Darius Guppy’s back – and now he’s Iranian

Disgraced Old Etonian breaks 13-year silence with attack on West’s ‘moral poison’

He was born with good looks, intelligence and the connections to match, and once moved in the finest circles at Eton and Oxford, where he was a member of the Bullingdon Club and a contemporary of Boris Johnson and David Cameron.



Then Darius Guppy fell into obscurity for 13 years following an insurance scam and a spell in prison – until now. Now he uses an opinion piece in The Independent to launch an extraordinary attack on Western civilisation.

In an essay about Iran, Mr Guppy says Britain has become an "urban hell" and a dispenser of "moral poison" whose citizens are enslaved by a "culture of consumerism".

Mr Guppy, whose mother was Iranian and who frequently visits the country on business, told The Independent he no longer recognised Britain, the country of his birth.

He said: "Very often, people ask me: 'Darius, why do you feels so antipathetic towards England and the West? After all, England is your country.' My response is always the same: the question is not whether England is my country, it is whether England still is a country. What the hell is England any more?"

Throughout the piece, he refers to British citizens as "you" and Iranians as "we". He also insists that most Iranians view the West "with horror".

Mr Guppy's grandfather, Mohammed Kazem Assar, was an Iranian ayatollah and philosopher who taught at Tehran University. Among his students was Ayatollah Khomeini, the famous Iranian revolutionary leader.

In his piece, he pours scorn on the idea that the Iranian elections were rigged, and expresses the wish that Iran will become a "core state around which other nations that cherish freedom can coalesce".

It is a sudden and surprising return to the public eye for Mr Guppy, who left the UK in 1996 after being released from prison for fraud. In 1993 he suffered a spectacular fall from grace after it emerged that he and a friend had paid someone to tie them up and fake a robbery in New York so that he could claim £1.8m in insurance. After serving three years in jail, he disappeared to South Africa and continues to live in Cape Town.

In his essay, he writes: "Visit Iran and you will see a people polite, hospitable, cultured, noble and brave. Look at Britain's urban hell and you will see young girls and boys armed with knives, swearing, half naked, vomiting the previous night's attempt to stifle their pain and their emptiness.

"Turn on the radio and listen to ladettes boasting about what they did with their boyfriends in bed the day before, but tune in to Iran's airwaves and you will hear poetry and beautiful music."

Earlier this month, Mr Guppy wrote a letter to this newspaper criticising the widespread assumption that Iran's elections had been fixed. He also referred to Westerners as "mindless, McDonald's-munching slaves of Mammon". A debate on the letters page ensued, and today's essay is Mr Guppy's rejoinder.

In the piece, he argues that Iran is not a repressed society, but in fact enjoys more freedoms than the UK, which he calls "a genuine police state". He describes the idea that the Iranian people long for democracy as "a proposition that smacks as much of arrogance as of Fukuyaman hubris".

In March this year, 20-year-old tapes emerged of a secret telephone conversation between Mr Guppy and his friend Boris Johnson, then a journalist at The Daily Telegraph. Mr Guppy wanted Mr Johnson to track down a News of the World journalist who had been investigating his affairs, so that he could hire someone to beat him up.

Mr Guppy was formerly a close friend of Earl Spencer, Princess Diana's brother, and was best man at his wedding to Victoria Lockwood. But the pair fell out after he accused the Earl of trying to seduce his wife Patricia while he was in prison.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Alloysious Massaquoi, 'G' Hastings and Kayus Bankole of Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
musicThe surprise winners of the Mercury Prize – and a very brief acceptance speech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
News
video
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary Teachers Required in King's Lynn

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teachers needed in King's Ly...

Primary Teachers needed in Ely

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teacher needed in the Ely ar...

Teaching Assistant to work with Autistic students

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education Leicester ...

KS2 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: KS2 Teacher needed in Peterborough a...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain