Magazine article The Spectator

Tough Guys

Magazine article The Spectator

Tough Guys

Article excerpt

Flaying the Frogs has replaced baseball as the national pastime in this here great country, with Murdoch's minions doing most of the flaying, using elegant words such as weasels, yellow-bellies and slimeballs to describe our Gallic cousins. It is strange how Marianne's reluctance to join Hopalong Cassidy for target practice against a bunch of schmucks using Winchester 73s has spoiled a once beautiful relationship quicker than you can say Lafayette. Forget about Europe, shriek the all-conquering ones, only Britain and Israel matter. `We saved the French twice in one century, but they still think they have the right to follow their own foreign policy.'

Well, however true that may be, I used to think Americans had longer memories. Such as the fact that the French navy and army rescued the American cause at Yorktown, where they bottled up Cornwallis and forced him to cry uncle. There were more French troops than Americans on the ground when Cornwallis threw in the towel. Even more important, we'd still be playing `God Save The Queen' rather than the `Star-Spangled Banner' if the French had not harassed the Brits throughout the Revolutionary War. Louis XVI, in fact, would never have lost his throne plus his head had he not spent all the state moolah helping the Americans fight the Brits.

Ah, how quickly they forget. One bad show in May 1940, and one of the greatest countries in Europe has been reduced to the level of Monaco by 'patriotic' Americans in the pay of super-patriot Rupert Murdoch. What a crock! Murdoch at seven ty-something is still striving to rule the world by spreading poison all round, but the bloom has somehow gone off his ugliness. I hope these nice but naive people wake up to what he's doing, but I fear they're too zonked out by the celebrity culture and by the abysmal standards of Anglo-American television entertainment ever to react.

Oh yes, I almost forgot. Bad luck, boys, but my tumour turned out to be large but benign, so I shall be back celebrating in no time. And I did get the most beautiful flowers from someone I've loved passionately for a quarter of a century, the only one, in fact, I have never cheated on, The Speccie.

In the meantime, two tough guys died this week, John Latsis, the Greek tycoon, and Leonard Tose, whose father came to the United States from a Russian ghetto, who settled outside Philadelphia and was a pedlar with a pack on his back. …

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