>> 4 Oct 2004


OK - wait over. I asked the question what did St. Bono, Julie Andrews and myself have in common. The answer....we were all staying in the same well-known Paris city centre hotel on Saturday evening. (Separate rooms, btw!)

I couldn't help but reflect on the nature of celebrity. There were lots of muted whispers as guests spotted our famous fellow residents moving amongst us. Both Julie and Bono were surrounded by their little entourages and it got me thinking if it is possible to gain the enormous level of fame these people enjoy all around the world and yet remain normal?

I mean, how can you stay grounded when all around you people fawn and ingratiate themselves to win your favour? And why are some of these celebs, like Bono, fooled into thinking that just because they can write or sing a song, that somehow entitles them to become an international political guru? Seems to me John Lennon has a lot to answer for!

That said, my weekend in Paris was very pleasant. Strolling through Le Jardines des Tuilieres, admiring the fantastic architecture, sipping a double expresso whilst absorbing the elegance of Parisians...how civilised and how very pleasant.On Friday evening my wife and I dined at Le Meurice where the food, and service, was splendid.

I was struck by the rabid anti-Americanism of the intellectual elite. Bookshops are full of anti-Bush drivel and anti-US paranoia. This is a culture struggling not to embrace dhimmitude. The TV channels have numerous Arab stations feeding the need for news from the ever growing Islamic population. There are more than four million Muslims now in France, and Islam is the second religion. Up to 25% of the under 25's are Muslim. The future for France has a large crescent shaped shadow over it.


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