And so, dear reader, I draw your attention to what the Rich and Beautiful have been up to recently. Ok so you know how there is, like, major starvation and, um, a seriously bad human trafficking problem in India? You totally don’t need to worry because Lindsay Lohan is so going to sort it out. She has just been to Calcutta to ‘investigate’. Before you begin frantically searching for the nearest window ledge from which to launch yourself, let Lindsay explain (on the red carpet, of course) what profound insight into unimaginable human suffering this Western beacon of humility, intelligence and goodwill gained from her mini-break in India. “The whole situation is so heartbreaking because the parents aren’t in the wrong, the children are obviously not in the wrong, erm, the traffickers are in the wrong because they know what they’re doing. And anyone that says they don’t know, I mean, come on”.
I’ll give you a second to regain some, inevitably fractured, faith in the human race. You should probably take several more seconds and spare a thought for the people of Behar, so recently subjected to a whole four days of Lindsay Lohan.
Call me cynical but with more DUIs than successful films, might this foray into the charitable world be a clumsy scramble into the increasingly dim spotlight?
At least Lohan’s shameless PR stunt ventured nowhere near the political realm. In 2008 Jude Law took an afternoon off sauntering around Primrose Hill and went to have a chat with the Taliban, call a press conference and announce that what is needed, more than ever, is peace. When asked by a journalist what understanding Law had gained from his time in war-ravaged Afghanistan, he replied; ‘the world seems uneven’. [Insert mountain joke here]. Don’t worry Afghanistan, there will soon be another stint of Hamlet running in the West End and Jude Law’s involvement in your peace process will come to an end.
To be honest, Afghanistan had it good. Geri Halliwell, as a part of her UN Ambassadorship, has been on a cheerful, Girl-Power fuelled, UN backed, ‘Mission to Nepal’. Since you let go of the ledge, and now plummet towards the concrete of comfort, let me tell you more. There was a time – oh, those days – when Geri Halliwell was officially just a singer, and whilst my pet hamster has a slightly more seductive voice than hers, the Spice Girls did alright. Even Ginger’s venture into writing children’s books, although undeniably a deeply disconcerting prospect, is less offensive than her 2009 dallying with the Nepalese Prime Minister. If anyone, ever, for a second wondered if the roles of ‘ginger spice’ and ‘international force of political and social good’ really are mutually exclusive, here is your answer. What nuggets of political gold can Geri give us post-meeting in Khatmandu?
1. The prime minister was “really cool”.
2. Her being there “gave him the confidence to speak out about violence against women because there was a western presence there”. (We can only assume he never watched Spice World.)
3. After their little chat he miraculously decided to launch a new scheme to combat domestic violence. “He thought, ok this is cool to do it.” That’s right Geri, this was nothing to do with months of political planning and everything to do with your visit.
I would ask Geri Halliwell to please, please, Stop Right Now.
Of course entertainers can be influential in a world where fame is by and large regarded as the highest accolade. Joanna Lumley’s Gurkha campaign had no trace of the latest celebrity trend of political dabbling. She wasn’t mucking around. Her own father the commander of a Gurkha regiment, Lumley was furious about the 36,000 soldiers denied UK residency before 1997. She spearheaded the campaign and politely but firmly dragged number ten ‘kicking and screaming’ to a decision, eventually attaining settlement rights for the Nepalese soldiers who fought for the British army. The fundamental difference between this and aforementioned celebrity endeavors is that Lumley knows her stuff. She understands more about the Gurkhas than any politician and there is no nauseating whiff of PR desperation. Lohan, on the other hand, seems to have stumbled through a Swarowski crystal wardrobe and emerged in Calcutta, sporting Chanel shades the size of her ego. Was Jude Law merely doing some method acting in Afghanistan to perfect his ‘pained’ Prince of Denmark look?
Anyway, dear reader, I will now leave you with the news that Peter Andre has been in contact with Obama regarding the health-care policy. Wait – I’m joking! Alas, too late. Your neighbors have already got out the dustpan and brush to clear away your smattered remains.