IT’S NOT EASY BEING A BILLIONAIRE NOW
6iu 3hilip *Ueen is tueating the stuess with PXG Eaths ang hot stone Passages things aue even Poue Euxtal on the otheu sige oi the $tlantic IOU wiie 7ina ang Gaxghteu Chloe who can’t even go shopping in Cannes
If you have tears, prepare to shed them now. Philip Green has spoken at last of his ordeal. Collared at his health spa retreat in Arizona, a BATHROBED SIR PHILIP Conirmed that for him Halloween came early this year. “It’s a horror story,” he told the Mail on Sunday, and who could argue with that?
With Peter Hain cast as the vampirical king of the undead, and a hostile media as his legion of ghouls, no star prize for guessing the identity of the innocent.
“I’ m very, very upset ,” he said .“i’ m being used as target practice.” Also distressed, naturally, Is HIS WIFE. “TINA Is Horriied. She’s appalled that people are treating us like this.”
On the off chance that he sees this, Sir Philip is reassured that he and her ladyship are not alone. I believe I speak for the silent majority – countless BHS pensioners among us – who are as bored as outraged by these kind of fake news allegations.
In the coming days, I will be launching a crowdfunding website. Under the #mehtoo banner, this will raise money for a public relations counteroffensive expressing our shoulder-shrugging indifference about the latest slew of confected charges against a titan of commerce.
The dream is to co-opt a fellow sufferer to the cause. When President Trump learns a little about Sir Philip, HE should BE suficiently struck By THE uncanny similarities to tweet in support of #mehtoo, and make one of those lavish charitable pledges he likes to honour without delay. At the very least.
From birth until today, with some minor divergences, the two have followed such closely aligned twin tracks that they might be brothers unfathomably separated in infancy in a Jeffrey Archer novel.
Both the sons of property developers who bequeathed them the business when they were young, each has built splendidly on inherited wealth. Hence Trump being picked to host The Apprentice, and Green reportedly BEING THE BBC’S irst CHOICE to front its version.
Their commercial triumphs have attractedsniping from the cynic sands ne ere rs who dispute the yachtocratic human right to avoid paying taxes at the same rate as the rest of us, if at all.
Their understandably brusque response when insolently questioned about this and other matters – the treatment of staff, and women in general, the use of indelicate racial terminology – has incubated poisonous media campaigns against them.
Each has to endure the trauma of being smeared by people – Lord Hain, Stormy Daniels – with too little sense of decency to honour the sanctity of the non-disclosure agreement.
And each is callously taunted for pointing out the inarguable fact that it is they who are the victims.
In four decades of business, as Sir Philip tells the paper, “there has obviously from time to time been banter and a bit of humour, but as far as I’m concerned there was never any intent to be offensive … If anything I have said caused offence, I’m happy to apologise.”
One former employee claims that Green was so hypersensitive to the needs of female staff that during meetings he would sellessly Ask IF “they NEEDED THEIR bottoms slapped ”, on the compelling ground that they were “naughty girls”.
It’s also alleged that he routinely addressed Filipino members of the crew on his £100m yacht, the aptly named Lionheart, as “lazy f ***** Flippers”. Thrilling as it always is to meet a new racist epithet, anyone who did overhear him using the phrase must have misunderstood.
He was obviously referring to indolent MPS who lipped THEIR irst Homes. Knowing how repulsed he is by the idea of (ritual disclaimer: perfectly legally) avoiding capital gains tax, you appreciate the purity of his rage.
It may be true that in 2003, when a paper was making impertinent enquiries About HIS Corporate inancing, HE SAID of a reporter named Murphy, ”He can’t read English. Mind you, he is a f ****** Irishman.” But as someone wise has observed, Wildean thrusts of the kind are the inevitable byproducts of a long business career.
While Sir Philip is treating the stress with mud baths and hot stone massages, things are even more brutal on the other side of the Atlantic for wife Tina and daughter Chloe. “They wanted to go shopping in Cannes this weekend,” according to a source, “but they can’t face going out.”
They have been trapped in the Monaco penthouse, with nothing but a coterie of servants and ne tl ix shows to sustain them, like the besieged of Stalingrad.
Touch wood it won’t be long before Tina spends some of that tax-free£1.2bn dividend on an Amazon purchase, and wears her new “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” jacket on a jaunt to the marina.
In the meantime, look out for #mehtoo and give what you can, although we have hopes that President Trump will go beyond the tweet and imaginary donation.
In recognition of a kindred spirit and empathy for a fellow victim, the president should offer Sir Philip permanent escape from a Britain that is too small and envious to value him, and appoint him to the newly created cabinet post of Secretary for Banter and a Bit of Humour.