Both got a needlessly hard time this week, c/o misleading headlines!
Let’s start with Mr. Banner.
Please, no ‘Banner hulked out’ lines.
- He’s a QC. Oxford graduate. Lovely chap.
- BA overbooked a flight so the Nanny could not sit with Charles and family in first class. Prima facie: a ‘first world’ problem and ‘Barrister escorted off plane’ misunderstandings, abound. Yes, the air crew follows calm, careful procedures. Slightly OVER cautious, wot? Perhaps over compensating for the booking error?
- Charles protested, no doubt, in a firm and articulate manner. He would have done so out of a concern for practicality, fairness and justice, as in all things he does. Air rage, this aint. He did not whip out his member, lick the Air Hostess’ faces and try to fly the plane (to be fair: NOBODY made those claims; I just think they sound funny; which is why I told my Dad).
One does not know a full story. Until you, in fact have a ‘full’ story.
Banner had every right to host his Nanny, alongside wife and kids, in first class, as booked and paid for. No damage to reputation, though if anyone could make that case? It is Charles. I knew him both at sixth form and Oxford. A very likeable, hard working, supportive friend. With an endearing sense of humour, fused to genuine care for his peers and elders.
When Charles suffered a bereavement at school, back in 1997, I think, I tried to comfort the kid in my own adolescent manner. Well meaning yet wholly cavalier to political correctness. ‘Will there be any fit women at the funeral?‘ , I enquired. Banner smiled, in shock, and gave me a playful soft arm punch in response, thanking me for trying to lift his spirits at a bad time.
Several teachers accosted me, subsequently. ‘Murphy: is it true that you asked Charlie Banner if any fit women were coming to a funeral? Because usually, you’d be in deep trouble for that. Except Charlie has been going round saying how much it cheered him up, distracting from the sadness and how kind you were to try making him laugh’.
Ah, innocence! Youth! 😉
Fast forward to Oxford. There was a Union debate and the guest speaker was a ex Mi5 agent turned whistle blower. I took a shine to his girlfriend, who seemed French, sexy, elegant and belonged in a Bond movie. Once again, Banner to the rescue. Subtle hand on my arm / champagne top up. ‘James, mate. They will think you are trying to seduce her for the spy agencies; be careful?‘. So I ended up talking to Mr whistle blower himself. About..yes..JAMES. BOND. Him again. I know..
Where am I going with this? Well, Banner will make headlines again one day. When he is Prime Minister. The boy has unimpeachably good character. Runs marathons. For FUN! Husband, father, loving son. And is a very young QC, with forensic classicist brain to match. Above all? He is a thoroughly nice bloke. So do not give him a hard time in the endless social media chatter, yeah?
And that brings me to Brooklyn Beckham. He’s no Charlie Banner. Will not be a QC, PM or indeed qualify for many brands of status based professional initials after his name. But you know what? THAT’S OKAY. Because he is basically a good kid who is trying, desperately, to find his feet in an unforgiving world.
Should Brooklyn have a cookery show when he cannot, in fact, cook with any distinction? Um..no. Ought he to have a photography gig when he is not the world’s greatest, um..photographer? Course not! Has the Beckham name opened doors? ABSOLUTELY IT HAS!
Because ALL parents, across class divides, if they love their kids, do whatever they can, to promote them and set things up for their progress. The working class lad who gets a stint in a factory; the miss middle totty who like totally work shadows a solicitor, yah? The sons and daughters who mysteriously win columns in newspapers and magazines when anyone else is trapped in the reality of journalism being all but dead in a blogging era. And so on.
You do what you can, with what you have. And if, sadly, one is found wanting after those opportunities arise? Then it hurts. Especially when one is a young person with a weight of expectation upon them, fused to a legacy of inevitable entitlement, based upon parental profiles. It is not THEIR ‘fault’. It is simply the reality of an at once more open and accessible yet sadly also more competitive and unforgiving media/career axis of the last 25 years.
And THAT is what has happened to poor Brooklyn Beckham. He wants an outlet, a platform. And is trying lots of things to do his best and secure a niche. The boy just happens to be doing so, within a pervasively public eye. That is not a bad kid, by my definitions. Quite the opposite. So give him a break. Even if you do not, in fact, give him a cookery series? No actual connection to Banner. It just made logical sense. Because Charles looks like Brooklyn’s Dad. 😉
Here endeth the lesson. Happy Valentine’s Day! x