Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Great Divide

Accidently on purpose I caught an interesting three-part documentary about London’s legendary Claridge’s Hotel, recently screened on British TV. It was fascinating to watch the secret and not –so-secret billionaires of the world spending obscene amounts of money dining on green leaves from flower pots, complete with live ants, enjoying their breakfast in bed for over six thousand pounds a night.

It was a great insight into the daily lives of the staff, how they keep things running, and the sacrifices they make to ensure the VIP guests are happy. What was rather less enthralling was part three, a small glimpse into the preparations for the Olympic Games. We got to see dozens of heads of state, governors, and ambassadors, along with Hollywood stars, and royalty from a myriad of countries, all descending on the hotel for the event.

It was disturbing to watch the presidents of some of South America, and Africa’s poorest and largely deprived countries, arriving with their entourages for a 2-week stay in the most luxurious suites available. Presidents’ and politicians of countries whose own citizens are starving and battling civil war, and who knows what else, holidaying to excess.

If you’re interested, The Daily Mail online had a small article with clips from the program. I would love to stay in a hotel like this, I won’t lie, but there are limits. This amount of pure indulgence and ridiculous spending is not only obscene, but perfectly illustrates the great divide between those with prestige and power, and the rest of us.


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