Diary: Common scents for Emma

Wednesday 06 July 2011 00:00

The fragrant Emma Watson surely needs no artificial perfume to enhance her intoxicating natural scent, so it comes as little surprise that she refuses to wear any.

"Why would you want to smell like somebody else?" she asks Shout magazine, when quizzed on the subject of celebrity fragrances. "Don't you want to smell like yourself? I can't understand necessarily wanting to look or be somebody else. Why wouldn't you want to be who you are?" These are profound questions, which Miss Watson's interlocutor sadly had insufficient space to answer. But if she has time during her promotional duties for the final Harry Potter film, and wishes to contact me at the above email address, I'd be happy to direct her to the work of some appropriate philosophers.

* Oh Sting, where is thy consistency? The singer and practitioner of tantric lovemaking this week cancelled the Kazakhstan leg of his tour because he didn't wish to be seen to support the alleged human rights violations inflicted by the country's government on its oil and gas workers. "Hunger strikes, imprisoned workers and tens of thousands on strike represents a virtual picket line which I have no intention of crossing," said the housewives' favourite in a statement on Monday. This seemed in stark contrast to the statement he made after he played neighbouring Uzbekistan in 2009, for an estimated fee of between £1m and £2m. (Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov is accused of a variety of human rights abuses, including torture, kidnap and execution by boiling.) "I am well aware of the Uzbek President's appalling reputation in the field of human rights as well as the environment," confessed Sting (real name Gordon) at the time. "I made the decision to play there in spite of that. I have come to believe that cultural boycotts are not only pointless gestures, they are counter-productive, where proscribed states are further robbed of the open commerce of ideas and art and as a result become even more closed, paranoid and insular." Why the change of heart?

* Research has proven, conclusively, that the Prime Minister is even more fond of the sound of his own voice now than he was before taking office. Simon Lancaster of Total Politics has taken a scientific approach to the question, and found that, in the past year, the average length of a sentence from one of Dave's major speeches has increased by 56 per cent, from 16 to 25 words. Meanwhile, the average syllable-count of each Cameron word has risen from 1.28 to 1.35, with each word now containing an average of 4.54 characters, up from 4.34. Lancaster concludes, however, that there has been no discernible corresponding increase in their weight and/or substance.

* Husbands do better out of marriages than wives, opines Rachel Johnson in The Times. And she feels particularly sorry for the new Princess of Monaco, former Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, who is now – perhaps against her will – locked in matrimony to Prince Albert, reportedly the father of at least two love children. "If I were her," Johnson writes, "I'd bolt at the first opportunity." I can almost imagine Ms Johnson rehearsing this speech during some whispered late-night phone call. But maybe that's just me. Incidentally, the deadline approaches for my competition to write a T-shirt slogan that won't be worn by the Mayor of London – Ms Johnson's brother – to mark his 2012 re-election campaign. My own unsuitable suggestions include "Boris Relaxare Dicit!" (That's "Boris Says Relax", in Latin) and "Who's the Daddy?"

* Salty John Prescott had one of his man-of-the-people turns while canvassing for the Inverclyde by-election last week. Visiting a shipyard, the former deputy PM and erstwhile ship's steward approached a workman's hut to exchange working-class anecdotes with some locals. The TV crew trailing in his wake were, however, prevented from entering said hut by Prescott's phalanx of media-handling flunkies. Which was just as well, reports the Sunday Post, as the interior walls were liberally adorned with images of glamour models in their smalls or less. Prescott was fascinated, it seems, and studied the display closely. "Which one," he demanded to know, "is Harriet Harman?"


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