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Whatever your celebrity sins, spare us the false apology

What a pleasure to welcome back into our newspapers that grasping porcine ginger trollop, Sarah Ferguson.

12 March 2011

12:00 AM

12 March 2011

12:00 AM

What a pleasure to welcome back into our newspapers that grasping porcine ginger trollop, Sarah Ferguson. It is money, of course, which has seen her return to media prominence; perpetually skint as a consequence of her fabulously extravagant lifestyle and sense of entitlement, she allowed her incalculably thick ex-husband, Prince Andrew, to fix up a loan for £15,000 to help clear her debts, money which came from a convicted paedophile, the US businessman Jeffrey Epstein.

Jeff was one of Andy’s roster of mates — a magnificent cabal, incidentally, which comprises almost everybody foul in the world, almost everybody who you would least like to sit next to at dinner, kiddie fiddlers, relatives of Cap’n Bob Maxwell, growling hummus-breathed Arabic despots, arms dealers etc. I am not convinced that £15,000 will keep Fergie in pies and Gstaad for very long, anyway, but that is not the point. Now that the press have found out about the loan, Fergie is cloaking herself with that most modern of adornments, faux contrition. She is appalled to have accepted the loan which Andrew sorted out for her, she now says, it was a quite ghastly mistake. And she also felt the need to add to her press statement the confession that she feels very strongly that adults shouldn’t shag children, it’s something she’s always been very decided about, shagging children.

Here’s a bet: if the press hadn’t found out about it she’d have said nowt and would have kept her robust views about paedophilia to herself. She is not sorry at all, she is just embarrassed to have been caught out pocketing money from a sleek-haired yankee millionaire nonce. Rightly, some people are questioning if Prince Andrew is quite the best person to be flying around the world, waving the flag for Britain, seeing as he has the IQ of a half-pound block of Cathedral City cheddar cheese. Diplomats imply that he is pig ignorant; a Labour MP, Mike Gapes (himself formerly a grim Trotskyite), has said that the Duke of York is an embarrassment to Britain; the government has been forced to say that he is doing a bloody brilliant job for the country and has our full support, etc.

Well, yes, sure. But at least Andrew hasn’t done that terribly au courant thing and issued a patently false apology. The thing all of our slebs do from time to time, when they’ve been caught with half of Bolivia up their nostrils or — worse yet— ‘doing a racist’, as my children call it. As in ‘Liam got in trouble with teacher today for doing a racist.’ The faux apology, the craven genuflection to popular sentiment, occasioned by being caught doing something. Not contrition, not remotely contrition, but a desperate yearning not to let what they have done have an impact upon their yearly earnings, mixed with a soupçon of shame in the more sensitive souls (i.e., not Fergie).

The faux apology was perfected by Tony Blair, of course, who spent his years in office apologising for things which he had no right to apologise for, because he was not guilty of them — Bloody Sunday, slavery, etc — but being steadfastly unapologetic about invading Iraq and destroying the British economy for a generation. But it has become the most reliably tiresome event in our newspapers since then, whether it be Tiger Woods apologising for having been caught out having sexual intercourse with every woman aged under 30 in the United States of America, or backbench Tories who have swindled you out of £100,000 by claiming morally illicit expenses for their second homes, or moats, or duck houses.

The faux apology is at its most spectacular, and egregious, when matters of race are concerned. This, I suppose, is because racism is second only to paedophilia in the list of really, really, bad stuff which slebs are required to apologise for. My favourite faux apologies concern those members of the glitterati who have been accused of anti-Semitism. So the halfwit Mel Gibson is overheard, or recorded, saying that Jews are responsible for all the wars that ever took place in the world and are quite the most ghastly people and he later ‘apologises’, attempting to convince us, mazel tov, that he thinks Jews are absolutely terrific and that his recorded comments did not reflect his state of mind.

Ditto the magnificently horrible John Galliano, who believes that having told someone that he thought Hitler was ‘great’ and that he wished their relatives had died in the gas chambers did not, per se, reflect upon him as having an anti-Semitic mindset. No, no, quite the reverse. One would have been more appreciative of Christian Dior’s handling of the matter were it not for the fact that Christian Dior was himself a Nazi collaborator and a friend of both Hitler and Eva Braun, and that his niece, Françoise Dior, was convicted in Britain of attempting to blow up synagogues and was married — at separate times, no bigamy implied here — to John Tyndall, later the leader of the National Front, and Colin Jordan, a neo-Nazi who was himself imprisoned for violent racist acts.

But that’s the faux apology for you; it covers only that which immediately embarrasses whoever it is who is making the apology. There is often not even an attempt at sincerity, just a bowing down before the altar of popular sentiment when they have been caught out. Think of what Fergie could apologise for, sincerely, if she had the time.

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