Thursday, February 18, 2021

Robert Maxwell a Trump Prototype


Reading John Preston’s highly entertaining biography of Robert Maxwell (Fall) one is struck again and again about the parallels with Donald Trump. The incessant self-glorification displayed by plastering their names everywhere: Maxwell House, Trump Towers etc.; the venality of their business dealings: cooking the books, moving money to and from shell companies etc.; their shameless bare-faced lying even when confronted with cast-iron evidence; their intolerance of any dissenting voices; their move into politics (Maxwell was, bizarrely, a Labour MP); their courting of Russia; their unabashed philistinism; and above all their certainty that the rules don’t apply to them. Both are textbook narcissists. One of the very many revealing anecdotes in Preston’s gossipy book is that Maxwell had a habit if using hotel towels to wipe his arse and would then toss them on the floor. Characteristic I suppose of the man who pillaged the Daily Mirror pension fund and then left his successors to sort out the mess.