While it is amusing that Oxford has ‘bagged’ No 10 again and that we are now 27–14 ahead of the fenlanders (‘Oxford’s 27th prime minister’, Oxford Today, Michaelmas 2016, p. 11), it is less entertaining to reflect that many of these Oxonian PMs have presided over both national decline and a coarsening of national life. The deindustrialisation of Britain which has replaced secure jobs with McJobs, the multiplication of food banks to feed hungry and despairing families, the cynical demonisation of the unemployed as scroungers — even stooping to exploit the deaths of children in a fire started by a welfare claimant — by an Oxonian Chancellor who found that it played well in tabloid newspapers, and a disastrously uncritical alliance with George W Bush, have all occurred under Oxonian PMs. Indeed in 2016 the irresponsible behaviour of certain Oxonians of my generation, including one who — as I understand it — campaigned for Brexit in the expectation that it would be defeated but would position him perfectly to become party leader and PM, has plumbed new depths in the narcissistic sense of entitlement which the University’s track record has bred among some of its alumni. This does not suggest that graduates of the University have the pre-eminence in ability or intellect — let alone virtue — which would justify this domination of national leadership roles.