Anorak News | Noblesse Oblige

Noblesse Oblige

by | 11th, May 2004

‘READERS of the Telegraph – God bless ’em – are probably still under the impression that two thirds of the map of the world is pink, the rather effeminate colour of the British Empire.

Laughing all the way to the bank – and from there to prison

They would certainly be of the opinion that one of those lucky enough to live under the enlightened British yoke, a certain Canadian by the name of Conrad Black, is a model of propriety and moral rectitude.

How could it be otherwise? Does he not have a seat in the House Of Lords next to Lord Archer Of Weston-super-Mare, Lord Ripper of Whitechapel, Lord Lucan Of Tabloid Notoriety and other representatives of the great and good?

But what is this? It seems that a careless paperboy has put the wrong paper through a Telegraph reader’s door – and the news is not so good.

In fact, it appears that Lord Black Of Wormwood Scrubs (coincidentally owner of said Telegraph) is as bent as the proverbial two-bob note.

The Independent reports that Black used his paper’s parent company, Hollinger International, as a ‘cash cow’ to subsidise his extravagant lifestyle and that of his wife, Telegraph columnist Barbara Amiel.

The Guardian also quotes from a $1.25bn writ, which claims that the couple billed the company for charitable donations made in their name.

Such was the couple’s greed, alleges the writ, Lady Black even claimed back the money she used to tip a doorman at the exclusive Bergdorf-Goodman store in New York.

And the Times says that the company jet was frequently commandeered by the Blacks to fly them between their many homes around the world.

In August 2002, the peer sent an e-mail in which he mused: ‘There has not been an occasion for many months when I got on our plane without wondering whether it was affordable.

‘But I’m not prepared to re-enact the French Revolutionary renunciation of the rights of the nobility.’

One of those rights is of course to have his head separated from his body, courtesy of Madame La Guillotine.’

Posted: 11th, May 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink