12 MAY 2001, Page 53

Boardroom gloom


MRougemont y spies tell me that the Albemarle wedding in Havana was the best ever, which makes it so much harder to take. Instead of sunning myself with scantily dressed senoritas on some lovely beach, I spent the weekend sitting with bankers, notaries and real-estate brokers discussing the root of all envy. Thank God for Herr Professor Yohannes Goulandris, whose wife Gretchen-Alice, once upon a time Lenni Riefenstahl's favourite poster girl, is among Gstaad's most generous hostesses. Gretchen-Alice threw a welcome and goodbye bash that lifted my boardroom gloom.

What is it that makes sitting in an office feel like the bad old days in Pentonville? What I find amazing is that so many people spend their days indoors staring at screens and going over charts and yet keep their sanity. Sure, money is important and all that, but give me a chain-gang any day. At least you're working outdoors, get plenty of exercise and even get to sing a Negro spiritual or two. I know it is not politically correct to say so, but the old-fashioned slavery beats the modern one hands down. American blacks dominate sport while the white race has turned wimpy, mostly queer and is about to disappear.

And while I'm on the subject of race, the Tories got into trouble with it because of only one thing: Britain's Anglo-Saxon society has been transformed by immigration, which in turn has created thorny political issues. Let's face it: the Commission for Racial Equality is not only in bed with Blair and his gang, it does all Blair's dirty work. One has to give credit where it's due.

A black immigrant in Britain today has achieved a stature superior to 'citizen', and the Tories had as much to do with it as Labour. The gagging order which all the parties have actually signed under no duress means that freedom of speech has been put aside in favour of political correctness. The politics of race has shut down debate, something the Guardian and its ilk have always wanted and now have managed to achieve.

Who is to blame? Well, even if I say so myself, certainly not the poor little Greek boy. All I did when I saw what was happening to dear old England is to move to good old Helvetia. My old friend Joan Collins wrote in her recent Spectator diary how John Aspinall, while gravely ill and weakened by cancer, had to fight with three muggers who had attacked his wife Sally. She also very kindly mentioned how I was attacked by three muggers. (As luck would have it I was returning from a book-launch party of Joan's, and for once I was sober.) What she did not mention was that the muggers were young blacks, just as my friend Charlie Glass, who got attacked by (again three blacks) one week after me, failed to do. Talk about censorship. No newspaper, and that includes the Telegraph group, will identify a criminal by his or her colour. As I'm a freedom-loving type of chap, I refuse to live in a place where one can't sound off. So Switzerland it is, or perhaps one of these days Norway or Austria.

Incidentally, I once again made a complete fool of myself in the land of the cuckoo clock. Three years ago I moved into Palazzo Taki in Rougemont. One year ago I decided to upgrade myself and built Palazzo Pinochet next door. Last week I finally decided that the quiet life was not for me and moved back to Gstaad. There is only one problem. Half the mountain next to Palazzo Taki now looks like Stalingrad did in the winter of 1943, and work has been suspended until further notice. The new palazzo will be built above the Palace hotel in Gstaad, and my friend Marcel Bach, Gstaad's version of Donald Trump, assures me he can provide me with an underground tunnel from the GreenGo nightclub straight to my bedroom.

In the meantime, perhaps I could interest Lord Taylor in my Stalingrad-looking land. Brute Anderson reported last week that Taylor might leave the Tories, especially if it suits him. Come on down, your lordship, and look over my humble piece of earth. I will even give you a discount to prove to you that the poor little Greek boy is no racist.