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

Front-Office Developer (C#, .NET, Java,Artificial Intelligence)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Front-Of...

C++ Quant Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...

Java/Calypso Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, J2EE, J...

SQL Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer SQL, C#, Stored Procedures, MDX...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ashya King in hospital with his mother  

Ashya King: Breakdown in relations led to this PR fiasco

Paul Peachey
Jim Murphy, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development holds a carton of eggs during a speech to Better Together supporters  

When the course of history is on the line, democracy is a raw, vicious and filthy business

Matthew Norman
Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York