An interview with a public schoolboy

After months of negotiation and several expensive lunches, I have finally managed to secure an interview with public schoolboy Timothy Hasslewaite-Montague III. I take the opportunity to ask him a bit about his expensive, exclusive and pompous background.

AC: Timothy, we may as well confront the issue head on: you went to a public school, didn’t you?

TH: I did.

AC: And you understand that this makes you inherently evil.

TH: I have resigned myself to that now, yes.

AC: Well, at least you are coming to terms with this. Now, let’s talk a little bit about your personal circumstances. You don’t care about cuts to higher education because your university experience is funded by the Public Schools’ Fund for the Education of Our Old Boys, am I correct?

TH: Yes, that and of course the revenue from the Duchy of Lancaster.

AC: I see.

TH: Oh, and from Duchy Originals.

AC: Excuse me?

TH: Every time you buy a biscuit, I get 5%.

AC: Right. Let’s move onto your life at Royal Holloway. Did you go on any of the protest marches against the cuts to higher education?

TH: I would have done, but I was at Henley.

AC: What did you make of the violence?

TH: All I will say is regattas are dangerous places and Charterhouse have always been sore losers.

AC: I meant the violence at Millbank.

TH: Oh good heavens, an absolute abomination on society!

AC: I thought you might say that. Now, I think my readers will want to know why you are at university when you could so easily just get one of those ‘jobs for the boys’, or live off Daddy’s credit card?

TH: That’s a very good question, Ashley, thank you for asking it. The truth is I am part of PSCOP, the Public School’s Community Outreach Programme. It’s a three-year scheme where you are encouraged to ingratiate yourself amongst the great unwashed in order to teach them something about civilised life.

AC: Sort of like a gap year then?

TH: I suppose so.

AC: Did you go on a gap year?

TH: Obviously! Charles and I went to a small community in Tanzania and set up a gold mine, now flourishing. 288p/share and climbing.

AC: I thought you were meant to build schools and shelter?

TH: All lies. We made Facebook photo albums showing us hugging children and teaching them English in order to fool the sweaty masses. In truth we are merely continuing in the great public school tradition of going to Africa and exploiting its resources. In ten years time, we’ll have an empire from Cape to Cairo!

AC: Fascinating. Now, as we all know, public schools are where the sons of the wealthy are taught how to have a sense of entitlement and are given access to any job they like, regardless of their qualifications. Talk us through how you ended up at one of these elitist institutions.

TH: I remember it very well. I was three years old and I was sitting on my favourite sofa at BP –


TH: Blenheim Palace

AC: Of course.

TH: – and I was watching an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine – bloody good show, apart from that awful Liverpudlian narrator. Anyhow, I became aware of the conversation my parents were having in the room next door. They were discussing whether or not they could afford to put me through 15 years of private education.

AC: What did you do?

TH: I leapt up from the sofa, temporarily advanced my communication skills by approximately 15 years and said in a booming and pompous voice: “Look, you can either spend your money on cars and fancy holidays or you can bloody well put me through a decent school and then I can become part of the Conservative Ascendency”.

AC: Incredible!

TH: I know!

AC: What is the Conservative Ascendency?

TH: Oh we’re taking over. Again, I mean. We rigged the election so that all the frontbench MPs would have gone to the best schools and universities and studied politics and economics to at least a 2:1.

AC: Does that not just mean we elected qualified people?

TH: Ah, you see, you think you did, but if you were given a free choice, you would have elected a front bench made up entirely of hairdressers.

AC: At last! A window into your exclusive world! I shall get my internship at the Guardian for sure!

TH: I wouldn’t count on it.

AC: Why not?

TH: The Guardian is now listing all its internship offers on The quality of the jobs on offer depends on your proximity to the lineage of the royal family. You will need to have a DNA test and a full family tree as well as deleting this article and all other evidence of investigative journalism that might have exposed the public school network.

AC: Timothy Hasslewaite-Montague III, thank you for speaking with me and giving us common folk an insight into your extraordinary world.

TH: Thank you, Ashley. Vox populi, vox dei.


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