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Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Witness box to soap box

Minus one at 8am. A stunning golden sunrise this morning with the merest stirrings of a wind. I miss my babies!

At London's famous Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park, it's traditional for anyone who so desires to set up their soap box and hold forth on whatever subject is excerising them, in whatever language they choose and to an audience of one-man-and-his-dog or to a chanting crowd of thousands, depending on his oratorical skills and the vitality of the subject.

At Speaker's Corner, you're allowed to say, with a loud hailer if you want, anything. Anything at all. With only two exceptions. You're not allowed to incite a riot or racial hatred. And you're not allowed to defame the Royal Family. This is because Speaker's Corner is in one of the Royal Parks
and it would be "jest too beastly to have people trampling all over one's roses and calling one names too boot." Or so I was told by the bobby on duty the day I was sent to cover "anything that may be going on" for a postgrad course in photojournalism.

It goes without saying that Speaker's Corner attracts its fair share of harmless nutters.

Yesterday, Mohamed Al-Fayed, the richest paranoiac in Britain, had his day in court. And it seems that, unlike at Speaker's Corner, you can say whatever you like about the Royal Family in a British court of law. I once saw Al-Fayed call the Duke of Edinburgh a "f***ing Nazi b*****d in a live tv interview - the no-name afternoon-tv journalist-on-the-spot nearly fainted, poor girl. And so I was sure that sparks would be flying when he appeared at the Diana-Dodi inquest. And he didn't disappoint by all accounts. He called the Queen's consort a "Nazi" and a "racist". He claimed Prince Philip and Prince Charles were involved in the murder of Diana and Dodi because Diana was pregnant and the monarchy couldn't bear to see her married to Al-Fayed's son and carrying a 'forrin' baby.

Sad, isn't it? A man of such advanced age and with successes in business of almost heroic proportions, reduced to name-calling (and with such execrable English grammar). Where's the evidence? Where are the witnesses to support the allegations? Where's this man's dignity!

Now I hate to see a person robbed of a child. I can sympathise with Al-Fayed's grief over the death of his son. But why do I have a niggling suspicion that he's more upset that his scheme to have his son seduce the Princess of Wales was scuppered? That he's more bitter that the couple's deaths thwarted his grand plan to take revenge on an Establishment that continued to cold-shoulder him despite his gazillions?

Perhaps when this battle is finally over, Mr Al-Fayed might consider spending his Sundays on a soap box in Hyde Park. I'm sure one-man-and-his-dog and a shifty-looking girl with a Nikon would be happy to listen. But he should watch what he says in front of the man in the funny blue hat - Marylebone cop-shop is mere steps away.

5 comments:

Gypsy at Heart said...

I have to agree with you on this one. I think his grief over the loss of his son has entrenched him further in a place of erroneous beliefs. He can't back out any more. I pity him. He'll forever go through what is left of his life feeling cheated on more than one front.

Gypsy at Heart said...

P.S. I bet they are missing you too. Think of the happy reunion you'll have in just a few days.

Louise said...

Funny you should say that about happy reunions. The first time AJ went away from me he said nothing to anyone about me when he was gone. Not a single "Mama" did he utter. My pride was fairly hurt. When he arrived back I raced down the hill, heart fluttering, imagining a Hollywood reunion with violins and harp. When he saw me he burst into tears and leapt for his father. He wouldn't let me touch him. The whole evening he wouldn't look at me and he wouldn't let me put him to bed. It was awful. Only the next day did he allow me to sidle up to him and give him a cuddle - and then we were best friends again. Let's hope girls are more forgiving...

Gypsy at Heart said...

Louise, I've heard about those. Some children react in just such a fashion. My friend who had it happen to her with her small daughter said that Elnaz would have nothing to do with her for two days. She was utterly crushed as you can imagine. I think they sometimes get truly upset at the fact that their whole world as they know it has been destabilized by a parent's (most especially the mother who is usually the center of a child's universe) absence and without realizing it, they are in essence, lashing out. I hope that doesn't happen to you with the girls. I'm sure it won't you'll tell us all about how lovely it was. Can't wait to read of it.

Louise said...

We'll see...my bleeding heart has only a couple more days to wait. L

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Witness box to soap box

Minus one at 8am. A stunning golden sunrise this morning with the merest stirrings of a wind. I miss my babies!

At London's famous Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park, it's traditional for anyone who so desires to set up their soap box and hold forth on whatever subject is excerising them, in whatever language they choose and to an audience of one-man-and-his-dog or to a chanting crowd of thousands, depending on his oratorical skills and the vitality of the subject.

At Speaker's Corner, you're allowed to say, with a loud hailer if you want, anything. Anything at all. With only two exceptions. You're not allowed to incite a riot or racial hatred. And you're not allowed to defame the Royal Family. This is because Speaker's Corner is in one of the Royal Parks
and it would be "jest too beastly to have people trampling all over one's roses and calling one names too boot." Or so I was told by the bobby on duty the day I was sent to cover "anything that may be going on" for a postgrad course in photojournalism.

It goes without saying that Speaker's Corner attracts its fair share of harmless nutters.

Yesterday, Mohamed Al-Fayed, the richest paranoiac in Britain, had his day in court. And it seems that, unlike at Speaker's Corner, you can say whatever you like about the Royal Family in a British court of law. I once saw Al-Fayed call the Duke of Edinburgh a "f***ing Nazi b*****d in a live tv interview - the no-name afternoon-tv journalist-on-the-spot nearly fainted, poor girl. And so I was sure that sparks would be flying when he appeared at the Diana-Dodi inquest. And he didn't disappoint by all accounts. He called the Queen's consort a "Nazi" and a "racist". He claimed Prince Philip and Prince Charles were involved in the murder of Diana and Dodi because Diana was pregnant and the monarchy couldn't bear to see her married to Al-Fayed's son and carrying a 'forrin' baby.

Sad, isn't it? A man of such advanced age and with successes in business of almost heroic proportions, reduced to name-calling (and with such execrable English grammar). Where's the evidence? Where are the witnesses to support the allegations? Where's this man's dignity!

Now I hate to see a person robbed of a child. I can sympathise with Al-Fayed's grief over the death of his son. But why do I have a niggling suspicion that he's more upset that his scheme to have his son seduce the Princess of Wales was scuppered? That he's more bitter that the couple's deaths thwarted his grand plan to take revenge on an Establishment that continued to cold-shoulder him despite his gazillions?

Perhaps when this battle is finally over, Mr Al-Fayed might consider spending his Sundays on a soap box in Hyde Park. I'm sure one-man-and-his-dog and a shifty-looking girl with a Nikon would be happy to listen. But he should watch what he says in front of the man in the funny blue hat - Marylebone cop-shop is mere steps away.

5 comments:

Gypsy at Heart said...

I have to agree with you on this one. I think his grief over the loss of his son has entrenched him further in a place of erroneous beliefs. He can't back out any more. I pity him. He'll forever go through what is left of his life feeling cheated on more than one front.

Gypsy at Heart said...

P.S. I bet they are missing you too. Think of the happy reunion you'll have in just a few days.

Louise said...

Funny you should say that about happy reunions. The first time AJ went away from me he said nothing to anyone about me when he was gone. Not a single "Mama" did he utter. My pride was fairly hurt. When he arrived back I raced down the hill, heart fluttering, imagining a Hollywood reunion with violins and harp. When he saw me he burst into tears and leapt for his father. He wouldn't let me touch him. The whole evening he wouldn't look at me and he wouldn't let me put him to bed. It was awful. Only the next day did he allow me to sidle up to him and give him a cuddle - and then we were best friends again. Let's hope girls are more forgiving...

Gypsy at Heart said...

Louise, I've heard about those. Some children react in just such a fashion. My friend who had it happen to her with her small daughter said that Elnaz would have nothing to do with her for two days. She was utterly crushed as you can imagine. I think they sometimes get truly upset at the fact that their whole world as they know it has been destabilized by a parent's (most especially the mother who is usually the center of a child's universe) absence and without realizing it, they are in essence, lashing out. I hope that doesn't happen to you with the girls. I'm sure it won't you'll tell us all about how lovely it was. Can't wait to read of it.

Louise said...

We'll see...my bleeding heart has only a couple more days to wait. L