A reader of Max Hastings from Paris, called Madame Josephine, showed the ambivalence of so many, including myself, about Ms Meghan Markle, an ambivalence now seemingly drawing to a close.
For almost a year now since I discovered her name, her face and her existence, I couldn’t make up my mind about Sparkle Markle and decide whether I liked her or not. I was trying to be objective and I recognised she had undeniable qualities and there were many positive things in her life story.
But in the end, there are too many red flags and I definitely can’t stand her narcissism, her mannerism and embarrassing constant self-promotion. From her “me, myself and I” website “The Tig” to her cringeworthy instagram pics and quotes, the ” behind the scenes” video of her Vanity Fair photo shoot was the final straw. She’s insufferable, fake and manufactured from head to toe.
Max Hastings is himself ambivalent:
Prince Harry and Ms Markle talk and behave in a fashion in perfect harmony with their selfie generation, the most narcissistic in history.
That is why many of their contemporaries applaud their openness, contempt for stiff-upper-lippery, rejection of what they regard as the suppression of honest and honourable emotions by their elders, boring old windbags like me. Yet the old are not wrong about everything. Some of us will continue to argue that privacy represents a self-defence mechanism which the young discard at their peril.
Almost daily we read of some sobbing girl or bloke wailing about indiscreet or frankly pornographic images which they were crazy enough to collude in snapping, then blush to find broadcast, often by an aggrieved ex-squeeze.
Now that Ms Markle has gushed all over Vanity Fair about her relationship with Harry for no better purpose than to satisfy a yearning for fame, she cannot at some future date reinvent herself as a princess possessed of the graces of Princess Alexandra (the Queen’s cousin who is patron or president of more than 100 organisations).
We have moved on 60 years since the Establishment figures around Princess Margaret, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, wrecked her happiness by barring her marriage to the divorced Group Captain Peter Townsend.
I applauded until the last paragraph. “We have moved on” is no more, no less than a euphemism for “standards have slipped”.
The dangers in conservatism
The first charge fired by non-conservatives at conservatives is that of hypocrisy. There are answers to this charge:
1. If the only people allowed to write and speak were the pristine pure, then what would get written or spoken? Who would be allowed an opinion?
2. There is a difference between respect for institutions and things in principle on the one hand and castigating individuals for their own private moral failings on the other. If you look at a recent post on herpes, I was fine writing in general terms and even on monogamy but the moment Katie Holmes’s picture was included, people sprang to her defence although, as shown further down in comments, she has no defence for her behaviour.
What then is the criterion concerning such as her? Public eye of course, coupled with humbug. That is, she has tried to appear the moral person she is not. In my own case, I’m an attempted redeemed sinner, not a saint and even now fall away. But I do know the general principles and what to aspire towards. I’m assuming you do too.
Conservatism as a radical crime of rebellion
‘Conservatism’ today seems to be the tag self-applied to the principle-lite leftism of May and Cameron, whereas JRM seems, in the eyes of the left, to be to the right of Genghis Khan, though many just see him as a rare man of principle. I wouldn’t mind betting that the latest utterances do for him as leader. No one wants a moralist pointing out their failings, which are all too real.
In fact, a society which does not at least value immutable principles – don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t call black white and vice-versa, despite now and then falling short – is on the way out.
People simply want to be dealt with fairly and honestly, that’s all it is, for something uttered to remain consistent, something like Ms Markle’s wedding vow.
Ms Markle, the actress, does not impress as a straight down the line human being. She’s certainly personable, as in the clip at the top of the post … but also ignorant and self-promoting, with an overconfidence which does not seem to be based on anything substantial, something MH was skirting around.
And Harry’s gone on her, which of course counts for much. Or does he really know deep down she’s not of the right calibre? Or is he of the same Millennial calibre, an ignorant oaf trying to be ‘hi guys’ Everyman?
Then again, are any of the royals of the right calibre? Is any politician other than JRM and Kate Hoey of the right calibre?
Come to think of it, is anyone in the public eye of the right calibre, from the police to utilities companies?