Opinion

Saturday 24 August 2019

Ian O'Doherty: 'Celebrity disease 'The Great Awokening' claims royal victims'

Virtue signalling: Meghan and Harry are the latest 'celebs' to suffer
Virtue signalling: Meghan and Harry are the latest 'celebs' to suffer
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

Even those of us who never had any interest in the royal family used to quite like Prince Harry.

The wild child of the family who was partial to a bit of naked billiards in Vegas and generally having a good time - as well as seeing two tours of active service in Afghanistan - seemed like a normal bloke.

Well, as normal as any man can be when Princess Diana was your mum and the queen is your nana.

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That all changed when he hooked up with Meghan Markle and they became a power couple. But what do they do, precisely? Apart from becoming one of the most annoyingly smug couples in the celebrity firmament, it's hard to tell for sure.

They really put the cat amongst the pigeons with Markle's uber-celebrity gig of guest-editing Vogue, which indicated a degree of pomposity not witnessed since Bono guest-edited Vanity Fair a decade ago.

Along the way, they've followed the now obligatory celebrity route of deciding to become - ugh - 'influencers' and telling the rest of the world what we should be doing.

That has dragged them down in the mire of just being another famous couple who are in the vanguard of what is now known as 'The Great Awokening', where the rich and famous tell the poor and anonymous how they should live their lives.

Falling victim to 'The Great Awokening' is a terrible affliction for stars to suffer. It removes their sense of humour, obliterates their sense of perspective and this brain-eating bug also seems to eradicate the part of the cerebral cortex that deals with things like self-awareness.

So it was, as a victim of this new syndrome, that Harry was able to lecture people about racism even when they're not actually racist.

How can you be racist when you're not racist?

Well, apparently this occurs when you're guilty of what he, and others, refer to as 'unconscious bias'.

In other words, Harry has psychic superpowers which enable him to tell when someone is a bigot. It's a rather contentious idea at the best of times, and probably one which shouldn't be delivered by a lad who was once most famous for turning up to a fancy dress party in a Nazi uniform.

But apart from the guff this pair seem to parrot on an increasingly frequent basis, one of the quotes really struck a chord.

Harry boasted that they were only going to have two children because: "We should be able to leave something better behind for the next generation."

So they're having a small family because of, y'know, the planet and stuff.

Or, as some have pointed out, because his brother already has three kids, and this was his way of having a dig in what is fast becoming the blue-blood equivalent of the feud between the Gallagher brothers.

People went absolutely nuts.

How dare they lecture us while swanning around in private jets! Who are these rich people to decide how many children we choose to have?

Actually, they weren't doing that at all - instead they were just engaging in the usual celebrity virtue signalling. The sensible option is to roll your eyes and move on to something more important, like last night's Lotto results. We seem to live in a strange era where people become genuinely upset and angry when a famous person says something they don't like.

Whether it's the endless round of boycotts or the 'cancel culture', which sees strangers trying to have other strangers sacked for the crime of not having the same worldview, everyone is now in everyone else's business.

We used to have a word for that - gossip.

But gossip, which was once shared between friends is now transmitted globally on social media.

The cranks of the world have united. And they're grumpy.

The reality, of course, is that you should have as many children as you want, as long as you can pay for them and don't expect the taxpayer to pick up the tab.

What you do with your own family is your own business, and while most of us probably don't want to be like the Radfords (Britain's 'biggest family' who have 21 kids and went on telly to say they are very, very annoyed at Harry and Meghan), the handiest rule of life is one of the oldest - each to their own.

Interestingly, an important point has been lost in the frenzy of bruised feelings - we're suffering from a global overpopulation crisis.

According to the UN, the populations of 26 African countries are due to 'at least' double between now and 2050, when the global population will be 10 billion.

They refer to this, coyly, as a 'challenging issue' but it's actually rather simple - too many people with too few resources leads to anarchy, starvation, collapse and chaos.

If Meghan and Harry were truly serious about trying to limit the population, they could take a trip to Africa to urge population control.

I can't see that on the agenda, can you? The Great Awokening only goes so far, after all...

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