JAN MOIR: Check your privilege, Harry, before lecturing

JAN MOIR: Check your privilege, Harry, before lecturing

July 3, 2020

JAN MOIR: Check your privilege, Harry, before lecturing us on ‘unconscious bias’ from your McMansion

With every new development from his Californian base camp, with each fresh initiative that finds him strapping on his trusty crampons of wrath to scale new-found peaks of pique, I worry about Harry. I really do. He’s just so furious all the time!

Whatever next for our little lost prince, as he negotiates what he believes to be the grim fairy tale of his so-called life?

This week saw details emerge of the true Sussex mindset as papers were lodged in Meghan’s upcoming case against our sister newspaper, The Mail On Sunday.

There were claims that the couple’s wedding raised a billion pounds in revenue for the UK; that the Royal Family did not take proper care of the duchess when she was pregnant; that other Royals did things that she was not allowed to do, and so on.

JAN MOIR: With every new development from his Californian base camp, with each fresh initiative that finds him strapping on his trusty crampons of wrath to scale new-found peaks of pique, I worry about Harry. I really do. He’s just so furious all the time!

It certainly channels into the victim narrative the pair favour as they repackage themselves for an American audience — but all that is for another day.

It is Prince Harry who concerns me here. Indeed, he should concern us all. 

In a very short space of time, the 35-year-old has thrown life as he knew it into the bin, burning all his bridges as he went. 

He has abandoned his public and royal duties, his birthright, his military appointments and much of his charity work to rush off to California with the woman he adores and their baby son.

There, he lives beyond his means behind the walls of a soulless McMansion, nestled in the chaparral shrubs high above Sunset Strip.

Among neighbours who star in soap operas or are former wives of long-dead moguls, he abides by the diktats of a wife who appears to be deep in the embrace of a powerful saviour complex — one that appears to have infected him, too.

This week Harry was on the racist hunt, hectoring everyone about our ‘unconscious bias’ from what looked like the basement corridor leading to the butler’s pantry in his new home.

Whatever next for our little lost prince, as he negotiates what he believes to be the grim fairy tale of his so-called life? This week saw details emerge of the true Sussex mindset as papers were lodged in Meghan’s upcoming case against our sister newspaper, The Mail On Sunday

For many of us, a member of the British Royal Family earnestly lecturing the world on white privilege is more laughable than anything else — but Harry does not see the joke. 

Or understand the rich seam of irony he seems determined to mine.

We have been here before with the prince, who has previously preached about climate change while taking private jets on the sly, and urged the troubled to talk with professionals about mental health problems while providing little practical advice as to how this could be achieved.

One wonders how all this will play out in America, where the neediest members of society have even less chance of accessing mental health experts than they do in the UK.

In the meantime, behind the walls of their compound, all the Sussexes can do is ride out the pandemic and await the next acceptable bandwagon upon which they can jump together, no doubt holding hands.

This week it was Stop Hate For Profit, an advertising boycott against Facebook to which they offered their support. 

In an email to the organisation, they asked which brands they could target on behalf of the pressure group. Please, no.

I imagined Harry, with his years of marinated privilege and his half O-level in geography, getting on the blower to the sleek boss of Coca-Cola or Levi’s or Unilever to tell them what they should and should not be doing with their marketing and advertising budgets. 

Behind the walls of their compound, all the Sussexes can do is ride out the pandemic and await the next acceptable bandwagon upon which they can jump together, no doubt holding hands.

Cringe! With their sense of self-importance and their billion-pound wedding (ahem), the Sussexes may have left royal life behind them — but they’ve still got more front than Buckingham Palace.

The Stop Hate For Profit campaign is exactly the sort of fashionable, liberal, problematic, fraught cause to which courtiers from a constitutionally-apolitical institution such as the House of Windsor would advise the Sussexes against touching with a royal bargepole and matching pegs on their noses. 

But there is no steadying hand on the tiller now, more’s the pity.

The great paradox is that the independent, Stateside Prince Harry needs the monarchy more than ever before. 

It is no secret that it is Prince Charles who foots most of the couple’s bills, and it is Princess Diana who posthumously provides much of the goodwill that paves Harry’s way to prominence in America. 

In the week that would have been his mother’s 59th birthday, he gave out awards in her name via a Zoom link. 

Even with the best of intentions, using Diana’s burnished legacy as part of his own personal marketing plan often feels wrong.

Meanwhile, as part of their plan to become financially independent, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have signed on with the New York-based Harry Walker agency for speaking engagements — the same agency that commands fees of £322,000 for Barack Obama and half that for Bill Clinton.

It is no secret that it is Prince Charles who foots most of the couple’s bills, and it is Princess Diana who posthumously provides much of the goodwill that paves Harry’s way to prominence in America

With the best will in the world, what is Harry going to say worthy of that kind of cash? His USP is that he was Diana’s son and Diana died and that is his trump — no capital letter needed — card. But how long before Americans tire of this?

The nearest thing America has ever had to a royal family of their own was the Kennedys. 

And the nearest thing the Kennedys had to a royal prince was John F. Kennedy Jnr, whose own father died in circumstances perhaps even more wretched than Princess Diana’s. 

But JFK Jnr got on with his life, rather than using the tragedy of parental death as a sympathy prop, a lightning rod, a public barometer of his own feelings. 

Although he was later to die in tragic circumstances himself, he did not let it define him.

Maybe one day Harry will do the same. In the meantime, we must listen to his pious homilies and try not to judge — but to understand his quest to conquer the yawning chasm in his soul.

Daring Debbie still a rock queen at 75

Debbie Harry is 75? How can that have happened? This is even worse than Madonna turning 60. 

It just seems like yesterday when Debbie was on Top Of The Pops in a pioneering boiler suit or managing to make even an appearance on The Muppets seem cool.

What a life she has lived. 

A former Bunny Girl, she once escaped an abduction attempt by serial killer Ted Bundy, she was attacked in her flat by someone else, and at one point lost nearly all the money she’d earned from selling 40 million albums because of bad management deals and tax bills. 

Debbie Harry is 75? How can that have happened? This is even worse than Madonna turning 60

A former Bunny Girl, she once escaped an abduction attempt by serial killer Ted Bundy, she was attacked in her flat by someone else, and at one point lost nearly all the money she’d earned from selling 40 million albums because of bad management deals and tax bills

I remember interviewing her in New York in the 1970s — good god, how old am I? Let’s not dwell.

We went to dinner in Manhattan, she gave me gifts including a Debbie Harry soap on a rope (I still have it) and she took drugs in the limo, while then-boyfriend Chris Stein told her off because I was obviously such an innocent.

Last year she wore thigh-high boots for a magazine shoot and said that she stopped taking drugs not because it was wrong but because it was such ‘a drag’ having to find them.

‘Luckily, I could handle the withdrawal,’ she said. What a queen.

Selfish leaders to blame for lockdown hell

Poor people of Leicester. The thought of returning to full lockdown is almost more painful than lockdown itself.

To taste freedom, then have it dashed from your grasp? To search fruitlessly for loo roll again or wonder why there is no Dijon mustard? I don’t think I could bear it.

The problem is that we are not in control of our destiny. We are at the mercy of others, beholden to the rabble. 

Poor people of Leicester. The thought of returning to full lockdown is almost more painful than lockdown itself. To taste freedom, then have it dashed from your grasp? To search fruitlessly for loo roll again or wonder why there is no Dijon mustard? I don’t think I could bear it

And that includes people who won’t social- distance, people who won’t wear masks, people who don’t take their rubbish home from the beach, people who insist on partying, despite government-backed strictures.

It is infuriating — but the leader classes don’t set a very good example, do they? 

Like Dominic Cummings, like Stanley Johnson, like the mayor of Leicester. For them, the rules apply — but only up to a point.

Like Dominic Cummings, like Stanley Johnson, like the mayor of Leicester. For them, the rules apply — but only up to a point

There are always mitigating circumstances. There is always an exception to the rule. There is always a ‘but’ and an excuse.

They are happy to lead, to obey until the point that they have to make some sacrifice or alter their behaviour. After that, forget it. They provide miscreants with marvellous excuses, which leads us to the mess we are in today.

Anyone who thinks we are going to come out of this as a wiser, more tolerant and stronger society is only kidding themselves. 

I feel on the verge of rage almost all the time. And I’m nice.

Keep schtum, Tom

Newsreader Tom Bradby has been talking again of how William and Harry inspired him to be honest about his mental health. 

The ITV News At Ten anchorman and devoted pal o’ princes had to go on extended sick leave in 2018 because he was suffering from insomnia.

William and Harry’s campaign to speak out on mental health resonated with Tom and helped him through his difficulties, which is good news. 

However, instead of speaking out, I often find myself wishing Tom would zip it instead.

Newsreader Tom Bradby has been talking again of how William and Harry inspired him to be honest about his mental health

Just like Emily Maitlis, he will seize any opportunity to exhibit his highly-buffed, impeccably-elite, carefully-curated liberal views on any topic when in front of a camera. Just try to stop him! 

He has been lavishing praise on Black Lives Matter — in the UK a Marxist group coming under increasing criticism.

Bradby described the ‘White Lives Matter’ banner flown over Burnley as ‘offensive’.

Many might agree — many might not — but is it really Tom’s place to make his personal views so obvious? Surely he’s a conduit for the news, not a newsmaker?

Speaking of the bleeding obvious, I had to laugh when he introduced Political Editor Robert Peston as someone who had been ‘predicting an economic crisis for weeks now’. 

You don’t say! Give Robert a medal, Tom. He’s the sage of the age.

 £900 T-shirt? It will sell like hot cakes

Girls, don’t you just love the new Dioriviera summer collection?

For the fashion house Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri has designed sailor-stripe tops in ice-cream colours bearing names of sunny destinations.

They are divine — but a darling little silk and cotton T-shirt costs a staggering £900. Will there be any takers?

For fashion house Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri has designed sailor-stripe tops in ice-cream colours bearing names of sunny destinations. They are divine — but a darling little silk and cotton T-shirt costs a staggering £900. Will there be any takers?

I am afraid so. The pandemic has not chased away excess and bling-lust among super-stupid global high- rollers, more is the pity.

 Scaled-back weddings instead of pricey extravaganzas involving 300 yards of tulle and a trip to Bali? Who said Covid was all bad?

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