The Third Leader: Burger chiefs

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The Independent Online

One of the delights of current events, in the midst of the predictability and grimness, is the collision of the most unlikely features and incongruous characters. One detail, for example, which some of us never tire of, is that Lord Levy used to manage Alvin Stardust. Older readers may also share my enjoyment of the fascinating fact that Hedy Lamarr helped to invent a torpedo guidance system.

Another small but satisfying detail I have always been wary of checking too assiduously is that Lionel Blair once had a dog named Eric in tribute to his namesake, aka G Orwell. Splendid. To all of which I now add yesterday's news that a tribe of Native Americans has bought the Hard Rock Café business.

Ignorance, of course, plays a large role in these things. The better informed will know that Native Americans have in recent years used the legal advantages of their nation status to become major casino operators in the US; hotels and restaurants have followed as they expand and diversify.

Fittingly, it was a chief of the Seminole, the tribe that has bought Hard Rock, who first spotted the possibility. Anyone doubting the Seminoles' ability to survive in business should know that they are the only tribe - up to now - not to be defeated by Washington.

But I was still pleased to discover that one of the American founders of the original Piccadilly café was influenced by the egregious guru, Sathya Sai Baba, alleged worker of miracles which include the ability to materialise hot and cold pastries. And that, according to a DNA test, Carol Thatcher is 11 per cent Native American. How!

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