.
Other than that the evening was hardly memorable. Weinberger left, as did the TV crews. The Union closed at 11.00pm and my bar brigade platoon went off to somewhere or other to eat a curry. The blow job recipient probably wandered off to the river to smoke a cigarette and ponder the meaning of life. I like to think that he gave the girl her taxi fare back to her rooms, but someone told me that all she got was a slap on the rear and her bus fare.
Update: Those of you who are following links to this post may like to know that it continues one stop above. Or you can click on this link.