get this over with as quickly as possible. I’m off to the South of France
for some badly needed rest and recreation. n I spent Independence Day in freezing
and rainy old London, with Wimbledon a wash-out and the great sage Paul Johnson’s
annual garden party forced indoors. (Paul’s parties always have fair weather,
so this could be a very bad omen for free and capitalism-loving people.)
The Spectator, too, chose the Fourth of July for its annual bash, which
also could be an omen of sorts. For 25 years the Speccie has always held
the party on July 6.
weather is a cliche, especially during the summer months. Yet I can’t remember
a time when I enjoyed myself more. There were parties galore, starting with
Lord and Lady Black’s intimate dinner for 60 high-powered men and women–for
the life of me I don’t know what I was doing there among all the talent,
but nevertheless there I was. There was also a grand ball down in Somerset,
given by the von Preussens, the anglicized version of the Prussian royal family’s
name. Nicholas von Preussen is as English as his mother, born a Guinness, and
he and his wife are childhood friends of mine. The ball was for the birthdays
of their three teenage daughters. Like a true Prussian, Nicholas performed his
duty exactly the same day and time, so his three daughters were born approximately
the same day of the year. I had pursued his wife Victoria when I was young,
had failed miserably, but had landed one of her four sisters. The one I had
not pursued because she refused even to speak to me was Nicholas’ sister,
Antonia, who is married to a dour fellow by the name of Douro, who upon his
father’s death will become the Duke of Wellington.
know how these things go. I was seated on the left of the hostess, and on my
left I found the lovely Antonia, now friendly and even slightly flirtatious.
"Who would want to look at an old lady of 45 with five children?"
she countered one of my compliments. "If you were married to me you’d
have had 24 children by now," said the Greek Lothario. Nothing much happened
after that, except that her son came up to me and told me to lay off his mama,
and I smilingly told him to fuck off, which he did. So good these English boys,
they understand all about passion where Southern Europeans are concerned.
not here to tell you about such fluff as flirting with aristos, but about Independence
Day abroad. My my, what has Uncle Sam done to deserve some of the epithets hurled
at him by the lefties of this world? "A selfish bully" is one of the
mildest, this one by one Ziauddin Sardar, in his unreadable opus coauthored
with Merryl Wyn Davies and called Why Do People Hate America? Sardar
goes on to say that the U.S. has 3 percent of the world’s population yet
consumes more than 30 percent of global resources. The three richest Americans
have assets exceeding the combined GDP of the 48 least-developed countries.
And American women spend $8 billion a year on cosmetics, which is $2 billion
more than the total needed to provide basic education worldwide. I imagine all
this is true, although even if I had the time I wouldn’t bother to check
it. The one I liked the best was the statistic that tells us that what the U.S.
spends on pet food alone could meet the basic health and nutrition requirements
of all the world’s poor.
the first to admit that our pets need to eat, but that doesn’t mean that
if we starved Fido the rest of the world would suddenly put on weight. Sardar
is obviously an intelligent man who is intellectually dishonest. Having seen
something of Africa’s woes, I am sympathetic with the intention of helping
the dark continent, the trouble being that even if American women gave up wearing
makeup and lipstick, it would be like putting money through a shredder. Africa
is one big kleptocracy, with hundreds of billions of dollars having been siphoned
off by corrupt leaders since independence during the 1960s. Angola alone earns
$5 billion a year from oil, and in every year of the past five a portion of
Angola’s state income goes missing.
in hell does Sardar think he’s kidding? Nigeria, Brazil, Russia, these
are countries that have the world’s most valuable resources, yet their
people are among the poorest anywhere on Earth. Has Sardar seen the favelas
around Rio in Brazil? In Mexico City? In Lagos? Of course America is a selfish
bully for not starving Fido and instead giving the moolah to corrupt so-called
Third World leaders. Three Mexican presidents, Aleman, Echeverria and Portillo,
took $500 million, $2 billion and $3 billion, respectively, as they left office.
By Sardar’s way of thinking, if, say, Ava Gardner had not used as much
powder as she did, there would have been Mexican children who would have grown
world doesn’t work that way, alas, so all the arguments about America’s
depriving the rest of the world because of its lifestyle is a crock of you know
what. Another common charge against America by chattering lefties is that the
U.S. controls the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the IMF, thus
denying democratic control over their own destinies to more than two-thirds
of the world’s population. This is as big a crock as the last one. Since
when did a Bengali peasant have any control over his destiny? Or an Albanian,
or an Afghan? At least with Uncle Sam providing the leadership the whole kit
and kaboodle will not end up in a Swiss bank, a la Mobutu. And speaking of crooks,
would any American-hater invest in, say, Zimbabwe, where the grotesque Mugabe
has driven one of the world’s richest farming nations to starvation?
As I said
previously, I’m off to the Riviera for a much needed rest from partying.
Some people resent the fact that I have a good time anywhere I go. Although
I give generously to charities and help a hell of a lot of folk, the haters
remain haters. Well, one thing is for sure. I’m not about to go and become
a monk because some envious souls don’t approve of my having a hell of
a good time. There is a disgusting midget by the name of Mathew Norman who works
for The Guardian. This very physically ugly man writes nonstop
lies about me. (I don’t read The Guardian but people tell
me that he does.) The poor guy is obviously so jealous he has lost his reason.
He froths at the mouth and makes stories up. So what? I shall go on chasing
girls and amusing myself, while he has to go back to his ugly wife and dreary
home every night.
are like Mathew Norman: jealous, envious and frustrated. Sorry, but the poor
little Greek boy is like America, happy and free.