Delingpole at the Weekend: Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson – a leftist hater’s wet dream

 

 

Turning down an opportunity to put the boot in to Nick Clegg is a bit like living Lost In Translation for real and turning down a night of passion with Scarlett Johansson.

But this, pain me though it enormously does, is what I’m going to have to do in this column. It concerns an appearance Nick Clegg made on LBC radio last week in which he was asked a question about Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson and gave – apparently – the wrong answer.

Clegg was asked what his reaction would have been if he’d seen Saatchi outside Scott’s in Mayfair with his hands round Nigella Lawson’s throat. The correct answer, we now learn, is: “I would have condemned this despicable display of domestic violence in the strongest possible terms and hurried to intervene, for what it shows is that this is a very serious issue which transcends class and race and – most especially – religion, affecting potentially every household in the land, and in a very real sense is a menace that we must do everything in our power to stamp out permanently.”

Instead what Clegg actually said was: “Er…um….well….uh….dunno, really, I mean I don’t know what the situation was….” Or words to that effect.

In this case, for once, I believe Nick Clegg was right and the court of public opinion was wrong. Who are these bold crusaders for justice, truth and equality who, on seeing the world’s most famous ad-man-turned-gallery-owner having a domestic with the world’s most famous food goddess, would have done anything more than mutter to themselves “Oh dear. How awful! How embarrassing! Poor them!” before shuffling awkwardly past, hoping that it would all blow over soon.

This isn’t to say it’s a nice, good or admirable thing when a man half strangles his wife. Violence by men against women is, of course, something very much to be avoided – as I’m constantly telling my son whenever he attempts to bash his sister. But what I always try not to do when I catch Boy with his fists clenched and Girl aggrievedly clutching her bruised arm is to overreact.

Sure, one’s immediate instincts on seeing one’s darling baby girl sobbing and in pain are to come down like a ton of bricks on the perpetrator. But, it’s important to resist this temptation because you don’t know what the full background story is. Yes, Boy shouldn’t have hit her. But perhaps she shouldn’t have goaded him – as sisters do – to the point where he felt he could do nothing but hit her. By intervening and taking sides, how do you know that you’re not perpetrating an even greater injustice than if you’d left them to settle their own scores?

Which is rather how I feel about l’affaire Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson. Though I don’t know them that well, I like and admire them both, and however shaky their marriage may or may not be now – and I’m not interested in speculating either way: none of my business – I think you’d need to be pretty picky to argue that they weren’t a good match.

Witty, handsome, urbane, intelligent, incredibly rich gourmand meets gorgeous, bright, vivacious, sexy, talented, independent-minded, well-connected super cook. How could a match get any more perfect than that? We’re talking Burton/Taylor here.

And perhaps that’s the problem. Maybe, on some level, people really don’t like to see people richer, more beautiful, more famous and talented than them having too good a time. Sure they don’t mind indulging them for a few years, cooing at their antics in Hello, and so on. But there comes a point, a bit like during a grand prix when you tire of watching the cars go round and round and round, when the spectators begin secretly yearning for a crash.

So yes, I guess schadenfreude is certainly one of the reasons why the Saatchi/Lawson story has been getting so much attention in the media this last week. But it isn’t, I fear, the main one. And I say “I fear” because I’m both horrified and frightened by some of the responses it has prompted from one or two normally rational female columnists, and also by the glee with which it has been seized on by the tricoteuses of the “anti-domestic violence” lobby.

Criticising the “anti-domestic violence” lobby is difficult for a man. If you’re against it, you must be for domestic violence, a bit like if you’re against “anti-fascist” groups that must make you a fascist and if you’re against “multiculturalism” or immigration you must be a racist. Right?

This nonsense has been going on for some time. Here’s part of an entry I wrote in How To Be Right (2007) in the W section: Wife Beater, State Propaganda Adverts Accusing You Of Being A:

  “So you’ve popped into the leisure centre for your morning swim and you’re towelling yourself down in the changing room afterwards when something on the wall catches your eye. It’s a poster of a nice, well-dressed, professional type with whom you’re clearly supposed to identify. ‘Relax, go ahead and read’, says the text underneath. ‘No one can tell you’re a wife beater.’

  ‘Christ!’ you think. ‘They’ve found me out!’ And you vow never ever to slap the missus about again because now you’ve read about wife beating in this Metropolitan Police poster campaign you suddenly realise it’s wrong.

  No. Not really. What you actually wonder is: since when did it become acceptable practice for the authorities to spend our money on offensive and intrusive ad campaigns directly accusing us of crimes we have neither committed nor are ever likely to commit? And do they honestly think that the tiny minority of people they’re aimed at are going to take the slightest bit of notice.”

Do you think the lobby of shrill, bitter, feminist hangovers who flock to the anti-male violence cause in much the same way hard-left agitators flock to the cause of anti-racism were upset by the Saatchi/Nigella business? Well, yes, on a visceral, instinctive “bloody men, they’re all the same. And did I tell you what my bastard ex-husband said to me the other day…?” level, maybe. But mingled with that rage, certainly, would have been glee, jubilation, elation.

For the testicle-chopping sisterhood, the Saatchi/Nigella spat was Christmas come early with free pedicure, massage, and chocolate therapy all week. It was the equivalent of Assistant District Attorney Larry Kramer’s discovery of the perfect prosecution target – a rich, white investment banker – in Bonfire of the Vanities. Or of one of those cases which British social workers spend their whole careers yearning for: the one where, instead of getting to snatch a child from yet another underclass family, they get to stick their noses in and ruin the lives of a middle-class professional household instead.

No, of course Charles Saatchi shouldn’t have put his hands round the throat of his lovely wife. But we most of us at one time another do things we shouldn’t do and then regret them later because this is what it is to be human and flawed. Does this mean that when we do those regrettable things that it should be splashed all over the newspapers and that everyone should chip in their tuppenny ha’penny’s worth and that the police should be called? I rather hope not – but a lot of people on the left would disagree with me.

This is not because these people on the left are better people or that they treat “domestic violence” with the kind of seriousness it deserves. It’s because, at the heart of their pernicious Weltanschauung, is the belief that there should be no such thing as behaviour beyond the ken of the ever-watchful, ever-righteous state. Hence their despicable excitement over poor old Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson. It sent out the signal they most desperately want to send out to society, most especially to those rich celebrities who are normally beyond their reach: all your private lives are belong to us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 comments on “Delingpole at the Weekend: Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson – a leftist hater’s wet dream

  1. Julia Ball
    June 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Whilst I tend to agree with you most of the time JD, this time, I am not sure that I do, if a person so forgets themselves as to publically grab their partner by the neck, what on earth does he do in private?

    I can understand that people often are paralysed by indecision about the right course of action and I cannot judge anyone for not stepping in (Indeed, a few weeks ago, I tripped on some cobbles, bashed myself up quite badly and broke a toe in a public street, not one person stopped to help – go figure!) I do judge the people whose first instincts were to grab their camera phones.

    The rest, I am not qualified to comment on, my children have been told that if anyone hits them, hit them back harder (Schools do NOT deal with bullying at all ! ) I had heard though, that Mr Saatchi is a complete philistine when it comes to food

    • Andy T
      June 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      When I was younger and working in the city of London, I witnessed a man (city type) slap his girlfriend in the street during an argument. I actually went over, ignored him and asked her if she was ok, her response …
      “Piss off and mind your own business”
      After that, I wouldn’t bother again

      • It
        June 28, 2013 at 12:41 am #

        Dreadful, Andy. Sorry that happened to you.

  2. Mike Paterson
    June 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    I can see where you’re coming from on this, James, but there’s no excuse: Saatchi is a thug.

    • Mellorsj
      June 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

      And your evidence for this is?

      No. The photo does not count. It shows that he grabbed her throat. Doesn’t necessarily make him a thug. Might do. But very possibly not.

      So. Your evidence?

      • It
        June 28, 2013 at 12:43 am #

        Well he’s hardly the world’s greatest sweetheart, is he?

        Anyway, some people will ever be satisfied, whatever the evidence. Look at the O. J. Simpson defenders!

  3. tubamirumspargens
    June 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    I so desperately want to “like” this – and “be the first to ” but the little button’s not having any of it, no matter how often I click on it. If the button had a throat, I’d grab it …

  4. Fabian the Fabulous
    June 23, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    Didn’t Chas say they were having a “play fight” or something? Is there any evidence that it wasn’t?

    • It
      June 28, 2013 at 12:47 am #

      Would you indulge in a ‘play fight’ past age 10? I’d say that looking miserable, as Nigella did, proves that she didn’t find it playful.

  5. It
    June 23, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    Jesus, are you serious? Handsome? Handsome? The first thing I thought when I saw his picture was: ‘well he didn’t win her with looks’. And then I read a self- (by him) description of some dreadful book he wrote about how to exploit people by not considering their feelings. This man is a jerk, and that’s probably the least that can be said about him (see my earlier comments about his complete lack of Adonis qualities — chunky, sinuous, or any kind).

  6. Harald Fucking Fairhair
    June 24, 2013 at 3:08 am #

    fuck you delingpole you’ve never even heard of zero wing

  7. Simon Roberts
    June 24, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Normally in these circumstances, the response of “if she doesn’t like it then she’ll leave” is met by shrieks of indignation based on supposed economic entrapment. This doesn’t apply in Nigella’s case.

    Condemnation comes from journalists, professional leftists and readers of OK! Magazine. None of these have a genuine interest in anyone else’s welfare. They are either earning a living, extending their power or are just voyeurs.

  8. Latimer Alder
    June 24, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    It says

    ‘The first thing I thought when I saw his picture was: ‘well he didn’t win her with looks’

    ‘Tell me Debbie, what first attracted you to your multi-millionaire husband’ -TV interview with Mrs. Paul Daniels.

    • It
      June 25, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

      Yes, very amusing, even though I have no idea who Mrs Paul Daniels is.

  9. humprey M
    June 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Tough one this. Would I have intervened. Probably, yes, in a posh restaurant, but never in a downmarket one or pub where in a flash of an eye the man AND woman would turn on you for a good kicking.

    Plus I’m a big man (but out of shape) and Saatchi looks sufficiently weedy.

    That said, your article makes one big mistake in tying non-leaving the abuser to finances; it’s much wider than than in terms of kids, friends, options, etc etc. Just think of when you had to make the break from leaving the Tory party for UKIP….didn’t you struggle for a long while before you escaped the abuse?

  10. Caroline Yull
    June 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    James, I usually agree with most of what you write (or at least some) but I cannot agree that most people would walk on by. There would be some who shot a quick cellie pic & posted it on twitter or FB or other useful places in the interwebs. There would be those who did nothing but disapprove and walk on by. And then there would be those of us who have been subjected to spousal assault, and we would, most of us I think, have taken him by the back of the belt, hauled him off her, and screamed abuse at him as we bitch-slapped him with our purses

  11. Kitler
    June 25, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    Well ask yourselves do you really know the both of them personally what they are really like as human beings, I don’t so it’s hard for me to pin blame because you don’t know what happened to cause this incident, Let them sort it out between themselves and if it ends in divorce that’s up to them or get back together.

    • Caroline Yull
      June 25, 2013 at 11:49 am #

      Kitler: Here is what happened to cause this situation — In the midst of a conversation, Mr. Saatchi lost his temper and chose to use his fists on his partner, Ms Lawson. It’s a criminal assault. He beat her up. NOTHING that led to that excuses it, even if she had taunted him or told him tough realities like “Hey, babe, I’m breaking up with you.” End of.

      • Kitler
        June 26, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

        Sorry I was not aware of the details the press seemed to make out it was some minor misunderstanding. No he should never have raised his hand to her, if she had been goading him then I will have less sympathy, but I’m sure the facts will come out.

  12. Beethoven
    June 26, 2013 at 1:34 am #

    If I’d been present, I would have convened a feminist flash mob.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Ten amazing things Ed Miliband would have done in history if he'd been there – Telegraph Blogs - June 24, 2013

    […] the latest self-publicist to try and make mileage out of the Saatchi/Nigella affair. Personally I think it ought to be none of our business. Not have-a-go-hero Ed, […]

  2. Steynian 476rd | Free Canuckistan! - June 24, 2013

    […] BOGPAPER– Obama – The Food Stamp President; Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson – a leftist hater’s wet dream; Thatcher on Thursday: Divide and Conquer; Russell Taylor – In praise of our green and pleasant […]

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