A magnificent racehorse graced the world with his presence on Sunday (October 4).
Sea The Stars, an Irish three year old colt who has won six Group One races this year including the Derby, sluiced through a top-class field to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
The horse knows he’s good.
As he swanned into the mounting yard at Longchamp before the race, the normally taciturn French crowd gave him a great cheer simply because of who he is.
His demeanour, strutting and prancing and not turning a hair, reminded me of politicians.
But the similarity ended there. Next time you visit any parliament, watch how the MPs move around the chamber.
They really think they are something special.
* * *
In England the unelected or unelectable ones often assume grand names.
Take Baroness Scotland of Asthal, who was once plain Pat from Dominica and is now Her Majesty’s Attorney General.
She was the first black, female QC and is a role model to many women.
She employed a maid who is a Tongan lass called Loloahi Tapui.
Pat (seen here), who many say is a nice person, sacked Lolo when she learned that the woman scrubbing her floor was an illegal immigrant.
The rules were clear as only Pat knew. She was instrumental in getting them through parliament.
Lolo cut up rough and went to Max Clifford. Together they tipped a bucket on Pat.
Lolo claimed Pat had never even asked her for a passport. Pat disagreed, but the press screamed for her head.
Her cheery features are still in place, but the whole episode has been a touch hairy for the Baroness.
* * *
Young lawyers soon learn why it is better to mitigate on behalf of a client rather than let the punter do it himself.
It doesn’t sound great in court if the client blows his own trumpet or downplays the crime.
Sadly Pat, whose background is in family and child law, missed this simple truth.
She was fined £5,000 for employing an alien.
She marched out to tell the world her offence was akin to not paying the traffic congestion charge.
Well, the country is congested with illegal immigrants I suppose.
* * *
Another Labour favourite, the Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman (snap) has also been in strife for allegedly colliding with a parked car while speaking (no doubt loudly) on her mobile phone.
Apparently all Hattie said was, “I’m Harriet Harman – you know where you can get hold of me”.
I hope it’s not true because Harriet is the one government minister whom we all look to for advice on how to run our lives.
* * *
Some of the new Supreme Court judges also have splendid names.
It’s pretty hard to beat old Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle but Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood and Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony cum very close.
* * *
There is disquiet because the new Supreme Court’s emblem is not wearing a Crown (have a look).
Was Betty Battenburg consulted? It’s a bit rum.
What is more disturbing is the carpet at Little George Street.
The justices won’t need to impose gagging orders. It’s garish enough in the courtroom itself, but on the staircase it’s a certainty to cause epileptic fits. See images 2, 9 and 13.
Sir Peter Blake (pic) was commissioned to design it.
When you look at one of his other efforts, the Sergeant Pepper’s album cover, you must wonder whether these new Supreme Court justices had really thought through the health and safety ramifications when they made their decision.
* * *
The Serious Fraud Office has been investigating one of Britain’s biggest employers for six years.
BAE Systems is alleged to have paid millions of pounds to grease the palms of filthy foreigners such as Austrians, Saudis and South Africans in order to sell defence related products.
BAE was involved in another investigation, which Tony Blair stopped in the interests of national security.
The question is how much.
Its advisors are thought to have recommended £20 million as an appropriate figure.
A little irony there: pay off the Serious Fraud Office and you will hear no more of the bribery charges.
* * *
Sea The Stars, who is believed to be worth £50 million, is off to stud next year where it is hoped he will “cover” 200 mares and earn £80,000 a throw (if that is the right word).
Gordon Brown and his lovely colleagues are also off to stud next year.
They will be “covered” by the British electorate, but that’s expected to be only a one-act affair.