If someone bet that The Spectator issue of 10 January outsold or was read by more people than any other weekly — and that includes best selling popular crap like Hello! and OK! — they’d be collecting their winnings as I write. This, of course, in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland, where Gstaad lies. I suppose it had to do with something concerning the Madoff gang, most of whom live around these parts, and as of this moment are pretty pissed off with a certain poor little Greek boy. As I had predicted, the gang does not fight but screams and whines a lot. Their women, rather. If a member of the weaker sex insults one, the normal thing to do is to take a swing against her man. But what happens if the man pretends to be constraining the woman? Who does one hit? The concierge?
Actually, it’s very funny. A friend of mine ran into a banker and his wife in the grill of the Palace hotel where the banker was giving a dinner, and jokingly asked them how it felt to be broke. The woman got on top of a table and screamed insults at him, calling him a preposterous poofter — my friend’s openly gay — and threatening to drive him out of Switzerland. Unfortunately I was not present. And my ridiculous friend sent her flowers the next day apologising. In other words, the gang took investors’ moolah, gave it to Madoff and when the you-know-what hit the fan turned into posturing peacocks spouting rubbish about fair play and good manners.
Two things which are in very short supply around these parts.