Simmy Richman: Rant & Rave (07/11/10)

Share
Related Topics


Rant

"There are no grades of vanity, there are only grades of ability to conceal it," wrote Mark Twain, whose autobiography has finally been published, 100 years after his death, just as he insisted. And who doesn't attempt to conceal those aspects of themselves – jealousy, greed, pot belly (look at me, sucking it in over here) – that they find most unappealing? Who doesn't? I'll tell you who doesn't: those who feel themselves above the laws of fake-but-heartfelt humility the rest of us abide by.

The private vanity of three such men was made public last week. And while one might expect such behaviour from Prince Jefri, the 56-year-old brother of the Sultan of Brunei (who owns bronze likenesses of himself in various sexual positions) and Silvio Berlusconi (who apparently has a marble statue of himself as Superman at his villa), our Prime Minister should know better. Cameron, it turns out, has just found £35,000 of spare public funds to hire Andrew Parsons to be his "vanity photographer" – news that would be irritating at the best of times, but is horrifying in the light of the cuts we are all facing.

One Labour backbencher went as far as to compare Camera-on's act of vanity to Caligula making his horse a senator. Rome burns on, but at least our leader will be looking his best.

Rave

Hit by higher university fees, stripped of our right to child benefit and betrayed by the only political party with our interests written into its DNA, has there ever been a worse time to be middle class? The posh have their privilege, the working class their heroes, but we in between have long been poorly represented. So it was with my surburban roots proudly showing that I made my way to the launch of The Middle Class Handbook last week.

Once there, it was especially pleasing to discover that this "field guide to Britain's new middle-class tribes" is, in the words of co-editor Richard Benson, "a big, warm hug" and not another kick in the stripey-socked shins. Though Benson might just have revealed something of his own roots when he asked the canapé waiter with the goujons for another "mini fish finger".

React Now

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

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

John Cantlie profile: He was caught while going back to see the fighters who freed him

Kim Sengupta
Isis fighters celebrate in Syria’s northern Raqqa province in June after capturing territory in neighbouring  

Islamic State: ‘The world cares nothing’ for Syrian city under Isis siege

Patrick cockburn
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week