David Thompson


Blog powered by Typepad

« Towers | Main | Friday Ephemera »

March 20, 2008


salty joe

"titillating remorse"

All this guilt's getting me hot.


I do hope you’re not touching yourself.

The Thin Man

"I do hope you’re not touching yourself."

No. But I suspect Maddy may have had a digitally derived warm glow in her special places as she wrote this.

I hope her hand gets stuck, 'cause that would be an ER visit worth watching.

Remember Vanessa Redgrave's "work-out" in "The Devils" : I suspect the Maddy writing process looks a lot like that.


Okay, does this mean I have a disease or a fetish? Is there a doctor in the house?


I am absolutely 100% in favor of restricting air travel. No government officials or employees, no officials or employees of international organizations, no persons in the upper 70% of the world's wealth should be allowed to fly.


Thin Man,

I think it’s probably Rusbridger rather than Ms Bunting, but the principle’s the same. Speaking of whom, Piers Morgan’s interview with Rusbridger may amuse:


PM: What’s your current salary?

AR: It’s, er, about £350,000.

PM: What bonus did you receive last year?

AR: About £170,000, which was a way of addressing my pension.

PM: That means that you earned £520,000 last year alone. That’s more than the editor of The Sun by a long way.

AR: I’ll talk to you off the record about this, but not on the record.

PM: Why? In The Guardian, you never stop banging on about fat cats. Do you think that your readers would be pleased to hear that you earned £520,000 last year? Are you worth it?

AR: That’s for others to say.

PM: Wouldn’t it be more Guardian-like, more socialist, to take a bit less and spread the pot around a bit? We have this quaint idea that you guys are into that “all men are equal” nonsense, but you’re not really, are you? You seem a lot more “equal” than others on your paper.

AR: Er... [silence].

PM: Do you ever get awkward moments when your bonus gets published? Do you wince and think, “Oh dear, Polly Toynbee’s not going to like this one.”

AR: Er... [silence].

PM: Or is Polly raking in so much herself that she wouldn't mind?

AR: Er... [silence].

PM: Are you embarrassed by it?

AR: No. I didn't ask for the money.

PM: I heard you bought a grand piano for £50,000.

AR: £30,000 - the most extravagant thing I've ever bought.


I first saw the Piers Morgan interview via the Daily Ablution. Unfortunately Scot has not only stopped writing but has seen fit to delete the entire archive. A great shame.

Matt M

"Air travel is disgusting both in the air and on the ground."


Tom Freeman

It's the underwater air travel that I find most disgusting.


I just had a mental image of cyclists veering into hedges as an Airbus A380 thunders down the road to pick up the kids from school. A bugger to park, of course, and totally unnecessary.



Rubbisher (for it is he) states "Flying has become a modern middle-class hypocrisy, a source of guilt and pleasure all at the same time". Does that include him? Will he therefore give up flying? If not, why write this silly leader? Or does he just want others to give up flying? If so he is the perfect example of 'a modern middle-class hypocrite'. We should be told.


I fly an average of three times per month, of which at least one flight is long haul (eg., Hong Kong to New York or Hong Kong to London, etc). I just looked at my last CX Marco Polo air miles statement and in the last month I've accrued over 30,000 air miles (business class, and two long haul flights with three flights within Asia). On average I guess I'm clocking up around 200,000+ air miles per year. It's neither an addiction (I own a business with offices in half a dozen Asian countries and with significant clients in Europe and the US), nor do I feel guilty (I employ over 100 people on good salaries, and generate work for hundreds of others). My company has an employee turnover rate that ranks well under the Hong Kong average, and under the average in other cities where we have a presence, and I pay well over average salaries (and provide above average benefits - staff with service of more than one year received bonuses this lunar new year equal to their salary for 2.5 months - my longest serving staff received bonuses equal to salaries for six months). So I don't feel guilt at all that my travel results in more business, more jobs, better pay, and so on.

What's more, since this rubbish started to gain traction, I've started to make notes about the flights I take. There are several interesting trends for flights out of Hong Kong (a major international air hub). First, I rarely take a flight where there is less than 90% of seats occupied. In fact, most flights are full (including business class). My assumption here is that even if people feel guilty, they are certainly not giving up their flying. Second, there are more flights to more places than five years ago. I can now fly direct to many cities in Asia that five or more year ago I needed to take connecting flights. There are also more daily flights to major cities in the region than ever before (and they are all full). For instance, Dragon Air has a flight almost every hour from Shanghai to Hong Kong on Sunday afternoons (which is better than most intercity bus and train services in Europe). Third, local airlines in China and other Asian countries have expanded massively. Go and have a look at how many planes companies like China Southern or China Eastern have, and then look at the orders they're placing with Boeing and Airbus. Just don't fly Adam Air in Indonesia! Take my word. Fourth, companies like CX are making so much money they can't count it (even with avgas prices rising 200-300% over the last few years). Fifth, I often talk about guilt, flying and CO2 with fellow passengers. I've never, and I mean never, heard a single person say that they feel guilty taking the flight we're on. Never.

Perhaps the British are more prone to guilt than people in Asia (including expats). Or perhaps the Guardian is just full of itself.



“Or perhaps the Guardian is just full of itself.”

Pretension is pretty much a default position among many of its commentators. Closely followed by dishonesty, hypocrisy and wilful disinformation. (See link below for several examples on a theme.)


It’s strange just how readily a paper with a small circulation presumes to speak for every morally conscious being, despite advancing views that are frequently noxious or incoherent, and certainly alien to the bulk of the population. Stranger still is how this presumption often sits alongside a disdain for “middle England,” whose numbers dwarf those of the Guardian’s readership. If you wanted a barometer of what a really large chunk of the population thinks about any given issue, the Daily Mail is, for better or worse, a more plausible point of reference. And I scarcely need to point out how the paper’s elitist air contradicts its own egalitarian pretensions.


"UN climate change conference has inadequate parking for delegates' private jets."


The comments to this entry are closed.

Amazon Link