Profile: Trenton Oldfield: the man who temporarily halted the 2012 Boat Race
“Why are the right such angry people?” asked @NotAGateway, the shared Twitter account of Deepa Naik and her boyfriend Trenton Oldfield yesterday afternoon.
In this comment, Oldfield, who had just managed to swim into the path of the Oxford boat in the 2012 Xchanging Boat Race, is revealed as nothing other than a delusional moron. The Boat Race has nothing to do with politics. It’s simply an event that is enjoyed by the thousands who watch it and one for which the contestants train long and hard.
At circa 2.21pm, Oldfield, a campaigner who runs a blog named Elitism Leads to Tyranny, swam out into the course of the 4 ¼ mile course in a wetsuit in a bid to protest against what he describes as: “a pseudo competition” where:
“… elitists and those with elitist sympathies have come together every year but one for the last 158 years to perform, in the most public way, their ambition for the structures and subsequent benefits from elitism and privilege to continue.”
Oldfield is lucky that Oxford’s Zoe de Toledo, who also played a cox in the 2010 film The Social Network, spotted the danger in time and stopped her crew as this nitwit could have so easily been badly injured by the oars he swam into.
This self-proclaimed Emily Davison inspired “activist,” in an essay he posts on the blog, describes the “guerilla tactics” that he successfully used to create “embarrassment, … frustration and manifesting a vulnerability” for the “elitist” organisers of the event. In the same document, he goes on to suggest actions of civil disobedience that others could use in the future. These include:
• “Setting off Fire Alarms in buildings where we work, perhaps at strategic times, when a particular meeting is meant to happen that will agree the cutting of services.”
• “If you are a taxi driver can you take the passenger the slowest possible and most expensive route?”
• “If you work in a restaurant where elitists eat, can you serve the food once it is cold or cook the wrong food?”
• “If you are a builder repairing the house of an elitist can you also bug it and share the footage and audio online?”
• “Can you take up the time of a ‘VIP’ you work for by arranging time consuming meetings, asking as many questions as possible? Can you make them late?”
Oldfield is a man who was educated at a private school and the LSE. He states on his Twitter account that he worked at the Financial Times whilst at university and is therefore “#notatrustafarian.” His childish comments prove that his education was wasted and he was rightly arrested and charged for a section 5 public order offence once taken out of the water. Bailed last night, he will appear at Feltham Magistrates’ Court on 23rd April.
One of the Oxford crew, William Zeng, rightly summed up the thoughts of many when he used his Twitter account to respond to the actions of Oldfield:
“When I missed your head with my blade I knew only that you were a swimmer, and if you say you are a protester then no matter what you say your cause may be, your action speaks too loudly for me to hear you… I know exactly what you were protesting. You were protesting the right of 17 young men and one woman to compete fairly and honourably, to demonstrate their hard work and desire in a proud tradition… You, who would make a mockery of their dedication and their courage, are a mockery of a man.”
Equally, for once, I find myself agreeing with the television presenter Richard Madeley who tweeted:
“God, the monumental ego and selfishness of the swimmer who screwed the Boat Race. Imagine sharing living space with someone like that.”
Trenton Oldfield is a man who plainly needs help. I hope he gets it.
For more information on the 2012 Xchanging Boat Race, go to: http://www.theboatrace.org
View Trenton Oldfield’s Elitism Leads to Tyranny blog at: http://elitismleadstotyranny.squarespace.com
View Trenton Oldfield’s Royal Society of Arts Fellow Network page at: http://rsafellowship.com/profile/TrentonOldfield
Follow Trenton Oldfield and his colleague Deepa Naik on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/NotAGateway