Diamond Bob's spoilt brat and a super-rich elite with no shame
22:50 GMT, 5 July 2012
Daddy's girl: Nell Diamond has taken to Twitter to defend her father, former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond
Another week, another kick in the teeth for Mr and Mrs Average from Downtrodden Avenue, Anytown, UK.
Another spirit-sapping moment when ordinary people, storm-tossed on the sea of banking greed through no fault of their own, must witness an oily master of the universe such as Bob Diamond grease his way out of another tight spot.
The former Barclays CEO faced the MPs of the Treasury Select Committee on Wednesday, a spectacle akin to watching Bigfoot turn up to be pelted with marshmallows by pygmies.
Put it this way. It is becoming increasingly clear why the committee’s desks and chairs are set out in that symbolic U-bend shape.
Yes, Andrea Leadsom MP did a nice line in steely disdain, but she was the best of a bad bunch. Diamond himself was as smooth as buttered silk, showing a kind of ostentatious patience and calculated first-name bonhomie as he was repeatedly asked the same question over and over again by a platoon of third-rate dopes who didn’t have a hope of nailing him. A pointless exercise, I’m afraid.
Diamond was criticised for presiding over a culture of reckless greed at Barclays. He agreed that the Libor interest rate fixing scandal was appalling. He said he was angry, physically sick — really — when he read the damning emails. However, guess what Not quite sick enough to hand in his 18 million payout, thanks all the same.
Diamond is doing his best to appear contrite, but he is just one more fake penitent in the public dock today. In private, it will be a very different story. Behind closed doors, I suspect, he will have feelings of entitlement and rage over his forced resignation which are awful to behold.
Indeed, for an insight into how Diamond really feels, look no further than his daughter Nell, the 23-year-old Wall Street banker who jumped to the defence of her darling daddy earlier this week. The outraged Nell took to Twitter to tell George Osborne and Ed Miliband — no less! — to ‘go ahead and #HMD’.
What Apparently this is a U.S. abbreviation for the coarse and dismissive ‘hold my d***’. Which basically means get lost, you grubby nonentities. Mr Diamond must have been thrilled that all that money spent on his daughter’s private education at a top London school, then later at Princeton University, did not go to waste.
Later Nell Tweeted: ‘No one in the world I admire more than my dad. 16yrs building Barclays. Shame to see the mistakes of few tarnish the hard work of so many.’
Yes, it is a shame, darling. A terrible disgrace that every single family in this country has been affected by what went on at Barclays under your father’s watch. A bank which, incidentally, existed long before he ever arrived there.
Yet all pampered little Nell seems to care about is her father’s reputation. Everyone else can go to hell, seems to be her message — one that is sadly echoed across the upper echelons of the banking sector as news of their perfidy continues to unspool in the public domain.
The little people shall pay taxes and work hard while Diamond’s dogs and their ilk cream off the perks and the profits. In fact, I find myself almost more outraged this week by Nell Diamond’s arrogant attitude than her father’s smooth platitudes.
For Nell has enjoyed a life of incredible luxury and privilege because of her father’s 20 million-a-year job; a job at the top of a system, we understand, which has been funded and financially enriched by the exploitation and fiscal oppression of millions of honest folk.
Forced resignation: Nell (middle) with her father Bob and mother Jennifer at a New York event in January
In contrast, Nell attends the fashion shows in Paris and London, enjoys the luxury of a private box at Jay-Z concerts, attends charity balls in ravishing gowns, hangs out with the stars, goes on fabulous holidays and is always dressed in the latest and most expensive fashions.
She has the clear-skinned, pampered sheen of the little rich girl who has never had to want for anything and who could never understand that no one would be much interested in her if daddy wasn’t rich and in charge of a lovely bank.
Unlike millions of youngsters in the UK today, Nell Diamond has never had to want for anything, nor worry about her future. That’s what makes her reactions to this week’s events so distasteful. She is the banking world’s answer to Veruca Salt, the tantrum-prone, spoiled brat invented by children’s author Roald Dahl.
She may be admirably sticking up for her father, but her attitude sums up what is rotten at the heart of the banking crisis in this country. The guilty parties still don’t think they have done anything wrong. They get annoyed when anyone suggests that they have.
What Nell seems to be saying is this: how dare the Government interfere with the perfectly ordered Diamond family life, or violate their gilded existence. The cheek of it all.
Her arrogant disregard for every single person in this country shows that Nell Diamond feels that her lifestyle and her father’s continued career is more important than the losses suffered by the people in this country. In private, he probably concurs. The awful thing is, there are many more in the banking industry who feel the same way.
Needled by this knitwit
The tennis match was at a particularly thrilling juncture. Andy Murray was inching towards victory over Marcos Baghdatis. You could hear a pin drop, not to mention a stitch.
Eight million television viewers watched at home. At Centre Court, the capacity crowd gasped and roared at the sporting spectacle.
Everyone except for one woman.
Needle action: A woman was seen knitting in the Wimbledon stands as Andy Murray played Marcos Baghdatis
One woman in the stands.
One woman in the stands who was knitting. That’s right. Knitting. Clickety-clacking through the games, plain and purling with liverish pink wool. Tum te tum. Oblivious.
Tennis fans were appalled at her lack of respect for the game. However, the nation’s knitters were quick to jump to her defence.
‘You can see her eyes are on the game!’ said one. Another noted: ‘Woman in “knitting while watching tennis” shocker. It’s called multi-tasking.’
Yes, agreed. As a dedicated knitter myself, I know that it is possible to do two things at once. It might be pushing it to land a 747 on the west runway at Heathrow while finishing off a baby bootee, but not impossible.
Yet the issue is not whether or not the Wimbledon One can productively knit and follow a game of tennis. The question is, should she be doing so in the first place
And as much as I love knitting myself, I have to say no, no, NO! It is so thoughtless. The charged atmosphere on Centre Court swings from rapt concentration to wild elation — it is no place for a knitter.
The clacking of the needles must have riven those around her wild with irritation. The constant sawing of elbows and hands, the bobbing wool, the endless clickety-click.
Good for her that she can do her crafts and watch tennis at the same time, but what about everyone else Don’t be so selfish, lady!
In one fell loop of pink wool, the Wimbledon One has somehow managed to make knitting an anti-social pastime. She deserves an ASBO. I’m going to knit her one myself.
Unhinged, but a precious Stone
Time to bow down to the creature they call Sharon Stone. The woman whom Rupert Everett once described as ‘definitely unhinged, it’s not an insult’.
Neither is it a lie. One glance at a photograph of SS tends to prove his point. Sharon, we are unworthy.
Goddess: Hollywood actress Sharon Stone leaving The Ritz in Paris earlier this week
Mesmerising and a little bit scary, Stone is a Hollywood goddess of the old school. I can’t recall any great films she has made recently but — like Norma Desmond — she is still big. It’s just the movies that got small.
Sharon was in Paris this week, attending the fashion shows in her inimitable style. She wore a plunge Dior dress that certainly showed her elevenses, if not actually what she had for breakfast.
This was paired with skewer heels, luxe accessories and an expression that seemed to say: ‘If you don’t move out of my way, I’m getting the axe out of my handbag. Now.’
At the age of 54, Miss Stone breaks every rule in the book. She’s had so much plastic surgery that she doesn’t actually look like Sharon Stone any more, but she still looks pretty damn great.
Madonna and Barry Manilow, please take note. Extreme and repeated cosmetic surgery does not always mean that you end up looking like Beaker from the Muppets astride a high-velocity rocket.
Also, I love Sharon’s exciting couture wardrobe and her spellbinding, concentrated personality. There is no capacity for relaxation, none. Sharon always looks as if she might devour virgins for breakfast, along with her vitamin smoothie and bat’s blood supplement pellets.
At the moment, she is dating Martin Mica, a 27-year-old Argentinian model.
Of course she is. I hope his mother knows where he is. That’s all I’m saying.
Does Cruise really deserve such a pounding
There is no doubt that Tom Cruise can be a difficult and controlling man. The experiences of three wives — two detached and one semi-detached — seem to bear testament to his complex nature. Yet does he really deserve the pounding he has taken this week
He may have had his faults, but at the very least he always seemed to be a devoted and caring father to his three children.
Messy split: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' divorce announcement has led to a lot of bad publicity for the actor
OK, he may be a big cheese in his chosen religion, but was he really planning to ship his tiny daughter Suri to a freakish Scientology camp in the middle of the Californian desert It seems extreme, even by his standards.
As far as I am concerned, any bad publicity for Scientology has to be good — yet Katie Holmes knew what the deal was when she married Cruise. Whatever has happened, it seems rather cruel of her to turn on him so ferociously now.
On Tuesday, I was in the lingerie department of Harrods. No, I don’t know why either. There was a sale on, which turned out to be a real shocker.
I don’t mean to pry in other women’s underwear, but can there really be women willing and able to buy a size 10 pair of Kiki de Montparnasse grey cashmere knickers, reduced to 245.
That’s right, ‘reduced’. From 600. However, I did like a range of body-controlling shapewear, winningly called Hope On A Hanger. It kind of sums up the female condition in four short words. Well, mine at least.
This week, two 16-year-olds were ferried to their school dance in a helicopter. All the limos in Stroud, Gloucestershire, had been booked up — so their families splashed out 500 on heli-transport instead.
Determined not to be outdone, we now have two teenagers who turned up to their prom dressed in life-sized Barbie boxes.
It is all part of the oneupmanship of U.S.-style prom dance culture, which has become established here. Grooming, ball gowns, manicures, dates. It was so different in my day.
Back then, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, we had an end-of-term disco in the school assembly hall.
If you were lucky, you had a new top from Etam or Dorothy Perkins. Girls would hose themselves down with Charlie perfume, make panda eyes with our little green compacts of Miners Face Shiner, stamp our stack heels to Slade records and thank the lord that Facebook and smartphones hadn’t yet been invented.
As a result, there is precious little record of our teenage embarrassments — and for this small mercy, many thanks.
Prom kids — your dances may be grander, your updos more polished, but take heed. Those prom pictures will haunt you for ever!