Diary: Take that, capitalism...
Thursday 28 July 2011
Robbie Williams has been railing against the evils of capitalism on his personal blog. "The system is destined to explode, and I think it's sooner rather than later," claims the singer, who previously expressed an interest in 9/11 conspiracy theories and the illuminati. "If we could get Communism to work without corruption, I'm in... Consume, consume, consume: We're at the tipping point, my friends. Fasten your seatbelt, we're in for a bumpy ride. I'm a socialist capitalist, which leads to guilt..." And the source of Williams's internal capitalist/socialist struggle? "I'm having a bit of a Rolls Royce Phantom issue at the moment... I'd luuuuuurrrvvvveee [sic] one."
* After his/her eye was drawn by this column's coverage of the embattled Chipping Norton Set, a generous reader has furnished me with a page from the Summer 2011 issue of The Heythrop Hack, magazine of the Heythrop Hunt: a CNS institution, regularly patronised by several Chipping Norton settees. Indeed, the Hunt (or so my source suggests) often crosses the estate of key settee Jeremy Clarkson, at Chadlington, as it pursues its (non-vulpine, I presume) quarry. The page in question describes the Hunt's point-to-point fundraising event, which took place on 23 January. There by appointment was the point-to-point's new chairman, one Charlie Brooks, accompanied by his wife Rebekah. And who should turn up unexpectedly, with his family and "one of the largest 'minders' that anyone had ever seen"? None other than local MP, David Cameron. Sadly, further details are unforthcoming – especially since the encounter did not feature in No 10's published list of the PM's meetings with News International execs. But then nor did any of Dave and Rebekah's (alleged) horse-riding excursions, either.
* Another notable omission from that list of NI get-togethers is George (né Gideon) Osborne's 40th birthday party on 18 June, to which Brooks and James Murdoch may or may not have been invited. We'll never know, because neither turned up: Murdoch, for one, was busy getting down on the dancefloor at PR supremo Roland Rudd's 50th instead. When the Rudd/Osborne scheduling mix-up first became apparent, it seemed Gideon's bash would lose guests to Rudd, his more clubbable rival. It now seems the clash, contrived by Osborne's astute wife and party-thrower, Frances, may have saved him from yet deeper embarrassment.
* Alleged babydaddy Boris Johnson returned to Nick Ferrari's LBC studio this week to make his radio-presenting debut, hijacking Ferrari's breakfast show for an hour of Mayoral self-congratulation. (I hope the station will extend a similar courtesy to Johnson's electoral rivals, such as Ken Livingstone and Lembit Opik.) Following an interview with a man from a children's sports charity, the Mayor proposed that he and Ferrari lose a stone each before the Olympics, in the name of tackling obesity. Ferrari took up the challenge, so this column will attempt to keep abreast of their respective weight loss, which both plan to complete by Christmas. On a related note, I'm not convinced Mr Johnson has been observing healthy practices up to now: a report in the latest Jewish Chronicle suggests that, following the opening of Jewish Care's new campus in Golders Green, the Mayor conspicuously retrieved his bicycle helmet and rucksack from the front desk – only to nip around the corner and into a chauffeur-driven car.
* Still reluctant to be dragged into the phone-hacking furore is Fleet Street export Piers Morgan. Much is being made of a segment from his 2009 appearance on Desert Island Discs, in which he appeared to suggest that he had knowledge of illicit practices in the Mirror newsroom under his editorship: "Not a lot of that went on... A lot of it was done by third parties, rather than the staff themselves... That's not to defend it, because obviously you were running the results of their work... I make no pretence about the stuff we used to do." And so on. Aside from alluding to his detractors Louise Mensch MP, Guido Fawkes and Professor Roy Greenslade on Twitter as, respectively, "liars, druggie ex-bankrupts and conmen", Piers seems to be following the advice of the final track in his distinctly unadventurous DID selection: Monty Python's Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.
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