I was not aware that there is a group of Spectator fans who meet in French-speaking Switzerland. They contacted me and we have agreed to meet up this week here in Gstaad. A very nice English voice informed me over the telephone of the existence of the group, asked if I was interested in speaking to it, and told me how long they have all been reading the dear old Speccie. My response was a resounding yes, and then I asked Michael Watts, the gentleman who rang me, if he was aware of my speaking fee. He was not. ‘Fifty thousand Swiss francs for 30 minutes,’ I told him and waited for the thud. But he agreed without a counter offer and asked if I needed a down payment. (Actually, a lunch is what we settled on, but don’t let my non-existent agent hear about it.) The group is arriving by bus and we’re meeting for a grand lunch at Le Grand Chalet. Everything should be hunky-dory, especially if I don’t drink too much beforehand.
Actually, I plan to tell them about the goings-on at The Spectator. As the lunch is on the same day as the magazine goes to press, I might as well spill part of the beans: I have been sexually harassed by ladies who work at Old Queen Street and have done nothing about it because I have been too ashamed to come clean. The culprits are two ladies called Mary and Lara. My lawyers are advising me not to go into detail while they ascertain the wealth of the harassers before they file for damages. So, I shall take their advice and say nothing more than that this has gone on for a very long time, and without the help of Doctor Klinghoffer of Zurich I don’t know how I would have survived.
If only! Joking aside, I was pleasantly surprised, during a large dinner party up here in the Alps, to hear more than one woman say that, as the world awaits the Harvey Weinstein verdict, they were not hoping for him to be sent down. This is because of the creeping orthodoxies of PC — for example, the virtue-signalers up in arms over a photograph of a mother sitting with her baby’s pram in the park, calling it demeaning to women. Not all women assume every allegation made against a man must be true. ‘I don’t think I’d go out to dinner with someone who had raped me,’ was the way a lady sitting next to me put it. Others taking part in the discussion questioned why someone would go up to the bedroom of someone like Harvey.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear their comments, but when they asked me if I thought Weinstein would get off I said he would not. He is regularly being denounced in the press as a monster, and monsters do not get off. I’m writing this before the verdict, but think of the pressure on the jury. The publicity surrounding the 20-year-old charges made against him would have intimidated anyone.
As the jury went out to decide Harvey’s fate this week, the Big Bagel Times ran a beauty under the large headline ‘The Specific Horror of Unwanted Oral Sex’. (What do you expect from a paper that also ran a long piece saying the coronavirus travel ban is unjust and fosters racism against Chinese people.)
But money has a way of softening unacceptable behavior. Bloomberg, who has more than 60 billion big ones, certainly knows what to do in order to win the presidency he seeks. That amount of money, one billion smackers, has never before been spent to buy the White House for four years. As everyone knows, Americans do not read magazines or newspapers, nor, God forbid, books, but they do look at screens all day. Bloomberg has inundated TV, YouTube and Facebook with non-stop ads. He has hired thousands to tweet non-stop pro-Bloomberg slogans, and has removed the human element from campaigning altogether. His hundreds of millions are blanketing the airwaves and he spends one million smackers per day on Facebook.
Trump spent $66 million of his own fortune in 2016, but the cynical Bloomberg laughs at the puny Trump wealth. He calls the Donald a non-billionaire. I think that mini-Mike will go all the way, however disheartening that is. Back in the good old days one could not win with moolah alone. Now, because of the internet, shameless social climbers such as Bloomberg can go all the way. I think it was Andrew Roberts who first suggested to Bloomie that he run for president. Mini-Mike replied that short Jewish billionaires don’t stand a chance. Well, Andrew was right: I see the short one living in the big house soon.