CLIVE SMITH: No sympathy for those tax exiles hit by Hurricane Irma

Britain's first storm of the year was announced with great fanfare. Such was the hysteria you'd have been mistaken for thinking Storm Aileen was the daughter of Irma.

Monday, 18th September 2017, 9:00 pm
Sir Richard Branson among the debris on his private island Necker caused by Hurricane Irma

Those winds were bad though. The patio furniture was again terrorised, my green bin was moved an alarming few inches to the left and a chip wrapper had become tangled in next door’s hedge. Terrible stuff.

I’m just glad I managed to get the windows boarded and sandbags out in time.

Our country just doesn’t have the wild weather other countries do. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good storm but I reckon it’s got to be better watching it on National Geographic. Who wants to wake up bobbing along the M275 in their kingsized bed?

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In times of crisis it’s always heartwarming – among all the devastation and destruction – to see those risking their own safety to help others.

So, all hail those hardy souls who braved the appalling conditions to rescue Nike Airs and electrical goods from their local Florida Walmart.

It wouldn’t be a good disaster without a bit of looting would it?

If they were in a life and death situation and were having to steal food and water so their families could survive, then fair enough. But these people are out there thieving stuff to look good on the local basketball court!

Had the police arrived and opened fire it would have been all about police brutality and we’d have heard that those Robin Hood characters were only stealing so the kids from the local orphanage weren’t trotting about in bare feet.

And there’s Richard Branson and the like appearing in the media bemoaning their luck. Give it a rest.

Sorry if I don’t feel any sympathy for you. You’re quite happy reaping the benefits of living in tax exile, but because a few palm trees have blown over, your favourite sun lounger and bottle of Dom have taken a dip in the Caribbean, you have to release a few pictures to the media with a sad face asking for help.

I’m sure you were perfectly safe in your wine cellars while the peasants in their shacks had their lives blown away.


It’s 20 years since Princess Diana died and everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when they heard about her death.

Fast forward 20 years to 2037 and people will probably be asking ‘do you remember where you were when you first heard that Lewis Hamilton poem about Princess Diana’.

It has to be the oddest thing to have happened this year and I’m in a WhatsApp group with my friends so I can tell you I’ve seen some weird stuff recently.

It’s toe-curling and I don’t get it at all. Maybe he was hoping to sell a few commemorative plates?

Bookies though have made Hamilton favourite for not only the F1 Championship but also sports personality of the year and poet laureate.


It was hardly a surprise to learn that one of the most popular purchases from Amazon by the residents of Portsmouth was a bike lock.

For Portsmouth is the city where bikes go to die.

A couple of weeks after that grand revelation, Portsmouth North Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt was mooting the idea of introducing a Boris Bike-type of scheme to the city.

Apparently, there are operators simply queuing up to roll out the idea across the city.

I really hope they factored in the costs and then quadrupled them.

When you consider the number of bikes that will go missing in action, the best bit of advice I can give them is to put the drop-off points near Somers Town, Paulsgrove chalkpits and the Fraser Range.