In the Human Jungle of the Earth Summit, Tony Blair Looked like a Participant in I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me out of Here. Then He Was Voted off by the African Leaders
Platell, Amanda, New Statesman (1996)
Sandwiched between his tormentors in the steamy tropical he had just been savaged on live television by a wannabe celebrity, some nobody trying to make their name at his expense. It's a jungle out there.
The cameras don't lie. The look said it all--he'd had enough: "I'm a celebrity ... get me out of here". And so our humiliated leader Tony Blair hastily departed the Earth Summit, voted by African leaders the man they most wanted out of there, provided he left his promised 1bn [pounds sterling] aid package behind.
Meanwhile, in another human jungle, this one Australian, another group of grasping individuals were proving there is life after Channel 4's BigBrotfier.
This time the self-serving, self-satisfied national character centre stage was Christine Hamilton, struggling to keep her composure and her place in the ITV series I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here. Reduced to tears by an abusive Nigel Benn, bored nearly to death by Uri Geller and smothered in kisses by Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, Christine has emerged the nation's favourite lavatory cleaner and all-round earth mother.
The sweetest moment came when Darren Day's girlfriend, Adele--who affects a slight Monroe lisp--was asked about his attempts to have sex with Tara: "I twust Dawen, we wuv each uvu." So that's OK, then. I have always been mystified by the attraction of this rather talentless young man. All became clear when he changed into drag, manhandling his manhood, which was barely contained within brief black shorts.
And the most nauseous moment was when the unfunniest woman in the world, the comedian Rhona Cameron, offered the viewers a lesbian romp with Tara to keep her in the show.
This motley crew does have celebrity in common--they have all either dreamt of it or slept with it. But none of them will ever have it.
There is no measure of human grief, but if there were, the brutal murder of two ten-year-old girls may be off that scale. A sudden and shocking death leaves those bereaved so stunned as to rob them, often for months, of normal feelings and reason. It is at this time that friends, family and community--society writ small--share a responsibility for looking after those who grieve.
One can only now ask, did we as a society let down the families of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman?
How did a planned private ceremony at the local church turn into a media free-for-all at Ely Cathedral, broadcast into the homes of more people than watched that weekend's EastEnders omnibus? …