The demise of titans

We are about, I think, to witness the fall of two imagined titans: one from the world of showbiz and the other from the world of politics.

The first is Simon Cowell – a latter day phenomenon of the small screen – and the second is Nicholas Sarkozy – the man who promised a Thatcherite revolution and who dreamed of being a little emperor like that other interloper from Corsica, Napoleon.

Cowell, who I will concede has admitted making serious mistakes in the past, has now got himself into a mindset in which he believes he can do no wrong and that everything he touches today will, inevitably, turn to gold.

But many now argue that he showed very poor judgement in jettisoning Sharon Osbourne in favour of Dannii Minogue – I’ve asked why, myself, many times – and that Sharon would have been a much more feisty and entertaining judge.

Now we come to his greatest error of judgement: the decision to co-operate with Tom Bower in the production of a biography.

Had he troubled himself enough to read just one of that distinguished biographer’s works, he would have realised in an instant what little good to his carefully crafted image he would do him.

Long ago I read his expose on the publisher, Robert Maxwell. What an annihilation of that monster it turned out to be! Although I haven’t read his recent work on Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One boss, it was so unflattering that Bernie came to believe that if only he had co-operated with the writer, Bower couldn’t have helped but to have come to an appreciation of what a truly wonderful man his subject really was: and so he advised Simon accordingly.

Suffice it to say that Bernie is not any longer flavour of the month with Simon.

The truth is that if you’re going to submit yourself to the laser-like investigative eye of Tom Bower, you’d better be as normal and squeaky clean as it’s possible to be. It turns out that Simon, as many of us suspected, is neither of these things.

He has offended that largest constituency of his – his legion of adoring women fans. Even his often cruel put-downs of X-Factor contestants were forgiven because they were viewed by many as no more than the truth, and were seen as the honest response of a man who abhorred humbug and insisted on telling it as it was.

They managed to convince themselves that inside his callous exterior he was a pussycat; one even with a heart of gold. It was, after all, well known that he was crazy about dogs. What was less well known was that he had a huge problem with humans.

Many of Simon’s female admirers wanted nothing so much as for him to find the woman of his dreams who would help him settle down and produce lots of little Simons. But they didn’t know that he was in the grip of myriads of the strangest habits; that he was afflicted with a degree of narcissism that would have made Narcissus himself blanch; and that he saw women, even a wife, as nothing more than appendices to his overweening lust for power and wealth.

Poor Mezhgan Hussainy, who ecstatically agreed to become his wife, was on a hiding to nothing and would suffer only humiliation before – like so many others – she was cast aside.

Women, it seems to Simon, are seen as trophy objects to be used and discarded at the will of the great showbiz Don Juan. But what they must never do is come between him and that drive for dominance on the small screen.

Will it be the big screen next? The much hyped tie-up with the deeply unattractive Sir Phillip Green was meant to sweep all before it. Whatever happened to that?

Worrying developments for Simon recently must be the fiasco game show ‘Black & Red’. But worst of all is dear old sclerotic Auntie BBC stealing a ratings march on him with its hugely successful show ‘The Voice’. Has Simon finally peaked?

As for the little emperor Sarkozy, who delights in lambasting all things British and playing the sulky schoolboy by insulting our own prime minister: he too seems in danger of getting his comeuppance.

The pity of it is that in demonstrating its contempt of its coarse, bling-loving president, the French electorate are about to plunge the eurozone into its worst crisis yet.

Even Sarkozy’s lovely trophy wife, Carla Bruni, doesn’t seem able to help as she is held in almost as much contempt as is her husband.

In ordinary circumstances, presenting the French nation with a little baby emperor would have earned a few Brownie points – the loving family, doting father and all that – but even baby Sarko hasn’t seemed to have helped. Even our own Wicked Witch of the West, Cherie Blair, did achieve a slight, if temporary, softening of her image when baby Leo came along.

Why the socialist, François Hollande, will rock – perhaps even sink – the eurozone boat is because he wants to prescribe for France more of the doctrinaire spending madness that got us all into this mess in the first place.

No chance under him of cutting loose from that ridiculously uncompetitive 35-hour week! And his pursuit and confiscatory tax policies on high earners is certain to unleash an exodus of the very people that France needs most to pull her out of her largely unacknowledged quagmire.

It says it all that the man cannot even recognise the demographic time bomb of a low birth rate, an ageing population and longer life expectancy that is forcing the rest of the developed world into raising its retirement age.

One of the few, modest achievements of the would-be new broom that Sarkozy promised for France – increasing retirement age to 62 – is to be struck down and go back to where it was.

Mon dieu !

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About tomhmackenzie

Born Derek James Craig in 1939, I was stripped of my identity and renamed Thomas Humphreys in the Foundling Hospital's last intake of illegitimate children. After leaving the hospital at 15, I managed to find work in a Fleet Street press agency before being called up for National Service with the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars who were, at that time, engaged with the IRA in Northern Ireland. Following my spell in the Army, I sought out and located my biological parents at age 20. I then became Thomas Humphrey Mackenzie and formed the closest of relationships with my parents for the rest of their lives. All this formed the basis of my book, The Last Foundling (Pan Macmillan), which went on to become an international best seller.

Posted on April 26, 2012, in celebrity, society and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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