High life

2016 will be a vintage year for tech billionaires and jihadis

2 January 2016

9:00 AM

2 January 2016

9:00 AM

This is going to be one hell of a year, hell being the operative word. It will be the year the greatest Greek writer since Homer turns 80 (but we’ll keep quiet about that for the moment). Our world is so stuck in reverse that a woman who was stabbed in Miami during the Art Basel shindig, and was bleeding and begging for help, was mistaken for an artwork and ignored. The woman survived but will art? Conceptual art must be the biggest con since Bernie Madoff and then some.

And speaking of con artists, I’ve never had any respect for Mark Zuckerberg, someone who is reputed to have copied the idea for Facebook from a couple of ex-classmates, and who now pledges the majority of his $45 billion fortune to charity thereby generating a public relations bonanza. But he has created an investment vehicle, not a charitable foundation with non-profit status. He has set up an LLC, a limited liability vehicle that allows a person to do things with their money without being subject to the rules, oversights and transparency requirements that govern charitable foundations. Smart little fella this Zuckerberg, but sort of a conman nonetheless. It will also cut his tax bill, thank you very much.

This year should also be a vintage one for social media, those nice apps that terrorists use so cleverly to help them murder innocent and unarmed people. While the Middle East remains a stagnant pile of poverty, intolerance and tribalism, the west keeps on taking the hits from the scum we accepted to our shores who have been radicalised via the apps that have made billionaires out of geeks who would have had sand kicked in their faces since time immemorial, but no longer. It’s time for governments to step in — and if your high life correspondent is saying that, something must really be wrong.


Radical Islam has caught on to the fact that political correctness shackles western military might, and will play it to the hilt in the future. Time is on Islam’s side. We will continue to curb freedom of speech, even after Barack Obama is out of office. It is a mistake of historic proportions. The idea that the link between Islam and terror cannot be admitted is as outrageous as the claim that Islam does not preach violence against infidels. Days after the California massacre by an Islamic couple, Donald Trump was warned by the US attorney general that the First Amendment does not protect actions predicated on violent talk. In other words, if you tell the truth about Islam we just might throw you in the pokey. Nice.

The coming year should not be a good one for my old Swiss friend Sepp Blatter. (And if you believe that I’m a friend of his, you need help.) After years of graft and kickbacks and making money, the show is about to close. The gusting winds of change are rattling the windows of the great edifice to dishonesty built not by Blatter alone, but by all his predecessors too. Football is as rotten and dishonest a game as there is, and in my country alone the owner of Olympiacos, the number one team, has been accused of bribing referees yet is still allowed to own the team and call the tune. This pig comes to Gstaad in winter. Bribes, fraud, kickbacks, crooked banks; this is the modern version of the beautiful game as the hucksters who publicise it call it.

And in 2016 Taki will finally be able to call himself a farmer. My new chalet will be ready and I will be moving in sometime in July. (All I need now is to find some farm girls, but back to politics before my daughter reads this.) The world’s most -misguided leaders, Salman of Saudi Arabia and his ludicrous son Napoleon-Mohammed, are trying to build reputations as leaders of the Arab world. All they’ve managed to do, by bombing the hell out of hospitals in Yemen, is prove that the Saudi air force is on a par with that of Luxembourg, which doesn’t have one. Thousands of civilians have died in Yemen yet the Saudis, with a grand coalition, have achieved nothing. The little Napoleon has eaten humble pie and only western power will extricate him from the mess he and the rest of the Saudi gangsters have created. Alas, he will get it in 2016.

Finally, if the west had enough guts to stop the extensive transfers of cash from wealthy donors (ruling families) of the Gulf, perhaps those nice guys in Isis would stop raping nine-year-olds and go back to the fat wives they left behind. We need Russia and Uncle Sam to get together on this, but Barack seems to hate old Vlad. I happen to love him.

I’ve had enough. I am finally letting the real Taki show. Some son of a bitch has sued the Metropolitan Museum because it shows a painting by Tintoretto that depicts our Lord Jesus as a blond man. The man feels discriminated against. (He’ll probably settle for a nice amount of cash and feel less discriminated against after that.) So there’s not much more to say, except to all of you loyal Spectator readers, have a very happy new year.

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Show comments
  • Sanctimony

    Alpine rumour has it that Blatter is buying a house in Gstaad…

  • JohnJ

    So: FIFA, ISIS and Facebook. The question is: how to get them fighting each other. Then you can sit back on your farm, sheer sheeps and raise youse.

  • hugh

    Some bozo on the BBC suggested that Blatter be replaced by a man of international stature and probity. He suggested ex-President Cinton! It is true, I am not making it up.

    • Sanctimony

      Hey, those girls in the FIFA offices had better start water-proofing their frocks and practising their chewing gum techniques…..

  • jim

    If we don’t dump PC and tell the truth about islam I don’t see how we’ll survive. Cannot believe there are half a million signatures on a petition to ban Trump from UK.How many non muslims on that petition.? I feel as if a civil war is in the offing right here in europe.

    • Fritz123

      If we dont clear our heads we may fall under a car.

      Lets be honest about Syria. Who is responsible for the refugees?

      • Cyril Sneer

        USA, KSA, Turkey and Qatar.

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    If the past determines our future then some aspects of 2016 are the result of events from 2015: The following list is NOT placed by priority but by memory:
    -Global ocean of cheap oil due to “oil wars” waged by Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Libya against the US shale oil industry. That has resulted in a massive drop in world crude. From a dizzying high of 114$ per barrel to less than 36$ per barrel. It has gutted the US shale oil industry and Russia has entered the “oil war” against Saudi Arabia. Iran is yet to enter the picture. She will when sanctions are removed.
    Effects of this “oil war”?
    -Venezuela’s economy has fallen
    -The Paris Summit on Global warming has “drowned” in an ocean of cheap crude.
    -Saudi Arabia’s revenue is so low that she is implementing taxes, cutting subsidies, taking loans (for the 1st time in a very long time). She is also going “high tech”. that is supposed to do away with the “foreign labor” market of servants and unskilled migrants that was part of her economy. Nations across Asia will be hit by a drop in remittances.
    -Billions of dollars in oil stock has vanished.

    -US, EU to Mid East economies are barely growing. that has effected the export driven economies of China and the Asian Tigers. China’s economy has slowed from a double digit growth to less than 7. 6% and dropping. That in turn has gutted the import of raw material especially metals & minerals. Brazil who is a major export market of metals is hammered, Mines of Copper to Iron are closing.

    There are many more but I will close with this. The war in the Middle East against ISIS is a mixed baggage. In Asia Times it was reported that Turkey killed an estimated 25 thousand Kurdish militants, just in December 2015, who were trained and armed by the US to take on ISIS. But the Kurdish militants also took on Turkey. Net loss of so many militants cannot be good against the war against ISIS.

    • Cyril Sneer

      “In Asia Times it was reported that Turkey killed an estimated 25 thousand Kurdish militants, just in December 2015”

      Quite a ridiculous figure, clearly false, there is barely that many Kurdish fighters.

      • UnionPacificRX

        You are right. I read that in Asia Times. Maybe it was a typo. When I later Google that information no such figure showed up. I tried to find the article where I read it in Asia Times but I forgot the name of the headlines.
        But what can be understood is that the Turkish army finds the Kurdish militants a major threat to the integrity of Turkey. I believe Turkey does not feel that way about ISIS.
        On top of that, Turkey is buying really cheap oil from ISIS. that may go up if Russia slaps sanctions on Turkey.

      • UnionPacificRX

        You are right. I read that in Asia Times. Maybe it was a typo. When I later Google that information no such figure showed up. I tried to find the article where I read it in Asia Times but I forgot the name of the headlines.
        But what can be understood is that the Turkish army finds the Kurdish militants a major threat to the integrity of Turkey. I believe Turkey does not feel that way about ISIS.
        On top of that, Turkey is buying really cheap oil from ISIS. that may go up if Russia slaps sanctions on Turkey.

  • edithgrove

    and a very happy New Year to you, Taki

  • Jugurtha

    Not to be put off by all the fuss (and accusations of fascism etc) which followed the use of ‘swarm’ in relation to immigrants earlier I the year, Taki gives us “the scum we accepted to our shores”.
    I really feel I should disapprove of language like this. I do I suppose but it’s a sign of just how bad things have got that I actually find it a breath of fresh air. WTF has the world come to?
    I actually think that ISIS are a minor concern when compared with the ‘swarm’ of identity obsessed, SJW, language police types. ISIS will no doubt cause many more atrocities but be beaten in the end since their sheer barbarity and inhumanity simply can’t be tolerated. The more insidious threat is that which comes from all those Twitter warriors and their fellow travelling journalists and academics. I fear they will do permanent and irreparable damage to the language, culture and psyche of all civic society; imposing a mental straight jacket on all of us. And all through a desperate need among those concerned to strike radical, right-on, progressive poses by adopting a school of thought that represents a limp-waisted, adolescent precociousness at its most ludicrously self-absorbed.

  • Mnestheus

    Zuck the Schmuck didn’t invent facebook- he ripped off and vulgarized the Winkelvoss twins cool idea.

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