It seems Trenton Oldfield has successfully appealed against having his visa revoked. He is the Australian thirty-something who took it upon himself to disrupted the 2012 Boat Race in a supposed protest against elitism while failing to notice that Oxbridge is more meritocratic than elitist on account of its really hard exams.
He calls it protest, and still thinks he has the right to do what he did that day. But it was in fact a form of sabotage; it was an attempt, partially successful, to deny freedom to others while at the same time claiming to exercise his freedom to protest. It doesn’t work like that, Trenton, really it doesn’t. It falls into the same category as forcing your way into someone’s office or place of work and denying them the ability to do their work. You don’t exercise your freedom by denying freedom to others who are simply going about their lawful business.
The decision, right or wrong, is a kick in the teeth for Theresa May, the Home Secretary. But what should she do now? What should happen, supposing we agree with her that the narcissistic, selfish little man’s presence in the UK is indeed ‘undesirable?’
He clearly loves Britain. Well, he said he ‘fell in love with London within hours of arriving,’ so one supposes he loves Britain too. The reason, you see, or one of them at least, was that he got the impression ‘there was room for people like me.’ There was room in London for people interested in justice and fairness. Which is nice to hear. Though one can’t help concluding that what he really meant was that he has a special regard for justice and fairness that is otherwise lacking in Britain. But he’s here now, so all is well!
Is it possible, however, that his love for country and olympian self-regard could be used against him? Is it not about time we, Perfidious Albion, lived up to our hard-won reputation? We doubly know he loves Britain because he fought so hard to stay here, despite the country’s inherent and odious elitism. His struggle is all the more impressive because he tells us he wants to raise a family here, too. O what sacrifices he is prepared to make for his love of country!
No, that last bit doesn’t make much sense to me, either, unless he’s like all those other middle-class revolutionaries who love Britain so much they want to move here, live here, enjoy the peace and harmony our rotten people and unjust political system seem to have quite inexplicably produced, and turn us into some utopian fantasy – not unlike Karl Marx and his fellow-travellers, now I think about it.
Anyway, that love he has for our country. How do we make use of it? Well, here’s a suggestion. You may or may not know that our cricketers are finding it hard going in Australia. It’s not clear if this is because Trenton (Old Trenty, as I affectionately like to call him) is right when he says Australia is unnacceptibly racist and they are giving our Yorkies a particularly torrid time because of it, or because the Aussies are just playing better cricket than us at the moment. But it is clear that our cricketers are definitely not finding it easy. How about we tap into Old Trenty’s obvious love of country and call him up to play for England in the next test match?
It is true that he might not survive the experience, considering the reception the Aussie fast bowlers, revved up by Oldfield’s outrageous slander of their country, are likely to give him; or, for that matter, the Aussie public. But he’d be willing to risk it, I’m sure. We know he’s brave: he risked decapitation last year while fighting the Oxbridge elitists. If that’s a just war, then surely fighting the Aussie racists is equally just, even a duty. It is also true that convincing him to play for England might not be entirely straightforward: not because he doesn’t like England, we know he luuurves England, but because he might think selecting a cricketer to play for his country just because he’s the best is a bit elitist. But I’m sure his newfound regard for Blighty would win out.
So far, so good. Now comes the sneaky bit. When the Ashes are over (unfortunately not to English satisfaction, as is the most likely outcome at the time of writing: and now doubly-unfortunately confirmed.) and it is time for the cricketers to come home, Andy Flower mislays the man’s passport.
But don’t worry too much for Old Trenty; he won’t be too inconvenienced – he would already be home.
This is only one option, of course. Another might be to slip him on a different plane to Cooky and the lads: the one going to Syria, perhaps. He might then learn what genuine injustice and unfairness in society looks like.
Ho hum! If only things were that easy. The thing is, I think perhaps he should be allowed to stay. You see, he is in fact married to a British citizen. They have a child, but that’s immaterial. It’s her British citizenship that is key. They could go and live in Australia, despite his ridiculous argument against doing so, but British citizens do have rights – inalienable rights. Genuine spouses should have automatic residency rights in the country of their spouse. That’s basic. It’s a matter of individual liberty over arbitrary state power. If he breaks the law then the law should punish him, but his residency, on balance, and barring extreme misbehaviour, should not be affected. No matter how disagreeable he is. And Trenton – Old Trenty my lad – you are disagreeable.