Having a ball in the Med

THE SILLY season drags on, but at least Sam Cam is finally a happy bunny now that Shiny Dave has taken her and the family to Portugal. She’d obviously had enough of the ‘staycation’ austerity message and was itching to get away from rainy sodding Cornwall to the Mediterranean climate of the Algarve.

Dave has been pictured in many a national newspaper, chillaxing with a beer with Sam in the village of Alvor. Meanwhile, the pleas of hauliers for him to return to the UK to sort out the Channel Tunnel debacle seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

Eurotunnel is threatening to sue the UK Government over the on-going Calais migrant crisis. The Channel Tunnel operator is reportedly promising legal action if ministers go ahead with proposals to shut the tunnel at night to stop migrants entering it. Eurotunnel says closing the Channel Tunnel will result in huge losses not only to its own income but to the UK economy as a whole.

A letter reportedly written by company president Jacques Gounon accuses the Government of “sowing panic amongst customers and investors and, ultimately damaging the economy”. It said: “Under the concession agreement Eurotunnel would be obliged to claim for losses, which we estimate could easily attain the level of circa £200m per year.”

Time to come back and sort this mess out Dave.

OTHER holiday snaps of the summer include Princess Beatrice soaking up the sun on Russian oligarch Roman Abramovitch’s yacht – her incredible 17th holiday during eight months of unemployment. Do the maths – that’s two holidays a month! No wonder her behaviour has royal officials sweating about the negative image this is putting out.

Officials would like to organise a PR makeover of the princess, but her father, the Duke of York, has refused to allow it. He has suggested she might get involved in one of his own projects, such as his current visit to Singapore to celebrate the 50th anniversary of independence. Sounds like another jaunt.

Meanwhile, Beatrice wallows about in the Spanish sunshine with her boyfriend Dave Clark on the £1.5 billion yacht ‘Eclipse’ which costs a staggering £175,000 a day to rent.

STAYING in the Med, it emerged this week that the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is reported to be selling his 68-room Sardinian mansion to the Saudi royals for a whopping £350 million. The lavish holiday home where Tony and Cherie Blair, Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush have all partied includes no less than six swimming pools, an ampitheatre and even an artificial volcano.

It is rumoured the 168-acre estate, called Villa Certosa, has been offered to the Saudi royal family by the 78-year-old former president. Guests can currently enter the billionaire’s luxury retreat by sailing from the Mediterranean through a gated entrance and into a semi-submerged cave. They then climb a stairway leading directly into the villa.

If you’ve just returned from your annual jaunt to the Med and are awaiting the credit card bills with trepidation, like most of us, think again. This is the world of the super-rich. We are mere mortals against this backdrop. It is no wonder Berlusconi has offered the Saudi royal family first refusal on Villa Certosa. They are one of the few families in the world who can get their hands on that sort of lolly.

It’s austerity time for most, but not all. The playboys of the western world are still out there having a ball while the likes of us start paying off this year’s ‘excesses’ and saving up for next year’s week in the sun. I’m off to buy a lottery ticket.

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Kevan Blackadder

Written by Kevan Blackadder

Kevan Blackadder is a media consultant who runs Blackadder Media Limited. Kevan was previously editor of the Gloucestershire Echo and assistant editor of the Bristol Post. A Cumbrian who moved to the South West “for a couple of years” in the 1980s, he can’t quite believe he’s been there ever since.

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