REVEALED: OUCA’s secret dining society

….where members refer to each other as ex-colonies of the British Empire

Members of the ‘Viceroys’, a secret Oxford drinking society with strong ties to the Oxford University Conservative Association (OUCA), have been using the names of former British colonies as pseudonyms.

In emails obtained by The Tab Oxford, the Viceroys refer to themselves as ‘India’, ‘Canada’, ‘Australia’ and ‘Ireland’, for the President, Secretary, Social Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

The society's symbol

The society’s symbol

The emails reveal a list of people named as recipients of a Viceroys invitation, which refers to the recipients as ‘Members’. The names are:

Andrew North (Chemistry, New College)

• Frederick de Fossard (History, Magdalen)

 George Mawhinney (Law, Oriel)

• James Heywood (PPE, Magdalen)

• Oliver Johnson (History, Exeter)

• Robert Greig (PPE, Magdalen)

The all-male recipients of the Viceroys email include the current OUCA President (Greig), its Secretary (Heywood) and OUCA ex-President (Mawhinney), as well as four other members of the Association.

The emails show how the Viceroys dine together on anniversaries of significant moments in Medieval British history including St Crispin’s Day, St George’s Day, the anniversary of Charles I’s death, and the Queen’s birthday, as well as a ‘Michaelmas Banquet’.

One email entitled ‘Canada’ states: “It is my great pleasure to remind you all of our dinner on St Crispin’s Day, that soundest of feats….we shall remember when Prince Hal put to flight the ancient enemy on the field of Agincourt on the 25th of October 1415.”

The email later describes how the dinner was “arranged by our esteemed officers; India, Ireland and Australia.”

For the ‘Trafalgar dinner’, Canada also writes: “We are meeting at 6:30 at Malmaison, a particularly fine establishment. The dress code will be white tie, and we ask that you wear you club bow ties.”

When contacted by The Tab, Rob Greig said: “This society is separate from OUCA and there is no evidence that any social society has any influence in the Association.”

One former member said: “I left the club many terms ago because I was not interested in being a member of a formal dining society. I was a member only for a very short time, but decided that membership wasn’t for me.”

The others named in the emails did not respond to The Tab when asked for comment.

An invitation to join the society

An invitation to join the society

The revelation comes as OUCA attempts to repair its chequered reputation, having twice lost university affiliation in recent years. In June 2009, OUCA had to drop the word ‘university’ from its title after an incident in which racist jokes were told at a hustings.

103 Comments

  1. What?!?!? 19th August 2013 at 4:48 pm

    This wasn’t secret!

    • Orme Clarke 28th August 2013 at 4:32 pm

      Orme Clarke

    • Get a life, Goulding 19th September 2013 at 2:39 am

      And the award for biggest non-story of the year goes to…

      I mean, really- a bunch of mates having dinner together with a few in-jokes? Fuck me. Stop the presses.

  2. P. Ivanova 19th August 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Classic Tory wankers, pissing on everyone’s attempts to actually help Oxford’s image.

    • Anonymous 19th August 2013 at 4:59 pm

      I always love that attitude of “do what you like so long as it doesn’t upset our delicate sensibilities”.

    • Anonymous 19th August 2013 at 5:01 pm

      I always love that attitude of “do what you like so long as it doesn’t upset our delicate sensibilities”.

      Freedom of expression, and all that.

      • Anonymous 19th August 2013 at 5:23 pm

        You can do whatever you want! But everyone else is still allowed to judge you for it.

        Loving the idea that any of these pricks feel victimised.

        • Anonymous 19th August 2013 at 6:38 pm

          Because they’re being ever so harmful dressing up like this. Oh the humanity.

          • Anonymous 20th August 2013 at 10:03 am

            I don’t think it’s the dressing up, it was the fetishisation of the Empire and schoolboy silliness of having a secret all-white club for it.

            • Oh really... 20th August 2013 at 11:32 am

              Fetishisation of Empire?
              All-White?

              Ah yes. I missed the bit on the invitation where it says “Bring your kinkiest S&M gear and NO BLACKS ALLOWED!”

              Honestly. Put your faked liberal outrage to rest for once; try working with the facts for a change. This looks like a light hearted British-history themed club. Having a positive view of the British Empire is very different from fetishising it (indeed it is a very common view among Brits), and not having any ethnic minority members doesn’t make it “all-white”, it might just be that this particular small friendship group doesn’t have any ethnic minority members because, you know, c.80% of Oxford students are white. The Oxford Revue doesn’t have any ethnic minority members and I don’t hear you calling them all-white…

              • Corrections 20th August 2013 at 12:22 pm

                I absolutely love having viceroys argue with me about why this story is bad for people in this weird little boys’ club. Most normal people would be a little bit more concerned about the implications this would have for OUCA and Oxford’s reputation, rather than insisting this is about “history” not drinking and feeling superior to everyone else. Why don’t you put a description of the club and your role in it on your CV and we’ll see who’s right about this?

                At least you got some use out of your white tie, I suppose. Tails are expensive.

                • Oh dear oh dear... 20th August 2013 at 2:47 pm

                  Ah, the old “you don’t agree with me therefore you must have a vested interest/ be one of them” approach- it’s good to see that some people’s self-righteous arrogance is so strong they’ll retreat into petty denial and mud-slinging when confronted by someone who doesn’t agree with their pretensions of piety.

              • Voice of reason 20th August 2013 at 12:53 pm

                I call bullshit on the above post being an innocent Tab comment. Clearly written by one of the Viceroy’s. Maybe India, or Canada … losers.

              • Anonymous 20th August 2013 at 12:56 pm

                Because a non white person would REALLY feel at home in a society full of Empire-lovers celebrating the ‘good old days’, when whites reigned supreme…..

                • Actually... 20th August 2013 at 2:43 pm

                  Clearly showing your utter ignorance of Imperial history and modern opinion on the Empire. One of the reasons the British were so successful at imperialism was because they trained native people to assist in the ruling- I have a friend who has just signed a book deal to write on the anglo-indian class during the Raj. You should read it when it comes out. Furthermore many citizens of former British colonies have very positive views of their imperial history (one 2011 poll showed that 60% of Jamaicans thought the island would be better off if it had remained a British colony, only 17% thought it would be worse off)- The British Empire’s legacy is a matter of international historical debate with opponents and supporters in multiple races. To say supporting the British Empire is racist is reductive, patronisingly simplistic and in itself racist, because it says that non-white people aren’t allowed to formulate their own opinion on their history and have no choice but to oppose the empire. I’m not saying that the empire was 100% brilliant, but it is a lot more complicated than your simplistic self-righteous seems to allow for and yes, there are many members of ethnic minorities who would feel at home with a bunch of “empire lovers”

            • Femmebot 21st August 2013 at 5:23 pm

              It’s funnier that, looking at the list, there are apparently no women that want to hang out with them.

            • Corrections 13th January 2014 at 7:08 am

              Except it wasn’t an all white club, because Zachary Spiro (Biochemistry, Oriel) was a paying member for about a year, and he’s Asian (half-Singaporean to be precise). The only reason he’s not listed here, and the reason his name is blacked out on the invite, is because he was the one who ran to the press with this story because he wanted to do a hatchet job on his political opponents. Same reason he was mysteriously appointed Deputy News Editor of the Oxford Tab the same day this story came out. It’s incredibly petty.

      • anon 19th August 2013 at 5:28 pm

        Do what you like! Everyone can still judge you for it.

  3. George O 19th August 2013 at 4:58 pm

    top lads

  4. Amelia Hamer 19th August 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Can I be Australia?

    • Cai Gwyn Wilshaw 20th August 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Sorry, this is real sexism at work.

  5. Corrections 19th August 2013 at 5:07 pm

    “Not interested in being a member of a dining society” – not bothered by the racist overtones of the society then, just doesn’t like eating?

  6. Frosty old England 19th August 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Only if I can dominate you

  7. Frosty the Snowman 19th August 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Sorry Amelia #onlyboysallowed

  8. Boyer & Jowitt 19th August 2013 at 6:00 pm

    This is just going too far…#sickened

  9. RO of the Union MT'13 19th August 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I hope my mother doesn’t find out about this o_____O

  10. Joe Miles 19th August 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Best thing I have ever read on the Tab, ever. Well done guys.

  11. The funny thing is... 19th August 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Looking at their Facebook accounts, less than half went to private school – so maybe this is a tounge-in-cheek jibe at the public perception of ‘post Oxford snobs’?

    • Corrections 20th August 2013 at 10:13 am

      HAHAHAHA

      Wow. Poor viceroy damage control over here.

      • Anonymous 20th August 2013 at 7:51 pm

        There’s no way these guys could possibly be self-aware! That would stop me being allowed to poke fun at them, and that just isn’t fair!

    • Almost as libellous as that twat Miles 20th August 2013 at 11:38 am

      OR it’s a reflection of just how insecure this bunch of virginal grammar school boys are…

      • Voice of reason 20th August 2013 at 3:37 pm

        10 points to gryffindor

  12. John Hintze 19th August 2013 at 7:14 pm

    If I’d become President, none of this would have happened. You fools only have yourself to blame.

  13. Scoop of the Millenium 19th August 2013 at 7:23 pm

    SHOCK EXCLUSIVE: STUDENTS INGEST ETHANOL IN SLIGHTLY PRETENTIOUS CONTEXT

    • Biologist 20th August 2013 at 11:01 pm

      Shit, ethanol? I’m pretty sure the context will become less relevant after these students go blind and die.

  14. Scoop of the Millenium 19th August 2013 at 9:20 pm

    *SHOCK EXCLUSIVE*: STUDENTS INGEST ETHANOL IN SLIGHTLY PRETENTIOUS CONTEXT

  15. Prince Charles 19th August 2013 at 9:43 pm

    It is nice to see them all named and shamed for their odious and chauvinistic views. Finally, the Tab does something right.

  16. Joe Cooke 20th August 2013 at 12:44 am

    This is the candidate I supported for OUCA President, George Mahwinney. #ManOfThePeople. #NeverHypocritical

  17. Tom Rutland 20th August 2013 at 9:56 am

    Isn’t one of those guys also in that cringe documentary? The height of embarassment.

  18. Concerned@Tab 20th August 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I must say I find it a little concerning, and a rather damning inditement of the Tab’s approach to journalism, that you have mentioned Jack Moore in this article, who left the Viceroys over a year ago, and yet you have neglected to mention anything about the membership of your new Deputy News Editor, who only left the society in June of this year. If you’re going to start attacking the private actions of private individuals for no other reason than the sneering enjoyment of leering spectators – something I thought was more the purview of the Daily Mail – then at least have the common decency to do so without disgracefully shielding your own associates.

  19. Ex-ouca 20th August 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Just sad…

  20. Chris Frost 20th August 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Came-rahhhhh

  21. Ladford 20th August 2013 at 12:58 pm

    #Bradford #for #President

  22. Hello James Price, 20th August 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Still bitter/ in denial that you got your arse kicked in that Presidential election you ran for when Jack was RO and that there is no evidence anywhere to substantiate your claims that he rigged it and you didn’t lose because everyone hated you?

    • Anon 20th August 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Hello George!

    • Anonymous 21st August 2013 at 12:17 am

      OUCA and its hypocritical systems have tried to bully sound female representatives into submission for too long.

      Viva meredith beckwith,,, everyone at magdalen appreciates a bit of chauivinosm.

    • Anon 22nd August 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Hi Jack!

  23. KONY 20th August 2013 at 3:03 pm

    KONY

  24. Richard Black 20th August 2013 at 3:08 pm

    People are taking this far too seriously.

    They are hardly glorifying slavery, the Mutiny, Boer camps, Bloody Sunday etc. They wear white tie and call themselves different colonies/ dominions. Is that really so offensive?

    A silly eccentric dining society? Who gives. This is a complete non-story which the most of us couldn’t give a toss about.

    • Lawyer2B 22nd August 2013 at 4:13 pm

      Finally, someone with a totally impartial opinion on the whole thing… oh wait, scrap that one, it’s Richard Black.

  25. Anon 20th August 2013 at 3:53 pm

    another wannabe beta-male circle jerk. They can’t even grow the proper moustache (see Hunter Van Pelt in Jumanji).

  26. Abbas Kazmi 20th August 2013 at 5:45 pm

    These lads are all welcome at my table in Camera any time.

    • Chris Starkey 20th August 2013 at 8:21 pm

      ^Thought we were de-frosting camera of gimpy OUCA people – they won’t be allowed in – no gimps allowed

      • Corrections 21st August 2013 at 12:14 pm

        Chris Starkey is an OUCA man, you tool- 0/10 points for research. If you’re going to impersonate someone know what you’re talking about first.

        • Anonymous 7th September 2013 at 2:28 am

          Touchyyyy

  27. Anonymous 20th August 2013 at 7:05 pm

    India, the jewel in the crown of the British Empire!

  28. Christopher Ewart Frost 20th August 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Isn’t this all jolly good fun? The way my luck is going this week, I might get an invite to this white-tie club so I can do shit there too.

  29. Sachary Zpiro 20th August 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Hey guys! I’m the deputy editor of the Tab, and just wanted to inform you all that I definitely didn’t just leave this society in June, and am definitely not publishing this now as petty revenge for getting kicked out of a certain Conservative Association for electoral malpractice and blackmail!

    • Someone who can read 21st August 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Isn’t he the Deputy News Editor?
      And wasn’t he kicked out for going to the press, not blackmail or electoral malpractice?

      • Sachary Zpiro 21st August 2013 at 4:05 pm

        Electoral malpractice and blackmailing with the threat of going to the press.

        • Someone who can read 21st August 2013 at 7:52 pm

          Where does it say that?
          The DC report says ‘contacting the press with baseless allegations serving to bring the Association into disrepute’.

      • Anon 21st August 2013 at 6:06 pm

        For going to the press with this story, in fact. And to demonstrate that the Viceroys have influence within OUCA and are aware of how their club would be perceived the disciplinary report states that he was suspended because he ‘contacted the press in order to make baseless allegations that may serve to bring the Association into disrepute’

        • I imagine the above must be Zac& co. 21st August 2013 at 11:55 pm

          Actually it was for going to the press with a entire raft of allegations that were completely made up, thus the reference to “baseless allegations”, and thus the fact that the press didn’t print anything he went to them with. Think about it. If he’d have gone to the press with allegations bad enough to get him thrown out of OUCA, the press would have run them in a heartbeat if they were in any way true. He was thrown out several months ago, not last week.

          • Anonymous 22nd August 2013 at 3:43 pm

            So it wasn’t for blackmail or electoral malpractice then?

          • I imagine the above must be Rob & Co. 22nd August 2013 at 4:16 pm

            V subtle!

          • Anonymous 22nd August 2013 at 7:01 pm

            But he only just became Deputy New Editor last week, didn’t he? Coincidence?

    • What A Strange Comment 21st August 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Zachary Spiro was removed by the Viceroys for attempting to print this article …about the Viceroys. If you’re looking for electoral malpractice and blackmail, I can put you in contact with the current President.

      • Yet More Spiro Propaganda... 22nd August 2013 at 12:02 am

        If Zac Spiro was removed from OUCA by the Viceroys, then why did the Disciplinary Committee, which included his friends and resolute non-Viceroys, vote unanimously to kick him out? Your suggestion he was “removed by the Viceroys” simply doesn’t stand up to the facts. And if he was removed for trying to print this article, then why was this article printed 3 months after he was removed? Don’t you think if he was kicked out for going to the press with this article it would have been run at the time instead of 3 months later? He was kicked out for going to the press with completely made up slander because he desperately wanted to smear people he didn’t like.

        • Viceroy Propaganda 22nd August 2013 at 4:14 pm

          Is this a member of that disciplinary panel? It certainly sounds like it. I do wonder where OUCA’s press statement on all this is. Can we ask questions?

        • Viceroy Propaganda 22nd August 2013 at 4:40 pm

          The other thing bothering me here: what made-up slander? If this be the article, it seems pretty well-substantiated. Can you re-run a disciplinary hearing? Or are you lot not just arrogant, naive twits and something more sinister happened? It’s dodgy that he’s been removed for going to the newspapers about something like this.

          • Learn to read, dumbass. 22nd August 2013 at 6:02 pm

            The whole point of my comment was that this is clearly not the article that he went to the press with and was kicked out for.

        • Anon 22nd August 2013 at 6:26 pm

          Except you do know the Viceroys control half the DC don’t you?

      • Anonymous 22nd August 2013 at 1:26 am

        Hiya Zach.

  30. Jabra 21st August 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Willing to bet 95% of these comments are by:

    • Andrew North (Chemistry, New College)
    • Frederick de Fossard (History, Magdalen)
    • George Mawhinney (Law, Oriel)
    • Jack Moore (History & Politics, Brasenose)
    • James Heywood (PPE, Magdalen)
    • Oliver Johnson (History, Exeter)
    • Robert Greig (PPE, Magdalen)

    • Anonymous 21st August 2013 at 6:52 pm

      They must be going through loads of proxies to get all those upvotes as well.

  31. Labour 22nd August 2013 at 11:03 am

    This excerpt from the last OUCA documentary is hilarious. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1TJhMNAEaY The President of the Viceroys and former OUCA President George Mawhinney doesn’t come off very well. Basic proof that the Viceroys do control OUCA when their guy succeeds yet is so unelectable. At OULC we don’t feel the need to be in Empire clubs and dress up in white tie. What needs to be exposed is just how many of the last OUCA Presidents were Viceroys? 30%, 50%, 80%? Amazing that Bullingdon gets all the attention when these are the guys running the Conservatives and are worse!

    • OUCA 22nd August 2013 at 4:16 pm

      Around 50%. Depends on how long you go back.

      Wozniak and Cherrill weren’t, Mawhinney and Greig are.

      We will have to see what happens with the next election.

      • We already know. 22nd August 2013 at 5:24 pm

        The next election has already happened. Jack Matthews won, who is also not a Viceroy (though for some reason Spiro hates him as well and tried to bully one of the girls in OUCA to launch a bullshit disciplinary tribunal against him. Thankfully she refused and told Spiro to go fuck himself.)

        • OUCA 22nd August 2013 at 8:42 pm

          ^ That’s definitely not true. Most people in OUCA have a lot of respect for Matthews, probably because he isn’t a Viceroy idiot. I mean the one after – no Viceroys running?

          • OUCA 22nd August 2013 at 8:48 pm

            Because if there WERE to be another Viceroy candidate, that would make my estimate of 50% correct, wouldn’t it?

            If he won, of course. Perhaps the electorate of OUCA can use the next election to show they’re not interested in more Viceroys making the Association look foolish in public.

            • OUCA Member 23rd August 2013 at 10:12 pm

              Except some of us don’t actually care what some people get up to in their spare time out of some fake, patronising, self-serving desire to be seen as outraged.

            • Concerned Citizen 26th September 2013 at 12:41 am

              This article is such a piece of piss, written just because a certain Zpiro was upset that a girl didn’t do exactly as he wanted, because he is actually a terrible person. Who cares who’s in the viceroys? It’s not like anyone really cares about that kind of thing.

          • OUCA 19th September 2013 at 2:35 am

            Yes, Most people in OUCA do have a lot of respect for Jack Matthews, he is a great guy. Spiro is, for some reason, not one of them, and tried to bully a girl into getting Matthews stripped of his presidency immediately after he was elected by making a fabricated accusation against him to the DC. This kind of thing is why Zac Spiro doesn’t have many friends…

            • Dicky T 26th September 2013 at 12:45 am

              Hey Zac,

              I hope you’re not too mad that I lied and told everyone that you tried to get me to report JM for harrassment. I mean, it’s not like I had any reason to believe that you weren’t a misogynist right? Everyone knows that newspapers are really reliable about this sort of thing, and I’m just a simple country girl, what do I know?

      • But Wozniak was also in a secret mens drinking club 27th August 2013 at 12:58 pm

        However Wozniak was a member of the all-male secret drinking society the Tartan Trouser Clan.

        • Anonymous 7th September 2013 at 2:26 am

          That is so not their name. Nerdiest comment I’ve ever seen :/

      • 100% secret drinking societies 27th August 2013 at 1:01 pm

        However Adam Wozniak is in the Tartan Trouser Clan, another all-male secret drinking society, and Steph Cherrill is in the Bird Club. Another secret drinking society. So all of them are in secret drinking societies, the only difference is that the Tab only decided to run a story on the Viceroys, because that’s the only one Zac Spiro ran to them with a story on.

        • StephIsTheBest 7th September 2013 at 2:19 am

          THIS IS AMAZING

    • ^^^Spiro or Price?^^^ 22nd August 2013 at 5:57 pm

      If you’re from OULC then I’m God. Also, what glue have you been sniffing? You’re really saying that friends having dinner in white tie is worse than a group of lads running around in tailor made uniforms smashing up restaurants? Fuck me. You know New College’s commemoration ball had a 19th Century Parisian theme and a White Tie dress code too. Better run an expose on everyone who attended that for wearing white tie and glamorizing a state that disenfranchised women.

      • also 22nd August 2013 at 5:59 pm

        And now I think about it, Oriel had a Titanic-themed white tie ball. Better run an expose on everyone who went to that for mocking the deaths of over a thousand people.

      • ^^^Mawhinney or Greig^^^ 22nd August 2013 at 8:34 pm

        Because there is absolutely no way that someone could have a different view of the issue from you and anyone who criticises the Viceroys must therefore be launching a personal attack?

      • Lawyer2B 22nd August 2013 at 8:45 pm

        What these Viceroys (such as the commenter above) don’t seem to understand is that the issue is not with the (albeit profoundly odd) insistence on a white tie dress code for their events, but the overall discriminatory nature of their “little boys club”.

        • Anonymous 23rd August 2013 at 10:14 pm

          Because they outright discriminate against females and blacks, right? Or is it because their friendship group just doesn’t happen to contain any.

          SHOCKER: People make friends with people similar to them. It’s almost like this article had an agenda, isn’t it?

          • Corrections 7th September 2013 at 2:22 am

            Wait, so…people accused of being racist/misogynist = no female or non-white friends

            • Another OUCA Member 8th September 2013 at 5:20 pm

              No; it’s clearly the other way around: people with no female/non-white friends = people automatically judged racist and misogynist.

  32. insider 23rd August 2013 at 1:13 pm

    i heard they sing this song at every banquet

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DV-NaXpNSSE

  33. anon 19th September 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Glad none of you will ever get near the real conservative party. Toxic bunch of tosspots and wannabes.

    • Another OUCA Member 25th September 2013 at 10:37 am

      They’re in a dining society; how in Hell will that inherently stop them getting on the front bench?

  34. Jamie Hayward 22nd September 2013 at 11:58 am

    Hey guys! Just to let you know I’m running for President next term and there’s nothing you lot can do to prevent another Viceroy becoming President. Long live the Viceroys!!!!! Praise to India and the King Emperor!!!!!

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