I met Baron Patten of Barnes, (Chancellor of Oxford University, Chairman of the BBC Trust, and the last Governor of Hong Kong) when he was Chris Patten, Conservative MP for Bath.
He came to our school to give out the prizes at prize-giving. My name was called, and I walked to the front to collect my prize (The Works of Edgar Allen Poe) and shake his hand.
We exchanged some words, but my mind was mostly on the maelstrom in my bowels, because I was rather ill and needed to focus on not soiling myself during the ceremony.
I returned to my seat, and Patten began his speech to staff, boys and parents with something about education being a drawing out rather than a putting in (or something like that), and then, with an election never far away, reminded the parents that independent schools would be under attack if Labour were to be elected...I barely heard, as the pressure was building, and decided that I needed to make a move.
Pushing past my fellow pupils, I hurried to the back of the hall, ran down the corridor to the toilets and released the stream of fetid fluid that had been threatening to spoil the event.
I later learned that my walk-out had occured during a crescendo of party-political rhetoric which many had felt a little inappropriate for the occasion, and more than one person came up to me and said that they had seriously considered following my example.
A turning point?
Five and a half years later, Chris Patten lost his seat to Don Foster (Lib Dem).