Thursday, June 24, 2004

Playing the World's Smallest Violin...Just for Them

I've been criticised in the past for being a boring old stick - so now here's some celebrity news, to spice up all those dull statistics.

Imran and Jemima

Dim bulb beautiful people and A-list socialites Imran Khan and his wife of nine years, Jemima nee Goldsmith are to divorce, with "friends of Jemima" reporting that irreconcileable cultural differences, played a big part in the breakup.

Like her brother, she combines photogenic good looks, massive wealth (that Daddy made cutting down trees, not hugging them) and ideas as thick as a Dublin paving slab. According to a recent Guardian interview
Goldsmith is not opposed to growth or to business. His great beef, he says, is the marauding, modern global version of capitalism that is taking over the planet via the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation, allowing huge corporations to plunder and lay waste to the world's resources, further impoverishing developing countries and effectively keeping them in permanent bondage without them ever being able to catch up.
Obviously, he's an acute observer of the world scene; Only today, I was thinking about how little progress the Chinese have been making in their push towards economic growth.

Having renounced her sinful ways for the path of Islam and married life in Pakistan, regular admonishments by Jemima towards our western prejudices have been appearing in the British newspapers.

In 2002 she wrote to the Guardian
The fact that there is a third generation of Palestinian children now growing up in refugee camps is a tragedy we must try to do something about
Well, I'd agree, but perhaps we might first ask the Egyptians, Kuwaitis and Saudis to let their oppressed brothers settle in their countries? Or better the lot of the refugees in Lebanon by pressing the government there to give them citizenship and let them leave their squalid camps to participate in the Lebanese economy. Maybe some true friends, ignoring the rejection of Carter's Camp David accord in the seventies and the scorning of Clinton’s negotiations in 2000, will urge acceptance by Yasser Arafat of the push for compromise by both President Mubarak and Prince Abdullah.

The Guardian backpeddled after she published an op-ed on the Palestine issue. She began with no more than the usual idiocy to be found in the paper, commenting in relation to the televised death of Muhammad al-Durra

I watched this scene on several news channels and all reported that the boy was caught in crossfire. This was blatantly untrue and the captured images showed clearly that the firing was one-sided and unprovoked.
James Fallows dissects this thoery in an investigation in the Atlantic Monthly.

More controversial was her comment
The media are largely controlled by the Jews, as is Hollywood and they account for more than half the top policy-making jobs in the Clinton administration.
Even the Guardian furiously packpedalled at this.
There were remarks in this article which were quite understandably construed as anti-semitic. They caused offence not only to a large number of readers but to people inside the paper who also complained
Apparently, in a typically brilliant piece of sub-editing by the Grauniad
The deputy editor, who saw the article before publication, gave an instruction for a passage which included these remarks to be taken out. Somehow it was left in.

Her near-death experience when a mentally-ill man siezed the controls on a BA jumbo didn't inspire any great sympathetic outrage for the victims of 9-11.
Military strikes on Afghanistan will not prevent something this terrible from happening again, for the simple reason that bombs will not deter people who are unafraid of death and desire martyrdom.

Whatever else she inheritied from her old man, business acumen definitely wasn't included, judging by her business going under in the midst of a dramatic turnaround in Pakistan's economy after the end of sanctions.

This all goes to reinforce my suspicion that an inherited fortune is the worst possible birth defect.