A left-wing newspaper mocked the death of an Eton schoolboy who was mauled on an Arctic expedition. The Socialist Worker claimed the incident was ‘another reason to save the polar bears’.'Gosh, the 'Socialist Worker' is run by embittered morons, well I never..!' said absolutely nobody.
But it's entirely possible that class did indeed play some tiny part in this. Take the words of the BSES director:
Pearson told the inquest in Salisbury, Wiltshire: "This is not a fly-by-night organisation. We tasked a high-court judge to carry out an independent inquiry ... we are absolutely an open book."In what way is the fatal overconfidence & disregard for rules and procedure shown in this sad tale not a hallmark of such an organisation, then?
And just how does hiring another ivory-tower idealist with the 'right' surname & school background help matters?
Pearson, formerly a commandant at the Royal Military Academy, at Sandhurst, said: "What we are putting in place is more training which may reflect better the situation they may find themselves in – getting people tired, getting their heart rate moving faster, providing distraction and getting them to fire the appropriate distance.
But it's going to be down to the individual and how they respond to stress. Some are better than others."Once upon a time, we could count on a military man to have all those qualities already, or be washed out of Sandhurst.
Once upon a time, one could leave one's heir in the hands of any establishment figure in a wilderness and be confident he'd be home soon with a few tales to tell and no parts of his anatomy missing. Because the men in charge would have been experienced and competent.
They would have understood firearms, not read a manual or two and thought 'Job's a good 'un! Hope I never have to actually, you know, use the bally awful thing for real..'.
They developed survival skills, rather than comedy moustaches:
Class, it seems, is not what it once was. It's been treated to the dilution that marks so many of our once-great institutions. Something the likes of the writers of rags like the 'Socialist Worker' should be cheering on, surely?
We will have to wait for a conclusion, though. It seems the parents have hired a QC who plans to finish the job of eating the hapless team leaders alive that the polar bear started:
Mr Singleton decided to adjourn the hearing after listening to legal submissions, including from Lizanne Gumbel QC, representing the Chapple family.
Ms Gumbel, in submissions yesterday and this morning, told the coroner Horatio’s parents, GP Olivia and surgeon David Chapple wished him to consider the issue of “neglect” in his conclusion.I think 'sheer hopeless overconfidence and criminal incompetence' would be a better consideration...