Making Ruth Davidson Jealous 81

Almost ten years ago, when I was less obscure than I am now, I was at a country house party hosted by Michael Winterbottom at a rented mansion in Norfolk. Other guests included Steve Coogan, Stephen Fry, Rob Brydon – and Gillian Anderson.

It was a very wild party and as a result most people woke up very late. The first two people up and about for breakfast were Gillian Anderson and I. So we sat down together with our breakfast and chatted for quite a while before the next person appeared. She is very bright, and interested in other people and society, as I find so many good actors are.

Unfortunately the next person who appeared was my brother Stuart. Now Gillian Anderson has a very similar height, build and hair to Nadira, who was still asleep upstairs. Entering from a door right behind Gillian, and seeing her sitting opposite me chatting over breakfast, Stuart made the obvious assumption. He made two rapid strides to stand behind her, placed his hands suddenly on her chest, and shouted “Morning! Guess who?”

To her credit Gillian did not become hysterical, but this did take some calming down. The next person to appear was her husband, and I cannot say I liked him at all. He told me he owned NCP car parks and insisted on telling us how many hundreds of millions he was worth. In his terms I was a nobody, and he made that view plain. They seemed a very strange couple – she plainly did not measure people by their bank balance.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my anecdote as much as I enjoyed all that name-dropping. And I do hope it makes Ruth Davidson jealous.


See comment from Sharp Ears below. Apparently he didn’t own NCP but a wheel clamping firm. See my response also.

81 thoughts on “Making Ruth Davidson Jealous

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  • Republicofscotland

    Keep them coming Craig, I find little snippets of your life like this very interesting indeed.

    I bet your brother Stuart, still hasn’t washed his hand yet, NCP car parks, owned by a t*sser who’d have thought it.

    As for Gillian Anderson, she’s a fine looking lady, and would brighten up anyones breakfast.

  • Dave

    Its not name dropping if you’re socialising with shits like carpark man.
    Who cares about slebs anyway? An increasingly unpleasant trend.

    • Ian

      It’s an anecdote. It’s funny and entertaining. Not a concept with which you will be familiar.

  • Jo

    Good God. I’m actually appalled that your brother behaved like that towards any woman whether he thought he knew her or not.

    • Ishmael

      I know a lot of women who’d think nothing much of this, where I live atm. A lot is overly crude to me but more to the point of boredom.. i.e.”acting up”… *sigh*.

      At them same time? ..I’v mixed with all classes, I don’t agree in some cases but I get it.

      Seems to me like a bad reading of a situation. And I don’t know if the whole “womens bodes are sacred” is good for anyone.

      …The need for bias for women in this society confuse me, In my schools (80s) it was clear that girls were treated differently. If this is a form of misogyny I think it needs getting rid of. Not that we aren’t different, but moral distinction enables unaccountable abuse by women.

      • Ishmael

        Ps, I note a girl actually tweeted to JC on his proposals on quotas, that she felt undermined by it.

        Id like to see more women in politics but the idea of “representation” in governments problematic anyway, let alone evidence that people stand up for interests of their own gender group.

          • plain speaker

            “I know, I’m just rambling.”

            Well don’t. You habitually flood the threads with non-grammatical, badly spelled, barely comprehensible inconsequentialities. Before posting, ask yourself “does this comment add anything meaningful to the discussion” and if the answer is “yes,” proof-read it before submitting it.

            You are intelligent and your heart is in the right place. Add some self restraint to the package.

    • craig Post author

      That would depend entirely on the nature of the relationship between the two individuals concerned though, Jo. You are not in a position to judge whether behaviour – in this case horseplay – between two people who know each other very well is right and wrong.

  • reel guid

    Ruth Davidson puts up a lot of smokescreens to disguise her rather extreme politics, her overweening personal ambition and her autocratic propensities. All the humorous tweets. The jokey video with Sturgeon. The fun, zany photocalls with her on a buffalo or a motorbike.

    It’s as if Mussolini had taken up karaoke or something.

  • nevermind

    Best not get involved in this brotherly scrap to come, Stuart is still coming to DTRH, is he?

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Yep I did enjoy the anecdote, in fact this post has made me deeply happy in a weirdly puritanical way.

    I have no idea who Rob Bryden, Michael Winterbottom, or Gillian Anderson are, so that name dropping is pretty wasted on me. If I were attending a party of celebrities, which actually I wouldn’t cross the street to do, Stephen Fry isn’t someone I would pick as an interlocutor. (Hugh Laurie, yes.) Steve Coogan’s different. I know who he is and I like his work.

    I’m also pretty pleased that I know no-one, with the possible exception of my own brother, who is both rich enough and dumb enough to hire a mansion in order to throw a party for self-satisfied imbeciles like Mister Car Park Millions.

    Thanks. You’ve made my weekend. And by the way, it’s quite remarkable that you describe your brother’s behaviour in a way that shows you don’t find anything odd about it in the slightest. Both my brothers are married and I have never had the least inclination to grab their wives by their bosoms, but possibly I am just repressed. Cheers. J

  • reel guid

    So “most people woke up very late” at Michael Winterbottom’s did they Craig?

    We’re there no 24 hour party people?

  • David Grace

    Also enjoyed your company at my 60th. As far as I know nobody grabbed anyone’s breasts although Nadira’s dress did have issues while punting.

    • craig Post author

      The memory has made me laugh out loud. It was a lovely day and thank you. We will prevent this Brexit nonsense David, never fear.

      • Shatnersrug

        As we’re name dropping here Craig, have I ever told you the time Princess Leia stripped off infront of me?

  • Becky Cohen

    Never met anybody famous personally, but I did used to know someone who told me she met someone else who visited Germany in the 1930s and actually saw Adolf Hitler making a speech.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Professor John Curtice was my Politics tutor at the University of Liverpool, before he got famous and on the telly and radio every other day. Nice man, even if I knew more about Marxism than he did. Oh, and I did meet Craig Murray once. So there. Ner! J

  • Clark

    “They seemed a very strange couple – she plainly did not measure people by their bank balance”

    Maybe she just hates the hassle of finding somewhere to park…

  • Merkin Scot

    My elderly mother received a Birthday card describing such a situation.
    In response to the “Guess Who?” the reply was “I don’t care”.

  • Sharp Ears

    In 2006, Anderson’s partner at the time was a wealthy wheel clamper, nothing to do with NCP.

    ‘He is far removed from the string of glamorous suitors Miss Anderson has enjoyed romances with in the past. Her first husband Clyde Klotz was an art director working in the film industry, while Mr Ozanne was a film producer and former newspaper foreign correspondent.

    Mr Griffiths spends his weekdays masterminding one of the country’s most profitable private wheel-clamping firms. It is based in an office above an ice cream manufacturer in a grubby backlot at the Gateway trading estate in Harlesden, North London.

    He is a director of MET Parking Services with his 27-year-old brother Graham. The firm is responsible for enforcing parking regulations by clamping, towing and fining drivers at numerous sites around the UK.

    Early signs are that the relationship is going well. But Miss Anderson has had a chequered love-life. She broke up with Mr Ozanne shortly after an alcohol-fuelled outburst on a flight from Sri Lanka to London in January. She allegedly shouted at passengers.’

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      Sterling Sleuthing, Sharp Ears.Where do you find the energy and persistence?
      Are they still an item?
      My own very modest brushes with the not quite famous consist of meeting the ex-manager of the Pogues and Thin Lizzy. He told the correct version of how Phil Lynott died. He also had nothing but good things to say of Shane McGowan, apart from the obvious problem with addiction.
      At the same time I met a university student daughter of Imelda Marcos. She invited me to the home in Manila ( to meet mother?). I lost the address book with the address written in it by her. I used to show it off (for a laugh) occasionally. She was actually ‘incognito’ but I got into a conversation with her and I managed to suss out her identity from something i noticed she had written.
      I once ‘saw’ George Clooney walking downtown in Cincinnati when he was there shooting a film about 2009/10 and, I was offered the chance to meet Sarah Jessica Parker( painfully scrawny with feet /toes like a bird of prey). The pre-condition of being presented to her her, however was the spending of about $ 100 on her perfume(which she was promoting in a dept store) . When the attendant realised I wasn’t clutching the required merchandise, I was re- directed away from her presence. I was asked to buy the perfume but i baulked at the price, and exclaimed rather something rather ungracious like: What! $!00. You cannot be serious.
      I also though the comment by JSD about Stephen Fry and the assembled company was distinctly churlish and po-faced. Stephen Fry is probably a bit of a handful,as most narcissist performers usually are, but he is also funny, entertaining, witty, intelligent, sharp and seems to be basically warm and kind.
      I have now pinched one of his jokes, and trot it out as often as I can.
      How do you titillate an ocelot?
      i’ll let you work it out if you haven’ t heard it already but the answer is a ‘spoonerism’ of the question.

    • craig Post author

      Interesting – a different (and even less pleasant) angle on car parking.. Yes that is him from the photo. I am quite sure he went on a great deal about the billions in property values NCP car parks are worth. But maybe I got hold of the wrong end of the stick, or he was misleading me. Or saying he planned to buy it. I have to say I found him unpleasant – like a real life Harry Enfield “loadsamoney” character. A very odd couple.

      • Sharp Ears

        Sir Donald Gosllng and another started off by buying a bomb site and setting up a car parking company which later acquired NCP. He owned a superyacht which he loaned for P Edward on tour in the Caribbean when the RN ship conveying the prince couldn’t navigate the shallow waters! Gosling also put up some of the money for that ludicrous galleon replica in the Thames regatta for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee so a lot of toadying around the royals has taken place.

        NCP was sold to Cendant for £millions, sold on again and is now owned by the Aussie MacQuarie Bank, owners of Thames Water, shopping centres and much else besides of the British infrastructure.

        ‘In 1998, after a flotation of the business on the London Stock Exchange was cancelled at a late stage, the company was bought by US-based property and travel services provider Cendant for £801million with Hobson, Gosling, and their family trusts who owned 72.5% of the National Parking Corporation taking £580million.’

        He was made an honorary vice admiral by P Charles and received a knighthood in Wilson’s resignation honours. He is still alive aet 88.

      • James B

        Craig, people like that are usually full of shit. If someone constantly talks about how rich they are, chances are they’re not. He does sound like the Stan ‘I’m considerably richer than you’ character off Harry Enfield.

        A quick check of Companies House proves that Griffths is no longer a director of any company. I presume he started up Met Parking Services in 2005 and sold his share in 2010 when he resigned as director.

        It’s never been a big company and that can be discerned from the fact that Met Parking Services only submit ‘Total exemption small company accounts’. Turnover has to be less than £10m so his assertions that he’s worth hundreds of millions are very wide of the mark.

        His latest company, Finlay Grant Limited, never seemed to be a success and has now been dissolved.

        Griffiths has multiple directorship entries at Companies House so it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s a way of a) obfuscating links to previous companies and/or b).he starts companies and then runs from creditors when they’re insolvent.

        If he’s running clamping businesses, you can bet your house on him being a super dodgy geezer who runs up debts and then disappears. I bet his financial situation is very interesting.

  • Ishmael

    Yea, seems obvious though easy to forget most people enjoy much more in a relationship.

    I get cynical, were those who live on the floor do largely attempt through an underline necessity to live out this dogma, predicated on undermining …thy neighbour.

    One thing I do need to do is see more nuance. I put a lot of it down to much intellectual politicisation. I don’t blame anyone for not really wanting to get involved, clearly a better choice in many ways. Better if ideas weren’t so pervasive. I rather my imagination confided to a canvas.

  • J Galt

    There are two big bubbles just growing and growing just now.

    One is called Jeremy Corbyn, and the other is called Ruth Davidson.

    It’ll be fun when they burst!

  • Sam

    Met Ted Heath, Garry Gibbon, Chay Blyth, Bro Tommy. And a Mr. C. Murray.
    Not one had heard of me.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      You just reminded me! I was introduced to Ted Heath when I was a schoolboy, along with a few others, while sitting at a library table in the newly built highschool. That was before he was PM but was leader of he Tories-must have been about ’68. Must admit I didn’t have much to say. Very fleeting indeed.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        By some accounts including the police you had a lucky escape. J

    • Node

      Oooooh, if I were to list all the famous people I have met …. well, lets see …. where to start? …. er, alphabetical order? …. perhaps chronlogical would be better …. or I could list them by nationality …. or celebs first, then politicians …. ah, but how to categorise inventors and explorers? …. hmmmm, I’d better be discreet …. should I ask their permissions before naming them? …. perhaps safest only to list the dead ones …. and the ones who’ve mentioned me in their autobiographies …. hmmm, this needs more thought ……. ….

  • Geejay

    Never heard of Anderson – don’t have TV – but a photo of Ruth in same pose could have been interesting.

    Once came within shooting distance, sorry, shouting distance of HRH on a mountain above Balmoral about 25 years ago. It was peeing down but he seemed amused as his little dog and handler come up to suss us out. Don’t know whom he was dating at the time.

  • VALERIE RETTIE Craig if you said YOU had put your hands on GAs breasts she may even be more jealous!! I wonder if Ruthies attraction to GA has anything to do with her Role in The Fall…especially when she put her uniform on? Naughty xx

    • Hieroglyph

      Good series. Ms Anderson is curiously unattractive in The Fall, I think, where usually she is, well, quite the opposite. Just too cold and ruthless. That is, until she starts chatting up her (female) colleague, where the sexual tension is through the roof. Talented actress that one. To think, apparently the producers of The X Files initially wanted someone with ‘more sex appeal’. More than Gillian Anderson? Blimey.

  • Ishmael

    Nice photo btw.

    It makes me think it’s not very nuanced is it? the idea of “objectification” …I take it it derives from when the social order explicitly sold all women like objects. I think a lot of this is still retained in “proper order” of marrage ceremonies etc, not in the enjoyment/attractiveness to women.

    Myself I think “conservative” ideology twists so many things. It puts itself above while in fact has roots degrading to fullest extent. And we are all now just worthless objects who must sell ourselves to live under there system. Forcing humans into certain shapes. But showing a bit of leg? apparently that’s bad.

  • Ishmael

    As nobody else is posting much atm hopefully it’s ok to add more bad grammar/spelling. Without destroying anyones “proper” sense of order and respect (actually I hope I do)..

    One of the highest liked replies to that tweet by Notorious says – “She rocks? By objectifying a women? What is wrong with people? What would you have said if a male politician signed off like this?”..

    I wonder if this enthusiasm is about the “objectification” comment or Scottish independence. Clicking on the twitter bio tells all.

    • Ishmael

      It certainly interesting political times.

      Personally I dislike those like the sun (and Clarkson). Who do something habitually for money, it does end up one sided. It’s not like we see many male models in the Sun is it? (I dunno beyond the front page, if they I’m available). I think it does become part of a degrading narrative/practice in cases like this. Serving a narrow repeated theme in a certain light.

      It’s nice to have women who are clearly intellectually formidable to defy the projected stereotype promoted by the gutter press, actually. Every kind’a people.

  • J

    A few years ago I was at the Lady lever art gallery on a whim. I often get off the train mid journey just to look at the paintings. I didn’t realise there was a Turner exhibition on at that time, the only internet access I could get was at the Library so I wasn’t exactly plugged in to what’s on. I’m looking at this painting. An indolent summer day, punting along the Thames at Boulter’s Lock, as painted by Edward John Gregory. I hear the voices of a couple standing next to me, discussing some fine point in one of the the paintings and his voice sounds familiar not to mention knowledgeable.

    Something puzzled me about the painting which had captured my attention and I asked him about it without looking at him. He held forth on punting, the Thames, other things. He was a very helpful. Informative and knowledgeable too, clearing up my question quite satisfactorily. Then I looked at him and realised who he was. I remember thinking about my life, the people I’d known, how this man had been profoundly instrumental in shaping our lives and here he was, answering my questions, friendly and charming too.

    We chatted for a while about many things including Turner and then I left wondering to myself how he slept soundly, since I don’t and I don’t even have his bloodied hands to wash. But he just seemed so well, so ‘glowing,’ and certain of himself and his place. I had the distinct impression that a clouded thought had never once intruded on the deep green pastures of his mind. An unsettling experience.

    • Mochyn69

      The Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight is awesome, I spent many hours in there as a kid, would pop in there on the way back from school.

      The Scapegoat by William Holman Hunt and Salem by Sydney Curnow Vosper are just two of the iconic treasures there.

      And in the basement is a magnificent Masonic Lodge. Grandad snuck me in there one Saturday morning for a look. Never did joion up tho’!

      • J

        Mochyn69, thanks for that delightful additional detail! Wonderful.

        Sharp Ears. It’s not important who he is. I was more interested in the effect upon me, how the context of our meeting in a gallery was appropriately transformative, thought provoking…

  • Hieroglyph

    I bet, after a heavy night, Ms Anderson, even without make-up, still looked ready to go on set and start filming.

    Craig, not so much!

  • Temporarily Sane

    She might not judge people by the size of their bank balance but she apparently considers having a large one (and being a bit of a prat) desirable assets when it comes to potent male suitors.

    • Ishmael

      I wouldn’t want to presume specifically, but being a prat is popular locally for many women.

      Though it’s actually something that always strikes me about the upper classes. How Stupid and idiotic, and down right mean they are. Indeed much of politics reminds me of school yard behaviour. I may think some historically “politically” informed, able intellectually. But as for development of character?

      They all seem like sort of bullies to me, and their only real aim is to be seen as having control of the playground, in business and politics, same. They come on this blog often, ordering people about. The authoritarian culture is this society is huge. And they clearly can’t stand anyone who expresses original thought or acts free.

      We can’t just blame some womens wants on this, but it’s surly part of it.

      • Ishmael

        The thing is when you set up a dog eat dog world those wanting “security” will often strive for the biggest meanest dog.

        So we’ve ended up with the most careless, reckless, dangerous people given critical control. It’s a narrow mind that perceives this as safety for their children. And indeed like in a family, those who shelter under violence often become a victim of it.

        Beaten women is horrifying common in down trodden areas like mine.

  • Phil the ex-frog

    Who the fuck is Gillian Anderson? I have no idea.

    What a load of wank. Self awareness escapes all narcissists. Craig Murray and Ruth Davidson are equally status obsessed. Both ostensibly self-deprecating, yet not, with their name dropping.. Scratch a nationalist cum liberal cum ‘socialist’ (according to the medication regime) and you get a tory.


    • Clark

      Anderson played Scully in the X-Files.

      I think your target acquisition radar is out of calibration. Again.

  • Ron

    When one routinely mixes with celebrities and the hoi-poloi one doesn’t have to talk about it

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