Monday, 19 November 2012

Was this supposed to be ironic?

From The Daily Mail:

The heir to the magnificent Blenheim Palace and its 11,500-acre estate was disinherited by his father, the 11th Duke of Marlborough, in 1994 because of his dissolute lifestyle. He spent years lurching between rehab and the courts, he spent all his money on drugs – including heroin and cocaine – and was even forced to sleep in the car parks of five-star hotels.
Via Drewster at HPC, who picked up on the inevitable "I own land, give me money!" aspect:

After the Environment Agency forced Blenheim to rebuild a centuries-old dam – the second in a year – he lobbied Mr Cameron for a grant.

He explained: "The Environment Agency sort of went swaggering around the countryside saying, 'You need to do this and by the way you’ll be paying for it because we haven’t got any money. And, by the way, if you don’t, you’ll go to jail'. Their ethos was like, 'Once in 25 million years the lake could possibly flood, and in the worst-case scenario, the people might get their ankles wet in Bladon [a nearby village]. We want a cheque for £1.75 million.'

"Well, we’ve done it. We had to. It was a hard job to do, not only financially but there was no grant scheme available – not even the heritage division of the Lottery. In fact, I asked the Prime Minister that very question. I said, 'How are you going to help when, you know, I’m doing all this canvassing for you hopefully to get in to Witney as our MP? What are you going to do for us?’"


Bayard said...

You have to take that with a large pinch of salt, I think. This, after all, the Daily Mail, champion of the Envious. Nothing they like more than to show a rich toff whining about having to spend money and running to the government for a handout (despite the fact that that's the first thing the Envious would do in the circumstances, but they deserve the money, oh yes, they've paid their taxes etc ad nauseam). I do have a certain sympathy with the D of M, having myself been on the receiving end of a petty abuse of power by the Environment Agency.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, yes, I meant the bit about dossing in carparks... of five-star hotels.

Bayard said...

Well, if you've got to doss in a car-park, why not do it in a posh one? The bit about the five-star hotels was probably inserted in case any of the readership started feeling sorry for the poor titled junkie.

James Higham said...

For every man - three acres and a castle.

Mark Wadsworth said...

JH, why would we need 25 million castles? Are we all planning to oppress and rob each other?

Bayard said...

Well yes, if you're an Anarchist.