As a petition to strip Sir Richard Branson of his knighthood reaches 27,000 signatories, a doctor calls out this Beelzebub-like businessman’s meanness
Sir Richard Branson, undoubtedly one of the most deserving figures of hate of the coronavirus pandemic, has rightly been panned on the left and panned on the right. With both Tory and Labour politicians after him and his key backer, Delta, refusing to inject fresh cash into his crisis-hit airline, this cretinous tax exile has truly hit the buffers and is quite rightly fast running out of friends and allies.
On Tuesday in the Guardian, the columnist Marina Hyde condemned Branson’s offer of Necker Island as security for a £500 million bailout from the British government as “the most WTF-tinged piece of collateral action since that late-1980s moment when Australian entrepreneur Alan Bond bought Van Gogh’s Irises at Sotheby’s, using a loan from Sotheby’s, for which the painting itself was collateral.” She was spot on about this and in stating: “I’d encourage you to speculate on how soon it will be before Richard requests UK or US bailout money for his Virgin Galactic enterprise, where space travel has been ‘set to be a reality next year’ for a good 12 years now,” this journalist hits the nail on the head. Branson can certainly be termed an immensely clever (if deviant) stage manager and anything but a one-trick pony, but what lies beneath his mirage is nothing but a house of sand propped up by a bag of bilge.
In response to the feature, one Nicholas Fox of Virgin Group wrote to the Guardian on Saturday. His missive pathetically bleated about being “saddened” by Hyde’s suggestions, but as a counterpoint, one Dr Richard O’Brien, who had travelled on one of Branson’s aircraft, provided an entirely different take. The good doctor remarked:
SIR – Is Marina Hyde being a little harsh on Richard Branson? On a Virgin flight home from Los Angeles several years ago I answered the call for a doctor (the third call, actually, as hardened medics wait for somebody more gung-ho to respond) and saved the life of a businessman who had swooned during his in-flight massage (no, please, it was nothing).
The crew were so relieved when I spared them the expensive inconvenience of an unscheduled landing that they gave me a free orange juice as they ushered me past the empty business seats and back to steerage. It was followed up by a letter of gratitude and a promise of 10% off my next trip. I later found out that anybody could get 10% off by booking online.
So don’t tell me Branson seems to feel entitled to the free benefit of others’ generosity – I already know.
Dr Richard O’Brien
Elsewhere, an online petition on Change.org to strip Branson of his knighthood continues to garner support. Justifying it someone named ‘Duna Stays Mad’ calls the billionaire businessman a “disgrace to his country” and a “traitor” and suggests he is “milking the system.” Today, we urge our readers to join the 27,000 who have already signed it by clicking here.
Pictured top: Sir Richard Branson getting his filthy mitts into a blonde.