Elsewhere (22)

The Land of Make Believe

People must drop their standard of living [so] the wealth can be spread about. There’s a long way to go.

Spied over the weekend, the insights of millionaire actor, Jeremy Irons

He dismissed the idea that a recovery in consumption would help Britain out of recession: “You walk down the high street and it’s just clothes, clothes, clothes. How many clothes do people need?”

The above is immediately preceded by this:

Irons, who owns seven houses, including a pink castle in Co Cork, Ireland, believes a new economic vision is needed in the wake of the global financial crisis.

In fairness, Mr Irons describes his castle as “the colour of fresh rust.”

Launching himself as a green campaigner, Irons has revealed plans to make a documentary about sustainability and waste disposal, likening himself to Michael Moore, the controversial film maker, although “not as silly.”

Readers will be  heartened to hear that Mr Irons aims to be less silly than an overweight socialist who insists “capitalism did nothing for me,” while owning an agreeable Upper West Side apartment valued at $1.27 million and a spare, and no less agreeable, lakeside house in upstate Michigan, and whose estimated fortune is a mere $50,000,000.



Another milestone in self-awareness.


“Another milestone in self-awareness.”

I think it may be a vocational hazard. Actors, and artists generally, tend to be a little narcissistic. To some extent this is necessary, insofar as it may help to think that your art is worth presenting to the public. But some - quite a few in fact - take this self-regard a little too far. Mr Irons’ own website is called “The Incomparable Jeremy Irons.”

It’s possible Mr Irons will one day register why his mouthings are ridiculous. Maybe he’ll even realise that his egalitarian urges might be more convincing, or at least more coherent, once he’s down to just the one house and no spare castles at all.


Is it not possible that Mr Irons and ilk repress any conscious knowledge of the hypocracy with the firmly held belief that they require excess in order to give full expression of their beneficent, magnanimous philosophy?. It's just how their incomparable magnificence functions.

We all benefit see........?


Or I'm not Sting....


His castle sounds like a giant Barbie Dream House.


Wow. Even Polly Toynbee doesn't own a castle.


A man with 7 houses and a castle says we need to live less decadently.

Irony overload.

And his wife is "deeply socialist".


It’s 7 houses *including* a castle. Which, obviously, makes all the difference.


"And his wife is "deeply socialist"."

She can afford to be.


I'm deeply annoyed.



This may lift your spirits.


Equally baffling was why the Sunday Times chose to devote most of page three (if I remember rightly) to his babblings.

Ted S., Catskills, NY


I'd argue that journalists are very narrow-minded, and that almost anything, no matter how ridiculous it sounds, will be given a friendly hearing if it's cloaked in being "green" or "sustainable".

That having been said, I've yet to hear anybody talk about "sustainable government".

Martin Adamson

But wait there's more!

If the castle in Ireland is listed as his main residence (his wife Sinead Cusack is Irish) I'm willing to bet he's paying the very low rate of tax that Ireland offers to artists.

Simen Thoresen

We're celebrating our bi-annual festival of displacing our anarchists from their illegally acquired housing and forcing them to take up new (equally illegally acquired) residences somewhere else. Perhaps one could point them to the fact that there are a number of houses (and, I understand, a castle) that are empty of their owners most of the year? I doubt Mr Irons would object to sharing his wealth with these homeless activists.

There may even be clothes there.



I do like the idea of an Anarchist Displacing Festival. Sounds very jolly. Do you use one of these...?

Or something bigger and with spikes?

Simen Thoresen

Unfortunately, neither. Unarmed police officers and elderly dogs.

We did have spines, once. The previous chief of police in Oslo was asked how he could have thought using dogs against hooligans in a restaurant would be a way to act. His reply was that the ceiling was too low for horses and mounted officers to operate efficiently.

Good times.



That whole "live simply so that others may simply live" thing was proved wrong by the greatest rise in living standards the world has seen when China went towards capitalism. It seems the best way to spread wealth is to buy a cheap DVD player every couple of months.


Jeremy Irons wishes to be ruled by Green Communists who will punish overconsumption, presumably by executing Jeremy Irons and I wish Jeremy Irons would be ruled by Green Communists. It's win-win.

Wm T Sherman

If he'd just stick with being filthy rich I wouldn't mind. I'd be on his side. Sure, he's a bit of a hothouse orchid. No matter. It's his business entirely. He does not have to apologize nor do good works to compensate for succeeding. He earned it fair and square.

This extra feature though, this compulsion to issue condescending guidance to the little people about things he knows nothing about - not so much. That's a lot bigger than a fucking castle.

Ted S., Catskills, NY

tehag: Unfortunately, in your scenario, the rest of us would be ruled by Green Communists, too.

The comments to this entry are closed.