Despite the continued impression that Cambridge University will only admit the elite of the country’s youth, those of sharp intellect and proven academic ability who have impressed the interviewers with their willingness to advance an argument and then forge forward onto, for them, hitherto unexplored territory in search of the perfect answer to the sometimes rather unfathomable questions, this week it was shown to also admit illiterate, innumerate, socially disadvantaged and generally quite ignorant country bumpkins, or at least one anyway.
Charlie Gilmour,adopted son of former Pink Floyder David Gilmour was appearing in court to appeal the 16 month sentence handed down to him for the crime of violent disorder following his swinging from the Union flag on the Cenotaph during last December’s demonstations against tuition fees.
Poor Charlie thinks the sentence was a bit harsh and has advanced as his defence the fact that “he didn’t realise the monument from which he was swinging was a war memorial, let alone The Cenotaph.” The reason for this ignorance, according to Mr. Gilmour’s lawyer was that the poor, deprived young man had grown up in the countryside without access to television.
And presumably without access to written material such as newspapers, or even reading books as he appears to have been unable to read the words “Glorious Dead” carved in gold leaf upon the monument, nor recognised the numerals forming the dates of the conflicts in which those men and women died.
He obviuosly has never watched the film The Wall, by Pink Floyd, which was greatly influenced by the feelings of David Gilmour following the loss of his father in the war and features a distorted but recogniseable image of The Cenotaph.
He would also have us believe that his famous musician father and slightly less famous novellist mother had never taken him to London to see the sights.
The lack of recognition of the Union flag would no doubt be due to the fact that he lived in England and only ever saw the one with the white background and the red cross on it which he thought had something to do with a football team.
Let’s just hope that while inprisoned Mr. Gilmour can make good use of the prison library and education services to fill in some of the abyss likes gaps in his general knowledge and pray that he never gets selected for the Girton College University Challenge team.