Monthly Archives: November 2012

What is Perfection?

Is there such a thing as a perfect woman or a perfect man? And what does it entail and mean in the end?

In olden days a submissive woman was considered an ideally suitable candidate for being labelled as perfect from a man’s viewpoint. But in reality this amounted to her being a muggins devoid of any solid characteristics that trigger a man’s interest in the long haul.

It is often acknowledged that the pairing of opposites has tumultuous side-effects, but could prove much more rewarding and carnally more satisfying than those diametrically similar.

Most men and women endowed with any creative talent prefer partners who are diabolically inclined to give them a good run for their money, and in the process raise the temperature of their libido to its ultimate summit.

But at the same time their physical banter must in the main be intellectually challenging to ensure its durability.

On the other side of the scale similarity is often a hindrance to compatibility, but both categories are likely to run out of steam if not bolstered by innovation and a hedonistic sense of adventure.

However, contrariety can rekindle a semi-dormant passion and bring it to the boil when all hope is lost.

Perfection often carries with it an infernal state of boredom, which can render life intolerably hard to come to terms with. The stimulation is then shattered and one is faced with an early death – if not in bodily terms then in spirit.

Where does the word ‘perfection’ fit in our vocabulary? It simply does not lie there comfortably since its copyright appertains to the outer regions of the undefinable covered by a cumulus of the unknown.

It’s therefore meaningless on earth, as it represents a state of mind which is incapable of being achieved. Nothing tangible or remotely foreseen can acquire perfection. And when it is erroneously claimed trouble ensues.

No race is perfect, neither is any nation nor individual.

As such, the word is superfluous in a terrestrial context. The nearest we come to perfection is when we admit that it is beyond our reach and comprehension. We then tend to lull ourselves into believing that only through comparison can we achieve a measure of the unattainable.

And that’s when the struggle for perfection no longer matters, and our lives take their allotted course – always bearing in mind that as soon as we are born we begin to die.

Anne Dunhill and A Darker Shade of Love

Anne Dunhill, once the scion of the Dunhill Empire, grew up as an attractive young woman to become a successful model in the 1960s.

She then led the Bohemian Life where extravagance and fast living became an integral feature in all she did. She had a string of lovers, two of whom became her husbands and bore her children. Her life veered from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Anita, who became a favourite daughter before her untimely death from cancer, was the subject of a memoir which we published this year. It is a tragic story that goes to the very core of a relationship between mother and daughter that had its problems to begin with, then culminated in a rare and passionate love that can best be described as the ultimate progression from estrangement to unparalleled closeness.

Anne was marred by a marriage to a violent and decadent man who demeaned her sexually in every possible way and transformed her life into a hellish kind of existence where servitude to his abominable perversion became her addiction.

She tried to leave him on numerous occasions but could not. His hold on her was satanic and despite the humiliation it brought in its wake, she remained enslaved to him until he grew to despise her for her complete subjugation. When eventually she could no longer bear his taunts and violence they divorced.

Anne then took to writing where she chronicled in fictional form (for legal reasons) her traumatic life with her husband in her first novel, A Darker Shade of Love, published in paperback in 1991. In the factional novel, she tells in harrowing detail the sort of compulsive sexual shenanigans that took place at the beginning of their relationship, gradually growing in intensity and variation, ending up in the worst possible human degradation.

Her story puts in the shade other erotic novels that are now flying of the bookshop shelves.

Anne’s book, unlike some others of its genre, is very well written, has literary value as well as a warning message to the new generation of women with a more liberal disposition. Although sex is the blood life of all our being, without which we become inane and rather bereft of any real feelings, its abuse is soul-destroying and can lead to a deadly addiction that robs you of your dignity and self-esteem.

To this new generation, I say be warned. Men can be cruel and brutally uncaring when sex plays a crucial role in their lives. For this reason alone you must read Anne’s brave and compelling book, A Darker Shade of Love, now exclusively available on Kindle.

I’m certain you will be shocked and gripped at the same time. Even perhaps – to put it mildly – unwittingly titillated, despite the narrative’s dire consequences.

Don’t miss this golden opportunity to read a story unveiled for the first time as a biographical shocker that beggars belief.

A Darker Shade of Love, published exclusively for Kindle on 1st December at £2.99, will be 99p all this week on Amazon. Click here to download.

My Weekend Review

For many years we were unaware that our political leaders might have been guilty of concealing crimes of abuse against young boys to avoid a crisis at Westminster.

It now transpires that Cyril Smith, the gigantically-built Liberal MP weighing twenty-nine stone – who was as famous for his weight as his political views – was also apparently an abuser of boys.

He always claimed that he remained a bachelor because as a politician he was much too pre-occupied with his work to be courting women.

That was, as we’ve now discovered, a cover up for his predilection for young boys.

Although rumours were rife in his Rochdale constituency for many years, nothing was done about it. He was known to carry out perverted medical examinations of young boys in care homes and fondle them inappropriately. Police investigations were carried out then, but mysteriously died down – probably at the behest of higher authorities who were presumably trying to avoid a political scandal.

Jimmy Savile, the now discredited ‘monster’, was perhaps one of many who preyed relentlessly on children but remained a pillar of society during his lifetime. Now that the ball is rolling how many more high-profile people will come out of the woodwork and shock us out of our wits?

We could never have imagined that criminals of this heinous category could have escaped retribution for so long and were never found out until after they were effectively buried.

Let us hope that similar tragedies will not blight our society again. We owe it to the next generation to ensure that the safety of their children is of paramount importance to us, and that criminals will never be able to roam freely and not be apprehended and severely punished.

The future must mirror our legacy of having cleansed the nation once and for all of this plague.

* * *

What’s up these days with women and their boobs?

It seems to do miracles for those who are well endowed and willing to flaunt them in front of the camera. It is a case of open sesame and opportunities will flood in.

But it appears that the more effective way of displaying them is in their natural habitat in the jungle, under a shower, and complemented by a tiny bikini which leaves very little to the imagination.

This keeps popping up every time the reality show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here is televised.

The first time I had an eyeful was when the delectable Myleene Klass was constantly showering herself when she featured on the same show a few years back, exhibiting all her beautiful and sexy bits to viewers who could not get enough titillation from watching her.

And look how quickly she ascended the ladder of success, and became a regular presenter on our TV screens – as well as a highly paid model and a celebrity par excellence very much in demand for hosting important social events.

Now, however, the poor Helen Flanagan, mocked as an air head for following suit and displaying her most pronounced and almost falling out boobs – and a body that looks sexually rampant – is being ridiculed for her sins while enchanting the viewers with her undeniably fleshy body to make sore eyes dance in joy.

Why is she being victimised when others who have done it before with similar antics to gain attention were elevated to become sex icons, at whose altar many a worshipper languished? I think this is totally unfair that she should be pounced upon and treated in this rather dismissive manner.

At least, and to her credit, she has not gone commando as some of our most illustrious celebrities have done to solicit notice. Perhaps she comes from a background not blessed by our divisive society, who are class conscious and remain unlikely to berate one of their own kind.

Nevermind Helen, I am on your side and you can strip naked if you wish and I will applaud your courage and tenacity in the face of adversity.

In the meantime, boys with a highly active wand – lick your lips and dream of a wonderland full of showering beauties.

* * *

I’m bewildered and shocked to the marrow at what this government is up to.

How for heaven’s sake can David Cameron, a Christian family man, embark on a crusade to legalise gay marriage against every tenet of the faith?

Is it conceivable that in reality he’s a closet heathen, masquerading as a believer in order to get the best of two worlds? Or is there a secret motive that drives him on, of which we are unaware?

Whatever his reasons his band of Etonian sages and political tacticians, such as his arrogant chancellor who never ceases to surprise, are leading him to certain disaster. It is now a case of blunder begetting blunder.

His stance on this explosive issue is not only highly emotive but is also against the grain of a Christian society where the monarch is the titular head of the church.

Are we on the verge of dispensing with the teaching of the Bible and adopting a David Cameron oracle not dissimilar to a communist manifesto designed to regiment our lives and inherent beliefs to suit the needs of the party.

As a born Roman Catholic I am totally opposed to the notion of the desecration of the institution of marriage for political expediency.

If that was to happen the prime minster’s legacy will be that of a man who lost his way completely and gave the Devil a bonanza of opportunities to cause dissension among our ranks and play havoc with an orderly society, which time and again has survived the vicissitudes of radical change destined to tear it apart.

The Tory party will as a result be crushed at the next general election if the folly of gay marriage persists, despite the rebellion of one hundred and eighteen Tory MPs who feel as strongly as many of us.

This whole shebang is uncalled for as the current legislation adequately protects the rights of gays. Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever for a change – especially by a government which is unwittingly on the path to self-mutilation with its disarray of Babylonian discord at every step of the way.

As their survival is in the balance there are more serious topics to occupy their minds than embracing a nonsensical powder keg of a legislation ready to detonate at the flick of a finger.

They will certainly hit the dust if like Julius Caesar they do not heed the Ides of March.

A False Illusion

The more important pronouncements come from our Tory politicians, the more we are convinced that by a freak of nature they appear to be either accident prone or somehow accursed by a total lack of perception.

Their policies verge on the hit and run sort and are seldom based on any serious research; as if a thick cloud of black fog has anaesthetised their brains and left them groggy, not only on their feet but in their ability to assess things clearly.

David Cameron is suddenly riding the bandwagon of gay marriage and so is his calculating chancellor. They have both been inspired, so rumour has it, by a Heavenly Oracle telling them that the way forward for their party to remain in power is to preach the gospel of gay matrimony.

Thrilled that their luck has turned rosier than of late, this bolt from the sky has seemingly rejuvenated every muscle in their bodies for having found the elixir of life which has so far been denied to them. With the result that the chancellor has become a victim of his own enthusiasm and, instead of concentrating on fixing Britain’s broken economy, he’s taking the route of ripping up the centuries-old definition of marriage and replacing it with a new trendy concept which, in his view, will appeal to the electorate.

Well, I have bad news for David Cameron and his erring chancellor. The most up-to-date polls on this very issue contradict their claim that gay marriage will boost their prospects of winning the next general election.

In fact, the polls found that a lot of people who voted for them will never do so again if the gay marriage legislation goes through.

Their false assumptions, given their track record so far, are not in the least surprising. Pathetically, they seem to be lost in a deluge of mishaps that is sweeping their credibility to the point where they are now panic stricken and cannot differentiate between the black and the white.

I suggest they raise their hands to Heaven and ask for forgiveness for having wrongly listened to the Devil and admit, in all humility, that it was a case of mistaken identity.

Inside Trader

Last night Quartet celebrated the publication of Trader Faulkner’s book of memoirs, Inside Trader, at Australia House in the Strand. Here is what I said to mark the occasion.

As his publisher, I have been asked to say a few words to acquaint this illustrious gathering with the life of Trader Faulkner, the author of the book we are here to celebrate.

Trader was born and raised in Australia for the first quarter of his life. He was a troubled and rebellious surfer and tearaway giving his mother a rough time after his father died when he was just seven years old. Although dreaming of a career in the Australian Royal Navy fate had other ideas for him. He chose the theatre not unlike his father, the silent film actor John Faulkner and his mother, Sheila Whytock, a ballerina who danced with Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes and the great Anna Pavlova.

Under the guidance of his friend and mentor Peter Finch the young Faulkner, who by that time garnered the nickname ‘Trader’, invaded our shores in 1950 and decided to live and prosper among us.

His career in the theatre soon took off bringing him in contact with some of the finest actors, directors and playwrights of his time. He also took up Flamenco, a dance he mastered earning him the respect of Antonio Gades and Antonio el Bailarin along the way.

His book is full of gems and, in the words of Sir Peter Hall, ‘gossipy, irreverent and extremely funny’. When I first read the manuscript it brought back happy memories of the time when I too dabbled in the theatre, not as an actor but as a producer, and found the whole experience seductively uplifting. Trader is fortunate to have met droves of interesting people, lived in their milieu and, I am sure, must have enjoyed every minute of each encounter. Creative people can be sometimes unbearably difficult but the interest factor of their having lived their life to the limit makes them impossible to resist. However, Trader is a joy to be with and deserves our attention and support.

I would therefore like to encourage all those assembled here today to pay him great tribute by purchasing a copy of his book and thereby spreading the good word among their friends. With my hand on my aching heart, I do beg you, don’t let him down.

The French on the Warpath

Since François Hollande and Valerie Trierweiler took the reigns of power in France the whole country has been embroiled in controversy of the sort that could harm France’s image both at home and abroad.

The clique of socialists whose nexus is holding firm at the moment are nevertheless feeling fragile and all agog, not sure what adverse affect the First Lady – known as the rottweiler – is having on France’s reputation on the international political circuit.

The undesirable publicity the president is having because of his troubled and complicated private life is bound to cause him embarrassment and much lampooning in the media worldwide.

His lacklustre personality does little to ingratiate him with his audience, nor win him in any sizeable measure of approval. He appears clumsily unattractive as leader and his coming to power was fortuitous, due in effect to ex-President Sarkozy’s unpopularity and not because of his own dynamic efforts.

His administration is beginning to look shaky as he failed to realise at the outset that because France was so perilously exposed to weaker neighbours its own debt has become as large as theirs.

All this came to light recently when the IMF, with its French boss Christine Lagarde, pointed out in plain language the economic difficulties facing France – without provoking much reaction at home.

The French government avoided a riposte to her statement for fear it might trigger off a spat within its own ranks – but when the Economist alluded to it in more detail and warned France that its debt could wreck the Euro, a torrent of abuse followed. The magazine was demonised for daring to reveal the weak link between France and its neighbours, and the eventual repercussions that could seriously affect the French economy.

It is worthy of note, however, to mention that France’s position in Europe has been bolstered in recent years by their close relationship with Germany, whose leadership of the Eurozone made their close ally bask in false security. But now things are somewhat different. Sarkozy, who forged this close relationship with the Germans, is no longer in power.

The new lot of anti-capitalists are out to fleece the rich who are not going to take it lying down without waging their own war of attrition. Left-wingers in governments are not usually very successful in bringing prosperity to their nation, as they are always hampered by old fashioned ideology which kills incentives that provide additional benefits to the individual in a free financial market – whereas per contra high taxation is the death knell of a thriving economy.

Hollande is badly in need of a good jab of common sense if his aim is to keep France a key player in Europe. He should also formulate a strategy to save the economy from its downward trend by using new open market methods rather than punitive socialist dogma, which invariably strangles the nation with its misguided emphasis on taxation.

Otherwise, his tenure at the Élysée Palace will be ineffective and retrench growth and render France as weak as its neighbours – if not worse. He should follow the example of the late President Mitterand, the wily old socialist who was wise enough to dispense with the impracticable creed of reformism based on bleeding the rich for its own sake.

Has he got the balls to do it? Only time will tell.

A Day of Apathy

Reading the papers last week made me realise what a topsy-turvy world we inhabit.

Nothing makes any sense at all. We either face depressing news or conversely are served with a hotchpotch of platitudes that indicate a worrying standard of intellectual thought.

In between the pages we see Prince Charles dancing the Cha-Cha, on his royal tour of Australia, as if to tell us that he’s every bit as competent as any of the contestants on Strictly Come Dancing.

Having had a good look at the Prince of Whirls doing his best to be trendy, I moved on to more serious topics.

First, the humiliation of Lord Prezza, the Labour icon of foolery who rose from the ranks to become deputy prime minister under Tony Blair, when he lost his much-heralded bid to be elected as a police and crime commissioner. Voters rejected him in a bazooka-style defeat in favour of a little-known Tory.

The turnout was lamentable and clearly demonstrated the apathy we feel towards our politicians, whose stock has sunk so low as to make them look like a bunch of unemployable dropouts.

The three political parties are in total disarray, none of which is showing signs of recovery.

The Tories are groping in the dark, testing their luck as they go along, hoping that circumstances will miraculously uplift them to more fertile territory – while Chancellor George Osborne, the great tactician of the party, is becoming more obsessed with gay marriage, seeing it as the talisman to win the next general election.

In the meantime he gets his comfort by harping that the economy is in good hands – in other words his own – and the manna from heaven is not long coming.

Labour, whose record on the economy is not to be envied and who were mostly responsible for the present financial ragbag, are at least closing ranks and would certainly be returned to power if the ills of the Coalition government show no tangible signs of improvement.

As for the Liberal Democrats and their embattled leader, the omens are disastrously grim. What looked promising when Nick Clegg became deputy PM has turned out to be a poisoned chalice from which he has little chance of escaping. His prospects of remaining leader of his party are in the balance since they are bound to lose a number of seats in any forthcoming general election. Their flirting with Labour is not going to be their Messiah.

But what is more damaging to politics is the sheer apathy with which the public view their politicians and the lack of trust in which they hold them.

At no time before has the gulf between those in authority and the electorate been so vast and unbridgeable.

The gravity of the situation has now come home to roost and unless some rapprochement is achieved it will become a matter of great concern for us all. Our democracy will in reality stop functioning properly as disillusioned voters will in their droves leave it to the very few to determine the destiny of the many.

Why have we reached this impasse? The answer is obvious and simple. Politics has become too boring to bear and politicians less honest and rather pedestrian.

What we really need today is a selective group of people, whose pedagogic knowledge and dedication are beyond question, to enter the fray and replace those politicians whose only aim is more personal than communal.

Until this happens we find ourselves in the wilderness, yearning for quality and commitment from those who marshall our fate.

In the pendency, it rouses my bile to see the incompetence of those who rule us – and worse still to find them cock-a-hoop in their blatant ignorance.

Sally Bercow: The Mischievous Nymph

Sell your ass, if you want to regain the esteem of others.

Sally Bercow, the Speaker’s wife, is a pain in the buttocks. Totally out of control, she has become a liability to the nation as well as a pathetic figure of ridicule. She never fails to embarrass her suffering husband, who is either bearing his predicament in silence or contrary to expectations revelling in her mad escapades.

She has now gone a step too far in her twittering mania by pointing the finger at the wrong man, insinuating that he is a paedophile.

Her comeuppance  is knocking at her door as Lord McAlpine is determined to gag her once and for all to cut short her impudence and sue her – claiming substantial damages, I hope.

Although she has apologised for her stupidity she nevertheless remains as arrogant and full of her own inflated worth as ever before.

Perhaps this time round she will learn a sharp lesson in humility and realise that a woman married to the Speaker of the House of Commons is deemed to behave with dignity and not engage in flippancy that has become her trademark.

Or is she by any stretch of the imagination aching from a sickly delusion of being a celebrity, whose physical attributes as a woman are so desirable that they demand constant hogging of the limelight – whatever the cost. Why would she otherwise allow herself to be photographed in a risqué manner, if not to attract notice?

I certainly don’t find her the sex siren she pretends to be. Chacun à son goût, as the French would say. But sadly a woman in her position and of her maturity should know better by now.

My unadulterated advice to her: cover your bits properly and you will be more interesting to the discerning eye; speak less and you will be more listened to; cut out the drivel if you want to be taken more seriously – and leave your inner fantasies in the bedroom where they belong.

My Weekend Review

The heavy bombardment of Gaza will not advance the prospect of peace in the region. It will simply widen the gap between the two sides, and inflict horrendous civilian casualties.

All this will bring in its wake hatred and encourage extremists on both sides to settle the conflict by force of arms.

The last time Israel used its ground forces to invade Gaza it resulted in a humanitarian tragedy which shocked the entire world. Netanyahu should think and ponder before he considers his next move.

Any subjugation of either side will not lead to a peaceful settlement of this highly explosive situation. Common sense and goodwill must prevail.

Hamas should temper their response and both sides should call a halt to this brutal and senseless onslaught.

President Obama should use his influence to restrain his ally Israel, and the Arab world should equally do the same with Hamas.

No good will come out of a bitter escalation of the present conflict.

We must all hope that no further tragedies engulf the area. For it is always the innocents who pay a heavy price. We have had enough killings already and nothing has been achieved so far.

Let us therefore give diplomacy a chance for I believe salvation is knocking at the door. Please open it if you truly belong to the human race.

* * *

I am relieved to hear that Pippa’s party book has bombed, not only in the UK but also in the US.

The poor sales in both countries will come as a great shock to Penguin after paying her an astronomical advance of £400,000.

On Amazon it is languishing at #226, falling almost fifty places since last week despite its price being slashed by half to £12.

I honestly believe that Penguin was irresponsible to have paid out a ridiculous sum of money for a silly book only because of the author’s royal connection, at a time when the book trade is bleeding profusely and independent publishers struggling to keep afloat.

Penguin sent the wrong message to everyone connected with the world of books, and consequently is likely to pay a heavy price for an insensitive decision to flout a bitter economic recession.

Had the book succeeded it would have encouraged others to follow suit and plunge the trade into an abyss of mediety from which it would hardly recover.

Hence my opening gambit at feeling great relief at the demise of the book.

* * *

Saturday’s Strictly Come Dancing at Wembley was a brilliantly orchestrated show, where the contestants did their very best to avoid being sent home.

However, it was notable for the fact that Denise van Outen, who has repeatedly surprised the judges with her slick and creative dancing, did the double – bagging the first three tens and the highest score of the series so far, with thirty-nine points.

She should have scored forty, had Craig, the fearlessly controversial judge who earlier conceded that it was the best Charleston he’s ever seen on the show, given her ten instead of nine. I thought he was being contrary for the sake of it.

Singer Kimberley Walsh, the Girls Aloud star, bounced back from the great shock of nearly being voted off by the public the weekend before. She has been outstanding, among the highest scorers, and displayed throughout a sexually enhanced dancing technique that made her shapely form sizzle with carnal desire. Her Samba was to die for, whereas gold-medal-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton, who appeared on a flying bike and danced a Paso Doble, was much below her recent form and came bottom of the leaderboard.

The battle-weary BBC excels with shows of this nature and should never be written off so casually by its critics. Let us sincerely hope that it will regroup and reform and continue to provide the nation with such fabulous entertainment, as well as programmes of a more serious nature to enrich our knowledge and highlight the ills of society with the courage and determination it has demonstrated since its formation ninety years ago.

* * *

I bought a copy of the Sunday Express yesterday to read a review of Brian Sewell’s Outsider II by Jane Clinton.

I don’t know the lady but her review is brilliantly constructed to give the reader a clear view of what the book is about, as well as an enlightened and perceptive character study of the author.

I was duly impressed as I can tell that she read the book avidly, and wrote her piece without the usual farting about that some critics engage in so as to impress the reader with their intellect and self-importance.

I applaud the fact that she did her homework properly before putting pen to paper.

Seductive Interiors by Sera Hersham-Loftus

As I’ve always had a soft spot for Sera, I took the opportunity last night to sing her praises at a dinner to celebrate yet again the publication of her beautiful book, which would be an ideal present to give to someone for the forthcoming festive season.

The bash was held at Julie’s in Holland Park, where Sera had been a regular visitor since the age of eighteen. Here is what I said in my short address:

I had once a brilliant cook, prodigiously talented and endowed with good looks as well as an innovative culinary mind. She never failed to surprise. On special occasions she would do a salad of exotic flowers whose sweet aroma overwhelmed the dining room and whose taste was exquisitely palatable.

To me Sera is that exotic dish of flowers who never failed to astonish and whose natural fragrance is everlasting. She exudes an aura and an ambience that one rarely encounters.

She is, in fact, a woman for all seasons. In winter her presence raises the temperature wherever she happens to be to a cuddly and comfortable level. In the summer, the breeze her elegant movements creates refreshes those in her vicinity. In the spring, she brings joy and an affirmation that life is full of wonders, and in the autumn, she prepares us for the harsh winter with the glow of a good fire in the hearth.

This is my overture to what will follow as her life has an operatic dimension. Sera, I once said, would be the ideal person to be marooned with on a desert island. She will keep you entertained with her bubbly personality and make one’s enforced stay as pleasurable as circumstances will permit.

But we are here this evening not only to heap praise but to celebrate the publication of her remarkable book, in words as well as in deeds. An author works very hard to produce firstly a concept and then transform it into a book. Accolade is not enough. The public must embrace it by purchasing as many copies of the book as they can possibly afford and spread the good word amongst their friends in order to incentivise Sera. 

Her book is a lovely work of art and should decorate our bookshelves this coming festive season, so please don’t be shy. Dip deep into your pockets and show us the colour of your money. You won’t regret it, for Sera is worth her weight in gold. What a bargain one would have, given the price of the metal today…