THELike all those who catch fire when wiping off champagne with the Union Jack, I was shocked to see Lewis Hamilton appear in the Paradise Papers. Among other things, the Formula 1 world champion is accused of a tax evasion scheme which led him to hire his own Â£ 16.5million private jet himself. Is it worse than Bono? I do not know. I’ll tell you when my sedation wears off.
For now, the shock has given way to two major concerns. The first is that it could be a bit unnerving when it comes to Lewis’ candidacy for chivalry. My personal take is that titles are always pretty dumb, but others are naturally invited to disagree, and we know Lewis designed one for a long time. Just last week, as he became the most successful British F1 driver of all time, he was considering a visit to Buckingham Palace in honor of the New Year. “I have tried to represent England in the best possible way,” Lewis explained, “and if that is acknowledged at some point by the Queen, I would be incredibly honored.”
As for the honorary title, he joked, âI would have it applied to everyone. Friends, everyone. I have friends who are gentlemen and I call them sir. It’s unique, why not take advantage of it? Well, absolutely. And what an improvement it would be for the already hugely appealing atmosphere of Formula 1 to win a character of Sir Ben Kingsley, formally demanding that everyone in the perimeter of the fence be Sir him. If done correctly it would add several seconds to the pit stop, but so what? Some things are more important than sports.
My second concern is Monaco, the principality that Lewis has called home for many years and which never gets any credit for all the great talent it is home to, whether they are sportsmen like him or associates like Sir Philip’s wife. Green, Tina. Monaco offers so much to those who choose to make it their home – but not enough, it seems, to get them to give up their country of birth on which they have chosen it.
Thinking about these two problems, I wondered if it might not be possible to come up with an elegant solution to both. Couldn’t the Mickey Mouse royal family of Monaco invent some Mickey Mouse titles to offer to their most famous residents? That way they would feel the ties that bind them to where they live, rather than continuing to pretend they’re part of Britain – a country they love, but not enough to pay for things. like roads, schools or hospitals.
Instead of waiting to be a simple gentleman here, Lewis could easily become the Duke (Duke?) Of any luxury apartment building he lives in there. We couldn’t give him his whole neighborhood of Monte Carlo, Fontevielle – I note that we would also have to find some serious titles for the neighbors at spitting distance Boris Becker, Ken Bates, the Barclay brothers, the former teammate of Lewis Nico Rosberg and various other retired F1 drivers and uprooted faux-anthropes. But I’m sure a proper honors system could be devised.
Then again, I guess the concern of ennobling people in a state less than a square mile in total size is that they might in due course become factionalized and knock you down. One minute, he’s just local driver Lewis Hamilton. The next one, who has become the Warwick the Kingmaker of Monte Carlo – possibly Tina Green – fills his head with the idea that he is stuck in his current role and needs to think bigger. (Kind of like what happened when he went to Mercedes.)
Either way, there is only a small step between that and a civil war in which neither of us could agree to choose sides, other than to say that we hope that all of Monte’s vast army of servants -Carlo would be allowed to flee before the gazillionaires started killing each other. So, yes, after talking to you about it, I see the flaw in my plan. Maison Grimaldi has run Monaco very well without haughty nobility since 1297 and there is no earthly reason to start now.
Which brings Lewis’s advisers back to his other title options. At this point, I suspect they are limited to the Sports Personality of the Year. Because now, that time has almost arrived again. Like all lovers of cheerfulness, I welcome the centuries-old signs of approaching Christmas, which become as full of festive promise as the Christingles and wreaths of yesteryear. And one of those advent markers is the tradition that someone can’t be considered the Sports Personality of the Year because they don’t have a personality. By the way, for the sake of the facts, the award was named at a time when people were commonly referred to as TV or radio personalities simply because of the fact that it was their background. It was never a reference to the character.
Yet, as two-time Spoty winner Nigel Mansell did, Lewis Hamilton frequently appears in these inappropriate debates over whether or not he owns a personality. But I hope he will be exempt this year, and forever. After all, you just can’t say that a man writing THIS poem to Princess Diana lacks personality. You just can’t say that a man worth Â£ 130million in cash – but still avoids Â£ 3.3million in tax on a Â£ 16.5million private jet – lacks personality. No, Lewis Hamilton absolutely has a personality and the Paradise Papers should force the last remaining people who claim he doesn’t have any to adjust their records accordingly.