No I not member of #TeamNigella

To be honest with you I have not followed closely the ins and outs of the trial of the two Grillo sisters. However, as I read the reports in yesterday’s newspapers about the case I realise that it involved four rather loathsome people.

Let’s start with the minor players – the defendants! Clearly not guilty of the charges they seem nevertheless to have been highly avaricious and felt that money could and should be spent on high value tat. I am not sure who really thinks they need a pink fur coat neither linking pink or for that matter fur but anyone spending £5,000 on a  coat is a purveyor of bad taste and unnecessary consumption.

It is highly surprising that they behaved in that way when they lived around a so-called ‘family’ where wanton extravagance appears to be the norm. They didn’t know that £600,000+ had disappeared because they had no control over what they took to be pocket money but which for most of us is extravagance beyond normal thought. To put it in context this sum is more than I have accrued in pensions in my 42 + year working life.

In this volatile cocktail we have an autocratic man who is accustomed to people brown nosing him the whole time. “Yes Mr. Saatchi, No Mr Saatchi” at the right times were what he expected to hear and because he has money so many people were prepared to worship at his Temple. This man who is supposed to be an arbiter of taste, fashion and the arts comes over as a money grubbing petty tyrant.

Grabbing his wife’s throat to ensure that she focused on him, of course not meaning to hurt her, appears to be alright in his book. Musing on the potential joys of her future grandchildren was no good to him, “Me, Me, Me”, must be the only thought in his opinion of those who fawn and serve.

And the fair Nigella hardly lived up to the image she has so carefully crafted. Having had a hard start in life, being the daughter of a failed Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot have been easy, and then losing a husband she clearly loved she fell into the hands of Saatchi. But there the sympathy must end. She was part of an uber spend culture of conspicuous greed. What responsible parent under any circumstances would give their kids £80 pocket money a week and £150 when they went out? How those kids will develop only time will tell. Unlike many wives in fractious marriages Lawson had a choice. She was not trapped by poverty but had the cash to escape from a life she clearly resented.

I have often asked the question what do people spend their vast salaries on? Erica and I have lived well and brought up our kids on what is pocket money to these people. Fortunately we have always been able to afford a family holiday and keep a roof over our heads. No-one could have had better holidays than we did although many will have paid far more for theirs!

Some reports recently have shown that rich people are as unhappy as poor people. To my mind the solution is simple. Take money off the rich to make them happier and give it to the poor to make them happier. This saga has revealed that wealth does not lead to happiness. The happiest families are those that have all they need to live on plus a bit in case of hard times. Our Country is a rich enough country to enable that to happen if we stop worshipping the likes of Saatchi and the greed of the uber-rich.

This is my last blog of this year unless I can report on the present I am expecting from Santa. Our Emma is expecting her second child on December 24th and Erica and I are highly excited. What better present can anyone have than a healthy grandchild, born to loving parents as part of a loving family?

Best wishes from Erica and I to you all and a reminder to my Liverpool Lib Dem colleagues that our New Year leaflet is already back from the printers.

Some things never change!

About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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2 Responses to No I not member of #TeamNigella

  1. Caron says:

    “Some reports recently have shown that rich people are as unhappy as poor people. To my mind the solution is simple. Take money off the rich to make them happier and give it to the poor to make them happier.”


    I disagree with you as a loyal #teamNigella member, though.

    Certainly cash makes escape from an abusive domestic situation easier. However, it’s very difficult to do so emotionally. The effect of sustained physical and mental abuse destroys confidence.

  2. James Routledge says:

    A very thought-provoking piece.

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