Irrespective of the legality and morality of Peter Hain’s ‘outing’ of Sir Philip Green, under the protection of Parliamentary privilege, as an alleged sexual predator and racist, I’m delighted that he has been outed, as he’s for a long time been one of my bêtes noirs. That’s because he represents capitalism at its worst: unproductive (he only ran shops, after all), greedy (all his yachts and rich parties), sleazy (always being photographed with half-dressed young women), totally amoral, and probably corrupt. That last aspect of him was exemplified by the scandal surrounding his disposal of the BHS chain of stores in 2016, leaving its employers without their pensions. Later, and under the threat of having his knighthood taken away from him, he gave some of the pension money back. In 2016 he reminded me of the villain of one of my favourite Victorian anti-capitalist novels, The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope: https://bernardjporter.com/2016/04/26/bhs-and-a-victorian-villain/. In fact he even looks a bit like the actor who played ‘Melmotte’ in the TV version of that, David Suchet.
Melmotte was supposed to be Jewish. Philip Green is. I’m interested – and relieved – to see that little is being made of that in the accounts I’ve read of his sexual shenanigans in today’s papers; even on the Left, where the ‘Friends of Israel’ must be expecting to find it. But then it’s the unrestrained capitalism we don’t like, and now the sexual harassment; not the Semitism.
PS. (29th) Here’s a good piece on Green by Will Hutton in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/28/damn-philip-green-damn-the-culture-that-allowed-him-to-flourish-comment?CMP=share_btn_tw.