Last week was a gem for observers. Firstly Andrew Miller’s libel trial blew up in his face He claimed he’d been libelled about his allegedly calling a Downing Street policeman a ‘f****** pleb.’ The judge found otherwise, though was a bit condescending in his ruling, saying the copper had ‘neither the wit, intelligence, nor imagination’ to have invented the term pleb. However, after nearly two years of wrangling, Mitchell went down in flames. His career is in ruins, his personal life is in tatters, and he’s been stuck with a bill of two to three million quid, depending on estimates. Royally screwed. Serves him right. Hard not to have a sense of hubris here.
Then we had David Mellor’s outburst against a cab driver, whom he called variously an ‘ignorant shit’ and a ‘sweaty little git.’ He went on to say that he himself was an ex-Cabinet Minister, a Queen’s Council, and an award winning broadcaster, and asked how a jumped up cabbie dared talk to him like that. Sadly, the tirade was recorded by the cabbie on his mobile phone, and sent to The Sun, which published the whole shooting match. Other papers took up the cause, to Mr Mellor’s discomfort. He tried to pull an ‘invasion of privacy’ protest, but nobody paid a blind bit of attention. His claim that the cabbie has ‘ruined the afternoon’ for Mellor’s companion, one Lady Cobham, who had been invested as a CBE at Buck House, was later refuted by the lady herself, who tweeted that it had been David who ruined the day. There was an eventual apology, with this pompous buffoon claiming he didn’t know what got into him. However, he did admit to a long lunch, and said tellingly that he’d be sticking to water in the future.
Also there was the odious Julien Blanc failing to get a visa. This loathsome person is a self-styled dating guru remarkably akin to Tom Cruise’s character in Magnolia. He’s a strong advocate of smacking women around, claiming that they like it. There was a widespread outcry, an online petition, and the Home Secretary refused to grant a visa. I’m in two minds about this. I think we should have allowed him in, subjected him to ruthless pillorying and mockery, and slung him in the slammer for incitement to violence.
Quite a good week all told.