How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really?


by Sunny Hundal    
11:30 am - December 2nd 2011

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The controversy around Jeremy Clarkson, Rebekah Brooks and Cameron has brought up a long-known reference in media circles: that they are part of the ‘Chipping Norton Set’.

What does that mean, you may ask, and who else is part of it? And why was Clarkson at No. 10 Downing St just days ago?

A Liberal Conspiracy source has, for the first time in this way, collated some information on where Jeremy Clarkson, Rebekah Brooks, David Cameron and Matthew Freud (head of the powerful PR firm, married to Elizabeth Murdoch) roughly live. They are all key players in the Chipping Norton Set.

I say roughly because while I have been sent locations gleaned though legitimate means (Electoral Register and company accounts) – I won’t reveal them in detail.

Below is the area around Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.

Rebekah Brooks lives at A
David Cameron’s massive house is at B
Matthew Freud is believed to live at C
Jeremy Clarkson lives at D

They aren’t just close through work – they actually live five minutes away from each other.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Nice to know that if Rebekah wade/Brooks feels hard done by during these hacking investigations, she can simply have a quiet word with her local MP.

They are all quite close to the Cotswold Wildlife Park, especially Matthew Freud. Perhaps they are all very fond of lemurs? The CWP has an *excellent* lemur collection. And rhinos.

What Sunny failed to mention is that they are all lizards.

OMG – people live close to each other therefore they must be friends.

3
Actually, they are toads.

I used to live literally minutes away from the Queen! And Gordon Brown’s brother! This all goes to show something, though I don’t know what.

@ 4 – I think it’s just emphasising the relation between the people and Clarkson with his shooting quote. They all share the same ideas not just friendship, it’s just that Clarkson can say what they all think but Cameron can’t. It’s this relationship.

What was the Jeremy Clarkson ”controversy” again?

For what it’s worth, I used to live five minutes away from Miss Whiplash in Streatham.

If you want an example of the work shy ,idle rich, te chipping norton set are your kind of people.

I wish the most un regulated poisonous chemical factory would set right in their area, and poison the air that their children breathe. But of course silly Sally, they are NIMBYS, and they only hate regulations in other peoples back yards.

10. Chaise Guevara

“They aren’t just close through work – they actually live five minutes away from each other.”

Dun-dun-DUUUUUUN! Hold the front page! Summon Interpol!

You mean you could get all of them with just one reasonably sized tactical nuclear weapon? And a golf club as well. I wonder if there’s one on ebay.

You can draw a leyline from Freud through Brooks to Clarkeson. And CAD spells ‘cad’.

ABD also makes up an equilateral triangle. If you make a mirror image of that and superimpose it on the first you get a Star of David.

I increasingly think you are a concern troll. You seem to argue against everything Sunny puts up, you want me banned because I say things that upset tory trolls.

Your pretend lefty routine is wearing rather thin these days.

14. Luis Enrique

for crying out loud, how many influential people live in Islington?

15. Chaise Guevara

@ 12

The Martian Association of Freemason Lizardfolk is involved, you mark my words. Also, the Catholic Church, probably under the supervision of the Reverse Vampires.

16. Luis Enrique

“Your pretend lefty routine is wearing rather thin these days.”

I share your frustration.

What we need is two categories rather than one “left wing”.

We can have one for people who want to overthrow capitalism, regard those that disagree with them as evil, and call the police because Clarkson makes an obnoxious shit joke, and other category for moderate left-winger with a sense of perspective (sorry, neoliberal sellouts) then we wouldn’t have to “pretend” to be a member of your team .. .I can’t speak for Chaise, but personally I have much more in common with a moderate centrist Tory than I have with the shining righteous warriors of the true socialist left wing.

17. Shatterface

If you join CADBA it looks like a long spoon – for supping with the devil?

Or mabe a reference to Uri Gellar, who was a friend of Michael Jackson, who was murdered because he Knew Too Much?

‘personally I have much more in common with a moderate centrist Tory than I have with the shining righteous warriors of the true socialist left wing’

we knew that.

19. Luis Enrique

Joe,

yes, that was rather redundant wasn’t it

Sorry, I did not make my self clear. I was taking about 10, our very own fake Chaise Guevara.

Concern troll of the month award to him.

21. Shatterface

What we need is two categories rather than one “left wing”.

Thats why we need the libertarian-authoritarian axis to distinguish between the free-speech loving anarchists, and the neo-Stalinists who want people sterilised and their children taken into the care of the State if they suffer verbal diarrhea on public transport.

“If you join CADBA it looks like a long spoon – for supping with the devil?”

And the blue lines on the map look like a pitchfork — the Devil’s pitchfork!

23. Luis Enrique

I know this is breaching (a variant of) Godwin’s law, but calling out people, hitherto on your side, as “fakes” because they disagree with you is a microcosm of the mentality that saw sabatours purged in the Cultural Revolution. Murphy shares it – anybody who disagrees with him is a neoliberal.

I find it a little terrifying. I think I am hypersensitive because the Clarkson affair has left me despairing.

I think – and I want to make it absolutely clear that I am in deadly earnest – that we ought to build a giant space gun and fire Dave Prentis into the heart of the sun. In front of his children, if he has any.

For those who think its not unusual for them to live this close to each other, remember this.

Theres not that many people living in between them. It is as if they lived on the same street as each other.

25. Chaise Guevara

@ 20 Sally

“Sorry, I did not make my self clear. I was taking about 10, our very own fake Chaise Guevara.”

Luis realises that, it would help if you finished reading his post.

Does “fake Chaise Guevara” refer to the daring theory that Chaise Guevara isn’t my given name?

“Concern troll of the month award to him.”

I wonder if being labelled a troll by LC’s ubertroll means that I’m an especially reasonable contributer? Probably not; reversed stupidity is not always intelligence.

26. Chaise Guevara

@ 13 Sally

“I increasingly think you are a concern troll. You seem to argue against everything Sunny puts up, you want me banned because I say things that upset tory trolls.”

First, I don’t want you banned, I just think those of your posts that are content-free slanderous abuse should be deleted in short order.

Secondly, I’ve tried and failed to explain this to two other people on LC in the past, but disagreeing with Sunny doesn’t make me a troll or a right-winger. I’m left-wing, but I also dislike irrational arguments and unfounded attacks. As all writers and most commenters on this site are leftist, I’m inevitably going to end up arguing with lefties more than righties on rationalist grounds, simply by the law of averages.

Of course, I could ignore any irrational bullshit said by my fellow lefties, but that’s just the sort of partisan thing that annoys me, and I’m not going to participate in it just to keep LC’s lunatic wing happy.

27. Chaise Guevara

@ 16 Luis

“What we need is two categories rather than one “left wing”.

We can have one for people who want to overthrow capitalism, regard those that disagree with them as evil, and call the police because Clarkson makes an obnoxious shit joke, and other category for moderate left-winger with a sense of perspective (sorry, neoliberal sellouts) then we wouldn’t have to “pretend” to be a member of your team .”

Agreed, and I appreciate the backup. May I suggest “hyperbolic left” and “rational left”, or am I pushing my luck with the biased terminology? ;)

If I find myself nodding in agreement more at comments by Chaise than by Sally, does that make me a “pretend lefty” as well?

29. Shatterface

I find it a little terrifying. I think I am hypersensitive because the Clarkson affair has left me despairing.

With me its the cumulative effect of the ritual denounciation of everyone from Clarkeson to Russell Brand, Jimmy Carr or other comedians, the ‘twitterbomber’ affair, the Motoons, the banning of protests against or on behalf of Islamists, the banning of the burqa in France, the minaret elsewhere, hissy-fits over books, plays, teddybears or rap music, horror films and videogames, guest speakers being shouted down, and fuss over the naming of the Blue Peter cat.

The idea that you can make a better world by stopping someone doing something you don’t like has replaced the idea of personal liberty as a goal. We’ve swapped open disagreement for a stifling conformity in which no one is happy and everyone has a grievence against everyone else.

There’s always the temptation to think if only I could stop this idiot talking life would be a little bit less offensive but all these instances add up.

30. Chaise Guevara

@ 29 Shatterface

“The idea that you can make a better world by stopping someone doing something you don’t like has replaced the idea of personal liberty as a goal.”

I’m going to take a more cheerful angle and say that these are goals that appeal to different types of people (more annoyingly, some people chase both goals lopsidedly based on their personal preferences).

Certainly there seem to be plenty of people with an “if it scares/offends me, it must be banned” mindset, whereas I’d say a ban should always be a last resort except where the action in question harms other people in a fairly direct way. Which doesn’t include “This music/game/film must be outlawed as it encourages Bad Thinking and will therefore lead to the downfall of society, for a given value of “therefore”, “downfall” and “society”.”

When we’ve got a major paper calling for a ban on hooded jumpers, it does appear that we have an unhealthy obsession with petty authoritarianism.

Chaise @ 26:

“First, I don’t want you banned, I just think those of your posts that are content-free slanderous abuse should be deleted in short order.”

To be fair, I don’t think there’s much practical difference between those two positions.

32. Chaise Guevara

@ 31 XXX

True dat. Although you never know… if Sally noticed that her posts got deleted for being irrational and content-free, maybe she’d have an ephiphany and turn into a reasonable and apposite poster?

33. Man on Clapham Omnibus

Youve bowled us all over with your investigative journalism Sunny. I live near a tory MP so that obviously means something.Answers on a postcard

34. Chaise Guevara

@ 33

“Answers on a postcard”

I know! It means a Tory lives somewhere that has a convenient bus connection to Clapham!

I live approximately 15 minutes from DC’s place. His office is 20 seconds away – directly opposite from mine in Witney. We are not friends, share almost no political views and although we have spoken I am sure he does not remember who I am.

Also – FWIW from personal experience the time it would take to travel between any two of those sites is more than 5 minutes. Possibly 15.

So are our moronic trolls saying there is no such thing as the chipping norton set? They must be a bit thick if they are, because it has been well documented.

@36. Sally: “So are our moronic trolls saying there is no such thing as the chipping norton set?”

No, you didn’t say that.

LC should really host a separate thread for us to boast/confess about how close we have lived to the notorious or dangerous.

I lived across the road from Andrew Newton who shot Norman Scott’s dog — an anecdote that means nothing to the under 35 year olds here. He seemed pleasant enough, by which I refer to Andrew Newton.

While I think it would be a shame to drop a bomb on Chipping Norton – it’s so attractive – I wouldn’t mind if someone dropped a neutron bomb on London. Britain would be a much better place without it. Trouble is, even as far away as Worcestershire we’d probably have to take in bloody survivors. Yuck. The idea of sharing my living space with someone with an estuary accent makes me heave.

40. Chaise Guevara

“I lived across the road from Andrew Newton who shot Norman Scott’s dog — an anecdote that means nothing to the under 35 year olds here”

I can confirm this. Who’s Norman Scott?

@40. Chaise Guevara

I am just going to set Rinka’s offset on you.

42. Chaise Guevara

@ 41

Honestly confused here – I AM under 35 and have no idea who these people are.

” they actually live five minutes away from each other.”

Ranges of 5 to 13 miles between the points on the map mostly of single lane country B roads. You can tell you spend your life in a city Sunny.

@ 42 Chaise

Andrew ‘Gino’ Newton shot Norman Scott’s dog, Rinka.

Some alleged that this was an act preparatory to shooting Norman Scott.

Norman Scott was alleged to be the lover of the then leader of the Liberal Party, Jeremy Thorpe.

It was then alleged that Thorpe, together with others, had conspired to have Scott murdered to stop him publicly revealing his homosexual affair with Thorpe.

Thorpe was tried, but acquitted.

Some though the judge’s summing-up was a little generous to Thorpe.

Private Eye rendered Mr Justice Cocklecarrott’s summing-up roughly like this:

Ladies & Gentlemen of the jury, the choice before you is a simple one. You must chose whether you take the word of a nauseating spotted reptile, a self-confessed player of the pink oboe….. or that of the Leader of the Liberal Party, an Old-Etonian, a member of Her Majesty’s Privy Council. The decision is yours.

I’m a troll too. So’s my wife!

“On the evidence of the so-called ‘hit man’, Mr Olivia Newton-John, I would prefer to draw a discrete veil. He is, as we know, a man with a criminal past, but I like to think – ho ho ho – no criminal future. He is a piece of slimy refuse, unable to carry out the simplest murder plot without cocking it up, to the distress of many. On the other hand, you may think Mr Newton-John is one of the most intelligent, profound, sensitive and saintly personalities of our time. That is entirely a matter for you.”

Christ even I know that and I’m in my twenties.

I think, Luis and Chaise, you have already forever condemned yourselves for Sally and Jim. You, Luis, say “I have much more in common with a moderate centrist Tory than I have with the shining righteous warriors of the true socialist left wing.” Don’t you know there’s no such thing as a moderate Tory? They are, after all, Tories, and therefore cannot be moderate by definition. They all want the poor to suffer, starve and be punished for being poor. If Leon was here he would of course tell you that every single right-winger also wants the poor to be massacred, as he has done on other threads. In fact the likes of Cameron are a thousand times worse than Thatcher and probably has the blueprints for KZs for “the 99%” on his desk now.

If you’re showing any sympathy with these murderers, clearly you are a sympathiser and a collaborator, to be ostracised and pilloried with them. Don’t you see Cameron building the police state? Haven’t you read Laurie Penny? Aren’t you overwhelmed with infantile self-righteousness? Call yourselves left-wingers?

So to summarise OP and responses thus far:
Sunny explains the origins of the term “Chipping Norton Set” leaving readers to decide whether the ease of contact and social time outside London leads to influencing each other away from the public gaze the capital.

Posters’ response is generally to quarrel over who is the nastiest to each other.

Sunny’s article will have been meaningful if it can be shown that the set operate as a group able to advance each other’s interests. Given the past record of some at least of these individuals, this is a possibility, and worth drawing to attention of those able to investigate further. In the mean time, perhaps we can set up a “Judean People’s Front” discussion site for those that simply want to bicker and confuse that for campaigning for (or against) social change

48. Dick the Prick

I used to live next door to Paul Heaton from the Beautiful South and he was a top bloke. At the top of their fame, number 1 albums and songs and stuff. I was a gobby young right wing economist and his left politics are put into action as most of his money has gone into Hull but we never agreed on anything except pool & beer. Top dude.

49. Maltese Cross

Hey Sunny – Can you put your address up on the map just to prove you’re not also part of this set?

Dom Joly has a place in the Cotswolds, as does Jeanette Winterson. I would imagine that several thousand well-off Londoners have a little place in the Cotswolds. This article is laughable.

You’ve clearly never tried driving the B-roads in that area. Spelsbury to Burford is at least 25 minutes, even longer if you go via Chipping Norton. Superimpose that map onto Ed Miliband’s Primrose Hill house and he’d be within reach of around 7 million people. Which would be a hell of an improvement on his current performance.

Lord Douglas Hurd lives just south of Burford at Westwell. His is the house with the policeman outside, as a former Home Sec he is believed to be on an IRA hit list.

53. Shatterface

When I was a student I lived down the road from Ken Dodd


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

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  2. Nemesis Republic

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  3. Wildey

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  4. Tim Ireland

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  5. Stew Wilson

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  6. meme

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  7. Alex Snowdon

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  8. #pressreform

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  9. Juliet

    I don't see the relevance of this. RT @libcon How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? http://t.co/V8GayTLS

  10. James Phelge

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  11. James Phelge

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? http://t.co/wyBko9PN

  12. Roger Tew

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? http://t.co/wyBko9PN

  13. Neil Partridge

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? http://t.co/wyBko9PN

  14. Orange Book LibDem

    The comments on this piece by @sunny_hundal on the Chipping Norton Set are a must read http://t.co/9da3SzXG

  15. cutchswife

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/aZoaXV7b via @libcon

  16. A C McGregor

    The comments on this piece by @sunny_hundal on the Chipping Norton Set are a must read http://t.co/9da3SzXG

  17. do I know you ?

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/aZoaXV7b via @libcon

  18. Rachael

    The comments on this piece by @sunny_hundal on the Chipping Norton Set are a must read http://t.co/9da3SzXG

  19. Gurvinder Johal

    The comments on this piece by @sunny_hundal on the Chipping Norton Set are a must read http://t.co/9da3SzXG

  20. Lance

    The comments on this piece by @sunny_hundal on the Chipping Norton Set are a must read http://t.co/9da3SzXG

  21. Leuk Adresje

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? http://t.co/wyBko9PN

  22. Indigo May Roe

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? http://t.co/wyBko9PN

  23. Michael Bater

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/NfUg2zQn via @libcon

  24. Mark Carrigan

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/6JSAGpUB via @libcon

  25. Simon Watkins

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/NfUg2zQn via @libcon

  26. Andrew G

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? http://t.co/8YY7uEof

  27. Nik Darlington

    Probably one of the more ridiculous blog posts of all time, but got to love the comments…. http://t.co/AvR0CvTY by @sunny_hundal

  28. Jamie

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? http://t.co/BkVzwLRW #newsinternational #hackgate

  29. Bella Caledonia

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? http://t.co/BkVzwLRW #newsinternational #hackgate

  30. Peter Curran

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? http://t.co/BkVzwLRW #newsinternational #hackgate

  31. Jamie

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? http://t.co/BkVzwLRW

  32. HazeW

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? http://t.co/BkVzwLRW

  33. LeAnne Tancred

    RT @libcon: How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? http://t.co/jcCI5czq

  34. cameronsfollys

    #Horsegate How far would I need 2 go for a 'ride'? http://t.co/3NRaE4dz A = Rebekah Brooks house B = 'My' MASSIVE house http://t.co/htg4dU3u

  35. appleblossombea

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/17mTlrPX

  36. briefself

    Brooks and Cameron live about nine fields from each other. A two-minute canter or thereabouts. http://t.co/bbMseVLC (via @sunny_hundal)

  37. Peter Howells

    So what ? A map showing Jeremy Clarkson, Rebekah Brooks, David Cameron and Matthew Freud living close to one another. http://t.co/uE3v9n1p

  38. Jonathan Davies

    Poor Chipping Norton (of which I am fond). The centre of this junketing network is much closer to Pudlicote. http://t.co/HGF4Cq19

  39. NOTtheTalk

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/fAxci7XZ via @Sunny_Hundal

  40. BevR

    How close do Cameron and Rebekah Brooks live, to go horse-riding? We looked into this… http://t.co/bkJo3JzT #horsegate

  41. @FairPortal

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/17mTlrPX

  42. Saggydaddy

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/bWuHN7of

  43. Underthebed

    How close are Cameron, Jeremy Clarkson and Rebekah Brooks really? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/bWuHN7of

  44. PeterJukes

    Great to have @jcrclarksonesq around. Now we can ask: did he take Raisa for a road test? She was just round the corner http://t.co/KprN5FPL

  45. PeterJukes

    '@sunny_hundal Now @jcrclarksonesq is on twitter we can ask: did he take Raisa for a road test? Just a field away… http://t.co/KprN5FPL

  46. Eileen Allen

    @JanetBlair004 http://t.co/ZuMsPKWR via @libcon





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