Saturday, 26 May 2012

Meeting The Future Prime Minister... Possibly.

As a news cameraman, i often find myself in places that ordinary folk don't get to see. Not because you can't go there, more a question of why you would want to. Take Eton, for example. Today, i filmed a story about a group of young gentlemen who are doing a sponsored bike ride in aid of charity on behalf of a house mate of theirs who was killed by a Polar Bear. Not at Eton, i hasten to add, no... whilst on a school trip to the icy wastes of Norway. I believe they call it character building.

You see, where i grew up, the only time i was taken to see a Polar Bear was at London zoo or some such place. At Eton, they actually take you to where the bear lives... in the wild. Eton, you see, is one of those architypal British institutions where the filthy rich send their male offspring to be very highly educated in the manner of all things. Usually producing heirs to Royal houses, senior figures in Banking, Law or Medical institutions, or if they are really unlucky, or particularly dim, Prime Ministers and members of Parliament.

I mean, take this juxtaposition. Many inner city schools, and local areas in the UK have a gun problem. At Eton, that problem manifests itself as to who is going to clean the fifty pound cannon, captured at Savastapol during the Crimean war, that sits in a courtyard just off the main road. A job i think for the young new boys of the first year, or the head boys Fag.

The Eton gun problem has now got out of control...

Also i found that stepping into Eton is like walking into a bridegrooms showroom. Each boy wearing the same uniform of pinstripe trousers, waistcoat and tailed jacket plus white bow tie. Everything it would seem, but the top hat. Longish floppy hair is also en vogue it would seem, or de riguer amongst the older boys. It truly is a wonder to behold when hundreds of them fill the streets at lunchtime. A bit like a Moonie wedding, with no brides.

Our possible future Prime Minister strides purposefully on... clutching his AS Level sexed up dossier.

I sat and watched for a while, as the future leading generation of this nation walked past. That spotty little kid with skinny arms, gangly walk and no chin, could very well be our future Prime Minister, off to his geography lessons to learn where all the oil will be when he is waging another war against the Arabs. Or take the oafish looking Rugger bugger, with red cheeks and foppish Hugh Grant hair... He's the one who's going to waste your grand kids pension in 40 years time during the next banking collapse.

I studied them at a distance, hoping to find the one that looked like a future heart surgeon, so when i'm older and lying on my sick bed, i can say to the young, scalpel wielding man...

"Remember me? I was the cameraman all those years back, you remember, at Eton, sniggering at the school uniform and floppy hair... You will be careful won't you... Hmmm? What's that? No i'm not private i'm afraid... freelance wages y'know... Excuse me... where are you going... come back...!"

I feel i may look back on this post and regret writing it... Especially when my future rugby playing bank manager calls me in to discuss my business plans, and he sits there with his red cheeks and foppish Hugh Grant hair, as he tells me that my old school tie just doesn't cut the mustard...

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter