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Question Of The Day

Should Trenton Oldfield Be Deported?

"It’s a bit strong, in my opinion."

by James Tennent
24 June 2013, 3:54pm

Trenton Oldfield sabotaging the Oxford and Cambridge 2012 boat race.

Remember Trenton Oldfield, the Australian guy who jumped in the Thames to sabotage the Cambridge/Oxford boat race in 2012? After being sentenced to a six-month jail sentence for his actions (which seemed a little severe in the first place), he's now been ordered to leave the country, despite the fact he has a British wife and child living in the UK.

I wanted to know what the public thought of that, so I walked around a bit and asked them.

Ruth: Probably not. But why would he be deported?

VICE: Apparently because he wouldn't be "conducive to the public good".
No, I don’t think he should be deported on that basis.

Do you watch the boat race?
I went this year, yeah.

Do you think it's a symbol of elitism?
A little bit, yeah.

Did you enjoy it?
I went because my sister got into rowing. She's in one of the only non-private school clubs, so I'm quite aware of the elitism. She pays £100 a year to go once a week. It's less than a gym membership.

Anonymous smoker: I don’t see why not.

Are you a fan of the boat races?
No.

So why do you think he should be deported?
If you can’t go to another country and respect the traditions, whether you’re for it or against it, then there’s an issue there, isn’t there? If you can’t respect anybody's traditions anywhere, go back to your own country.

Wow. Is the boat race elitist?
Probably, but here’s the thing: why not? Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, in fairness to him, but he has to act reasonably, you know? There’s any number of things he could have done. He could have been smacked by an oar, he could have drowned. Wherever you go around the world, you need to respect people’s cultures and traditions. Whether you agree with them or not, you need to respect them.

A Mills: He’s got a British wife, hasn’t he? And a kid on the way. So yeah, he should be able to protest, otherwise they’re kinda almost like second class citizens.

Is the boat race elitist?
Possibly. Regardless, he has a right to protest. He didn’t endanger anyone’s life, so why not?

Andy: It’s a bit strong, in my opinion.

Are you a fan of the boat races?
Not really, but I’ll watch it if I’m near a TV when it’s on.

Do you think it’s a symbol of elitism?
Yeah, probably. It's a bit traditional, as well. It’s been going for years, hasn’t it?

Should we keep the tradition up?
I don’t think it hurts – I don’t think so, at least. I mean, it doesn’t hurt me, anyway.

Fair enough.

Previously - What Would Be Your Perfect Reality Show?