Editor-At-Large: Naomi, Wrighty, Bono... do what you do best and skip the politics

Why do celebrities feel entitled to spout their opinions? Their bizarre lives make them poor spokespeople for the rest of us

Share
Related Topics

Fresh from the contretemps that ensued when her luggage went missing and she left a plane in handcuffs, Naomi Campbell announces to an expectant world that she is launching a crusade for fellow victims "disrespected" by British Airways. The former footballer Ian Wright tells us he's no longer prepared to appear on the BBC because he's treated as "a court jester". This from the chap who has just signed up to present the new series of Gladiators on Sky One.

We might denigrate politicians for being pompous and self-obsessed, but at least they've had to go out on the street, knock on front doors, make speeches until they are hoarse and persuade voters to support them. Unfortunately, Naomi and Ian are part of the growing ranks of semi-famous people who feel such a sense of personal entitlement that they have to share their opinions with us on every subject from drinking water to corporal punishment. Last week, Lord Desai, (unelected) told an interviewer that "Gordon Brown was put on earth to remind people how good Tony Blair was" and compared the PM's style to "porridge or haggis". Well, that's sorted out the credit crisis, then.

I know that Naomi supports charitable causes by visiting Africa and appearing at rallies alongside Nelson Mandela. But the notion that someone who earns millions by modelling knickers and handbags understands the plight of ordinary travellers who lost luggage and experienced ghastly delays at Terminal 5 is extraordinarily patronising. Naomi felt "disrespected" after she threw a strop in a First Class cabin having paid more for her ticket than most people will spend on food in a year. This woman's take on normal is at best tenuous.

Now Ian Wright is suffering from the same folie de grandeur. I really like the bloke – he bothered to attend the funeral of a friend of mine, a big Arsenal supporter, before Christmas, and I admire him for that. But Ian, love, you present a show on Talk Sport radio, hardly the calling point for those seeking cerebral conversation . Why not accept you're good at frothy fun – and leave it at that?

Secretly, I'd love to be running Britain and sort out the mess the current incumbent seems to have got us into. But until we install a dictatorship, I reluctantly accept it's not going to happen. Under the current set-up I'd have to submit to the time-consuming process of getting elected before I could really start throwing my weight around and helping the "disrespected" in a meaningful way.

Real politicians have to accept that their private lives, their families and everything they've ever eaten for dinner is going to be subjected to microscopic analysis by the opposition and the media. We know more about Ken Livingstone's fertility than I feel comfortable with, so I'm amazed that anyone wants to enter politics as a career.

Two epic struggles are currently underway in the name of democracy – the battle to be the next Mayor of London, and the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination in the USA – and I wondered how long it would be before those well-known pundits, wealthy rock musicians, felt compelled to speak up. After all, Madonna, Bono and Bob G have lectured us about the need to deal with poverty, global warming and Aids. Selling loads of records seems to grant musicians quasi-statesman status, without the bother of standing for election.

Bono is more or less a regular at G8 summits, even though not one person has ever cast a vote for him. Bruce Springsteen, the king of US blue-collar rock, used his website last week to announce that he was backing Barack Obama because "he speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music". Are voters really so feeble that they'll vote because a rich rock'n'roller thinks it's a good idea?

Will Ken scrape in on 1 May because his list of "celebrity" supporters include the motley crew of comedian Bill Bailey (from Bath), artist Banksy (from Bristol), designer Vivienne Westwood (who said she was voting Tory last year so is obviously as confused as her pattern cutting) and singer Billy Bragg – who lives in rural Dorset. I love Jo Brand, but she should stick to stand-up, or stand for election.

Meanwhile, I await the chance to join Naomi's "disrespected" party. At least the T-shirts will be flattering.

A pair of eyebrows is no substitute for acting

This weekend the former wild man Colin Farrell's career rehabilitation is complete – his new thriller 'In Bruges' opens, and he's been lavished with praise for his portrayal of a contract killer holed up in the beautiful Belgian city waiting for instructions from his sinister boss, Harry, played by the completely mesmerising Ralph Fiennes.

I'm sorry, but I can't sign up to the Farrell fan club – he might be a reformed character, who tells interviewers he's enjoying being a dad, has given up the booze and likes staying in, but there's still the problem of those two fat black things over his eyes that dominate every moment he's on the big screen. They remind me of a couple of black furry caterpillars constantly wriggling in search of a lettuce leaf.

Farrell has two facial expressions – blank and confused – and never seems the slightest bit believable. The most distasteful aspect of the film is the completely unnecessary protracted violence, combined with black humour. It made my flesh creep – and those eyebrows didn't help.

Queen of Quidditch has a royal make-over

A week is a long time in court, and J K Rowling may be regretting her decision to take legal action against a fan who incurred her wrath by compiling a Harry Potter encyclopedia. Not only has the judge admitted he found the stories confusing, but every aspect of her appearance at the New York trial has been picked over by the fashion police.

Luckily, the queen of magic passed with flying colours, stepping out in front of the cameras with immaculate red nails, well-groomed blond hair, glowing makeup and sharp, well-tailored suits – without any wardrobe mishaps of the kind that blighted a recent appearance at a book awards ceremony.

Then, as her daring frock slithered downwards, her publisher had to use his hand as a modesty shield. Jo Rowling has learnt a lesson from that Judy Finnegan-style embarrassment and has based her new look on a more regal role model.

Take a look at that handbag she clutched on the courtroom steps – it can't have been more than four inches square. It wasn't big enough to hold more than a lipstick, pen and credit card. The message: exactly like the Queen, J K is so rich she doesn't need to carry grubby money or normal detritus like you and me.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Andy Coulson  

Andy Coulson: With former News of the World editor cleared of perjury charges, what will he do next?

James Cusick James Cusick
Jack Warner  

Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Tom Peck
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?