Hey readers, Happy New Year. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! Phew, thank God the buying frenzy is over. Of course I’m kidding, but there is an element of this, a tightrope we traverse between drowning our little ones in toys and incalculating in them the value of family. If you’re lucky you get it just right and they agree that the extra time you spend with them during the holiday season is really the best gift of all! I hope therefore you’ll forgive the hiatus in blog production, but it was parent related (promise!). I’ve just noticed that this paragraph has been quite exclamatory (or have I just been frivolous in my use of exclamation marks?), but you can put down to my excitement at being back at the Early Human Handbook.
Anyhoo, on the general subject of money and our children, I want to talk about an article I read the other day in the Independent about Davina McCall. Admittedly it’s not my usual fare but it was the stark headline ‘My kids won’t inherit my money because I plan on spending it,’ that grabbed my attention. Of course the article was designed to be provocative. The sentiment behind it was predictably benign. Davina, it seems has joined a growing list of celebrity and super rich , such as the Dragon’s Den tycoon Peter Jones who plan to disinherit their offspring or at the very least attach stringent rules to any financial gain.
These are people who believe that money unearned is inherently a bad thing, that it engenders entitlement and stunts the development of a good work ethic. I suppose this is understandable in some measure. One doesn’t need to look very far in the world of the über rich to see the worst of such imaginings come to pass. The Hilton gang, Paris and Conrad Hilton III are a prime example, notching up sex tapes, a string of reality shows, a wretched pop single, a serious case of air rage and much more between them.
The latter incident was particularly telling in the words that were exchanged. Following an apparent bust up with a girlfriend the 20 year old Conrad Hilton III( or grandson if you prefer) elected to get particularly drunk on a British Airways flight from London to Los Angeles and take whatever disappointment he was feeling out on the passengers and crew. When the abused crew remonstrated with him about his behaviour, which included smoking marijuana in the auto plane loo, he accused of ‘taking the peasants’ side'(presumably some of the passengers had also complained) before adding that he would “[f******] own anyone on this flight, they are [f******] peasants”. He then promptly offered to fight the co-pilot and threatened to kill several of the air stewardesses and then allegedly announced: “I could get you all fired in five minutes. I know your boss. My father will pay this out, he has done it before. Dad paid $300,000 last time.” Later as he was led off the plane at the other end his principal concern seemed to be that the incident would damage his modelling career.