Magazine article The Spectator

Weight Watching

Magazine article The Spectator

Weight Watching

Article excerpt

High life



This Khalid Sheikh Mohammed chappie looks like a porn star, grubby, tubby, hairy and very, very ugly. I'm talking about the alleged mastermind of the attacks on 11 September 2001, who got picked up last week in - as reported by the British press - `an upper-middle class suburb' of Rawalpindi. (Leave it to the class-obsessed hacks to describe a slum as middle class.) Although in his pictures he poses as much of a threat as a pastry shop, I guess looks are deceiving. What I'd like to know is how could anyone take orders from such a ghastly-looking fellow.

At least Harry Bin Laden is somewhat handsome. I remember him once in White's bar talking about leadership, and how important it was for leaders to inspire with their looks. If memory serves, Nicholas Soames was there and Harry advised him to lose some weight. Harry Laden had a point. Napoleon won quite a lot while he was thin, but piled up loss after loss when he put on the pounds. Wellington was short but stayed lean and hungry. Philip and Alexander never lost and were never fatties, nor were Miltiades, Themistocles and the beautiful Alcibiades. MacArthur and Patton were skinny and good-looking, as was the best tank commander of them all, Hasso von Manteuffel, all five foot three of him. The only winning fatty I can think of is Kutusov, but I'm basing it on the actor who played him in War and Peace.

So much for accuracy. And speaking of this elusive concept for British hacks, I cringed at a Sunday Times magazine cover story `about a Playboy' seducing Jackie Kennedy. All I can say is what rot, what balls, what bullshit! Written by one John Follain - a cut and paste collection - it is not a hatchet job, far from it; it is, however, completely made up. Even the pictures lie. Gianni Agnelli and his wife were friends of the Kennedys, Gianni was never in his life alone with Jackie - not even for a moment - and, last but not least, Jackie was hardly his type. Gianni was friends with Lee, her sister, and there was nothing there either. Why make it up? I guess to have the sucker that's born every minute buy the rag. But back to Osama Bin (Harry) Laden.

When he was at Rosey, his nickname was Saladin, which was a play on words because of his love for salads. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.