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High life

2016 will be a vintage year for tech billionaires and jihadis

The time has come for governments to step in — and for me to say that something must be really wrong

2 January 2016

9:00 AM

2 January 2016

9:00 AM

This is going to be one hell of a year, hell being the operative word. It will be the year the greatest Greek writer since Homer turns 80 (but we’ll keep quiet about that for the moment). Our world is so stuck in reverse that a woman who was stabbed in Miami during the Art Basel shindig, and was bleeding and begging for help, was mistaken for an artwork and ignored. The woman survived but will art? Conceptual art must be the biggest con since Bernie Madoff and then some.

And speaking of con artists, I’ve never had any respect for Mark Zuckerberg, someone who is reputed to have copied the idea for Facebook from a couple of ex-classmates, and who now pledges the majority of his $45 billion fortune to charity thereby generating a public relations bonanza. But he has created an investment vehicle, not a charitable foundation with non-profit status. He has set up an LLC, a limited liability vehicle that allows a person to do things with their money without being subject to the rules, oversights and transparency requirements that govern charitable foundations. Smart little fella this Zuckerberg, but sort of a conman nonetheless. It will also cut his tax bill, thank you very much.

This year should also be a vintage one for social media, those nice apps that terrorists use so cleverly to help them murder innocent and unarmed people. While the Middle East remains a stagnant pile of poverty, intolerance and tribalism, the west keeps on taking the hits from the scum we accepted to our shores who have been radicalised via the apps that have made billionaires out of geeks who would have had sand kicked in their faces since time immemorial, but no longer. It’s time for governments to step in — and if your high life correspondent is saying that, something must really be wrong.

Radical Islam has caught on to the fact that political correctness shackles western military might, and will play it to the hilt in the future. Time is on Islam’s side. We will continue to curb freedom of speech, even after Barack Obama is out of office. It is a mistake of historic proportions. The idea that the link between Islam and terror cannot be admitted is as outrageous as the claim that Islam does not preach violence against infidels. Days after the California massacre by an Islamic couple, Donald Trump was warned by the US attorney general that the First Amendment does not protect actions predicated on violent talk. In other words, if you tell the truth about Islam we just might throw you in the pokey. Nice.

The coming year should not be a good one for my old Swiss friend Sepp Blatter. (And if you believe that I’m a friend of his, you need help.) After years of graft and kickbacks and making money, the show is about to close. The gusting winds of change are rattling the windows of the great edifice to dishonesty built not by Blatter alone, but by all his predecessors too. Football is as rotten and dishonest a game as there is, and in my country alone the owner of Olympiacos, the number one team, has been accused of bribing referees yet is still allowed to own the team and call the tune. This pig comes to Gstaad in winter. Bribes, fraud, kickbacks, crooked banks; this is the modern version of the beautiful game as the hucksters who publicise it call it.

And in 2016 Taki will finally be able to call himself a farmer. My new chalet will be ready and I will be moving in sometime in July. (All I need now is to find some farm girls, but back to politics before my daughter reads this.) The world’s most -misguided leaders, Salman of Saudi Arabia and his ludicrous son Napoleon-Mohammed, are trying to build reputations as leaders of the Arab world. All they’ve managed to do, by bombing the hell out of hospitals in Yemen, is prove that the Saudi air force is on a par with that of Luxembourg, which doesn’t have one. Thousands of civilians have died in Yemen yet the Saudis, with a grand coalition, have achieved nothing. The little Napoleon has eaten humble pie and only western power will extricate him from the mess he and the rest of the Saudi gangsters have created. Alas, he will get it in 2016.

Finally, if the west had enough guts to stop the extensive transfers of cash from wealthy donors (ruling families) of the Gulf, perhaps those nice guys in Isis would stop raping nine-year-olds and go back to the fat wives they left behind. We need Russia and Uncle Sam to get together on this, but Barack seems to hate old Vlad. I happen to love him.

I’ve had enough. I am finally letting the real Taki show. Some son of a bitch has sued the Metropolitan Museum because it shows a painting by Tintoretto that depicts our Lord Jesus as a blond man. The man feels discriminated against. (He’ll probably settle for a nice amount of cash and feel less discriminated against after that.) So there’s not much more to say, except to all of you loyal Spectator readers, have a very happy new year.

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