Cooper Brown: He's Out There

'I'd never been south of the river. I thought we'd made a mistake and ended up in Bucharest'

Hooray. The Coop has come out on top in the court case with the Tory lord. The judge decided that there was insufficient evidence and that because the Italian police had not properly registered some case report with the court, the whole thing be abandoned. This means the Cooperman has got away scot-free with punching out a Tory lord. I shall have to do this sort of thing more often, now that I know how easy it is.

Victoria and I went out on the town to celebrate. We ended up in some speakeasy that her sister knew, south of the river. I've never actually crossed the river since I've been in London. Now I know why. Jesus Christ, what the hell happened down there? It looks like a different city. Did the Nazis drop a nuke on the place? I thought that we'd made a mistake and ended up in Bucharest or something. The poverty and squalor is absolutely mind-blowing. Someone has to do something about these people. Personally, I think demolish the whole lot and start again. Even if they have to live in tent cities for a while, they would at least have running water and electricity.

To me, as an American, it was obviously fascinating as this must have been how Londoners lived back in Sherlock Holmes's day. I felt like I was looking at some kind of historical re-enactment, but it was no joke for the unfortunate cast members. I talked about this at a meeting I went to at Conservative HQ. I'm still slightly persona non grata there after the lord-punching incident - even though DC hates the guy. I thought I'd throw in my view on doing something to smarten up the whole south part of the city but they all went ape-shit. Most of them actually lived down there and took great offence. I was staggered by how blinkered they were. I guess, when you live in that kind of thing, you lose all perspective. I sent a memo to DC and hope to hear back from him soon. Michael Gove told me that DC's wife is a big fan so I might be invited back for supper very soon, will keep you informed.

The coolest thing this week was that I went to an art thing last night. I'm not that big on art - I like modern stuff like the YBAs and some Rothko and shit but basically I'm not that into it. I get sent to this opening by my boss, who figures that we should try and get some kind of movie going about the whole White Cube scene and the weird goings-on there in the late Nineties around Cool Britannia and all that. I had no idea who the artist that the opening is for is, and spent a good half an hour wandering round a huge, empty industrial space with a glass of warm champagne in my hand wondering where the frickin' art is? I then find a door that goes off into a small room where there's about 20 people sitting in chairs looking through a one-way mirror. I figure I've wandered into the wrong party and this is some kind of high-class peep show until I see that they're all staring into the now empty room that I've just been wandering around in. The idea is that you are the art until you find the secret room and then you become the spectator as someone else wanders round the room.

This really blew my mind. It was the first time that a work of art has affected me in a deep way. I think it was something about the way I actually became a work of art without even realising it and then observed the same process happening all over again with someone else. I went nuts about the whole thing and eventually found the artist, who was this stunning Northern chick with no formal art training who had one day just decided to be an artist by her own force of character. This is exactly the sort of art culture that the UK should be promoting, free from snobbery and all that art school crap. It's free-form stuff of the highest order.

I commissioned her to do an installation for me on the spot. I'm going to keep it a secret from Victoria and surprise her as a wedding present. I'm getting the artist chick to put in one of these one-way mirrors in the Cooperdome. I wanted to put one in the guest bathroom, which I thought would be hilarious, but she had an ethical issue with that so we've opted for one in the sitting room. I'm going to build a little cubby-hole complete with comfortable chair so that I can spy on guests at will. It'll be an amazing thing to have and my financial adviser says that art is the absolute best thing to invest in right now. So I'm "quids in", as Ben would say.

It'll also be a practical thing when we have babysitters for the impending Mini-Cooper. I've heard all sorts of horror stories about sick individuals who take on these jobs so what better way to check them out? And I happen to think that the Filipino woman who cleans my place at the moment is a thief. Hey presto! Now I can check and see by leaving out some top-end banknotes and lure the prey into my honey-trap. When ignorant people slam installation art pieces, they need to have a rethink. Name me one other art form that is both stimulating and useful in equal measures?

I think this chick is going places, mark my word. You heard it here first. And remember, if you're in London, stay north of the river. Cooper out.;