BUNHILL; Making a clown out of Idi Amin
Sunday 10 December 1995
But as John Chipperfield, Jimmy's son, rolled out his life story, it became apparent that it is difficult to be an ordinary Chipperfield. He certainly has not succeeded.
In 1975, his elder brother Richard was killed in a car crash while collecting animals in Uganda. John had to go out to Africa to take over. Idi Amin was in charge then, and at first he could not have been more helpful: my picture shows him having a chinwag with John and Jimmy. But the sweetness and light ended abruptly in 1976, on the day of the Israeli raid on Entebbe. It was also the day John's son was born, and he hitched a lift back to Britain to see him. An hour after he had taken off, two of his colleagues were arrested on suspicion of spying.
Six months later, he returned in the hope of mounting another safari but soon discovered he had been noticed. Arriving at his camp in Entebbe with a colleague he was told that "some gentlemans with dark glasses and flowery shirts" had been looking for him.
"We went to the British High Commission, where an Englishman was locking up the door. We told him people were looking for us, and he asked us what they were wearing. 'Dark glasses and a flowery shirt,' we said. 'You're in trouble,' he said."
They went back to the camp and just missed the gentlemans again. They drove to the border with Kenya, where a friendly immigration officer told them to "get going now". "We walked swiftly to the car. A bus load of Africans was making its way towards the border, which was a bridge over a ravine. As we got into the car there was a lot of shouting behind us. We just managed to overtake the bus, and smashed through the gate just as it was being closed ... " James Bond eat your heart out, I say.
I WAS recently lent a motor car called Sharon. It is really a Volkswagen Sharan, and the name is almost universally regarded as a marketing disaster.
I say "almost" universally, because I am one of the few exceptions. It is impossible not to call Sharan a "she", thus giving her a status alongside the family animals (and well above the dog after she had had the litter bin). In my view, this is greatest marketing coup since Nissan launched its Cedric.
BEFORE we get on to Bunhill's First Annual Business Carol Competition, Prof JC Wells of Wimbledon writes with some interesting reinterpretations of proverbs, which for some reason come from Montagu Butler's Step by Step in Esperanto (1948). Here is an easy one:
Inhabitants of domiciles of vitreous formation,
With lapidary projectiles should make no rash jactation.
Now on to those carols, which earn a bottle of champagne a apiece. First from Derek Norman of Stourbridge:
As Barings watched their stocks by night
Investments pure and sound
A man called Nick
Did a Futures trick,
And lost a billion pound.
Another from a Bunhill regular, Chris Sladen of Ealing:
Chanc'lor Kenneth Clarke looked out,
With thoughts of fiscal tightening;
Sensing electoral rout,
Agreed it was too frightening.
"Bring thy slide rule, Waldegrave,
Eke thy calculator;
How much can we let them have,
How much claw back la-a-ter?"
The cellar is not entirely bare, so send in more business carols if your Christmas muse is feeling chirpy.
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Follow the latest events from this Champions League fixture
Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind"
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 4 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Oscar de la Renta dead: Legendary US fashion designer dies after long cancer battle aged 82
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...
£27000 per annum + pension, 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ind...
£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...