Lock up your daughters, wives, sisters, mothers and bi-curious male relatives too, because Sir MAX HASTINGS is here! Charterhouse School's most famous exponent of both sex and specs is here to lecture us into bed with his unique brand of arousing nostalgia.
Max Hastings is a man that not only took 17 gully catches for the Oxford Second XI in one season, but so far the only man on earth to have talked a woman into bed by quoting from a tediously morose book (his own) on the fall of Berlin. I reckon it's in that silky voice of his, and for any doubters out there, check this out:
Ooooh, spit on me Max!
This week Sir Hastings has elected to put the honeys on the back burner and tackle one of the great questions of our age. “If we are richer and healthier than ever, why are we so miserable?”
It's a good question, and Max decides to start off his column with a pop culture reference to bring the kids along on this socio-philosophical ramble. “'Whaddaya want if yer don't want money?' as Adam Faith famously sang” Right... Adam who? Clearly Max's music taste is suffering serious arrested development. But that's a cheap shot.
Pandering to the kids aside, he gets straight in at the deep end and hits us with the big stick of middle class hubris and the bludgeoning mace of middle class morality. “You may kid yourself that becoming Roman Abramovich would brighten up your day but in reality... by the time you have finished paying for bodyguards... (and) coping with bolshie Chelsea fans, you are no worse off living in a nice semi and worrying about whether or not the car will pass its MOT.”
That must be nice to know for everyone struggling to make ends meet. I'm sure everyone losing sleep over whether they'll be able to get to work next week if their car fails the MOT really appreciate this little pointer. And let's not forget those who can't even afford cars, who can't afford holidays or even basic school supplies for their children. I bet they feel really silly now they know that having Abramovich's billions wouldn't help them after all.
This is just the tip of the iceberg though. Max now asserts that this never-ending quest for money is to blame for... you guessed it: The terminal decline in the moral values of our society. Max rues the fact that “the nation is abandoning DIY, and prefers to pay Poles to wallpaper the lounge rather than make the job a bonding experience at weekends.” Now I'm not condoning the exploitation of eastern European workers to fulfil our own interior design fantasies, but such an idealised view of DIY can only come from a man who's never done any. After 45 hours a week of soul crushing admin. in an office where the blinds are always closed, who can blame you if you don't want to spend your weekend at the top of a step ladder being suffocated by sticky paper.
But Max isn't alone in his despair at the flashy spending of working people trying to enjoy their lives a bit more, no no! He is backed by righteous leigons of Daily Mail letter writers. Apparently this lot treat Max as some kind of guru, constantly asking him: "What can we do?", “how can any one family do things differently?”, “how do you, as a couple, stand out against the rest of the herd?”.
It's pretty simple isn't it? If you've got such a problem with the society you live in, do something about it. Stop blaming your problems on immigrants, young people, poor people, The BBC, American TV shows, “The liberal establishment”, The government, The EU, MRSA, Al-Qaida, the Archbishop of Canterbury, speed cameras or emo music, get off your arse and do something for yourself. Stop waiting for a moral crusader on a white horse to change things for you, no matter how well he wears his specs.
Also this week....
...Richard Littlejohn pretends to be an American TV reporter. He should know how that lot sound, he lives in Florida most of the year...
...Melanie Phillips lays into our overpaid MPs. Hold your breath, you might actually agree with her...
...Andrew Alexander claims we might need to legalise drugs at some point. You might agree with him too...