Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Is This the New World

We keep reading about our new aristocracy, the plutocrats with their grand houses and luxury. Our political caste, including our prime minister, hob nob with them. The less elegant Scheer merely awaits his chance to lick their boots.

Maybe there's a teaching moment in what's happening in St. Tropez, France.

The French Riviera town’s old lifeboat is out of action awaiting repairs while its volunteer crew accuse rich yacht captains of being too mean to stump up a few euros to pay for a replacement.

Resort Lifeboat officials said their ageing vessel, the Bailli de Suffren II, in service for more than 30 years, needed a spare part from Italy, and that it would not be putting to sea in the next two weeks.

The Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (National Sea Rescue Society, SNSM) at Saint-Tropez has ordered a new €1.4m lifeboat, which is now under construction in Britanny with a delivery date for next spring. But it needed another €200,000 to pay for it to be properly equipped with high-tech electronic devices and for its delivery, the society said.

The SNSM wrote this year to wealthy individuals and companies owning luxury yachts moored at Saint-Tropez, asking them to put their hands in their pockets. The town is a playground of the global super rich.

Pierre-Yves Barasc, president of the Saint-Tropez lifeboat station, said the appeal sank almost without trace. The owner of one modest boat sent a €10,000 donation but the tycoons and oligarchs failed to come up with a centime.

Barasc told the local edition of the news outlet Var-Martin: “They said it wasn’t their problem. That’s not true. On the bigger boats last year we saved an eight-month-old baby. We also saved three youngsters caught on rocks – not a word of thanks, even from their father. Nothing! It’s almost as if it’s their right. It’s great to shower the young ladies with a bottle of €50,000 Cristal champagne, but they could be a little more restrained and help us a little more. 
“We asked all the owners of important boats. No reply, except one promise never kept. A lone boat, far from being the biggest, gave €10,000. If 30 people had done the same we could have had our new lifeboat quicker.”


Lorne said...

Your post reveals the true nature of the world, Mound. Or, as Billie Holiday sang so many years ago,

Them that's got shall get
Them that's not shall lose
So the Bible says and it still is news

Owen Gray said...

What counts these days is ME, Mound. To hell with THEM.

the salamander said...

.. one hopes the uber wealthy can swim..
one hand on a full champagne glass
the other to stroke for shore

Those folks blow thousands
dressed to the nines
at the casinos

A top up of the fuel tanks ?
What ? 10 to 25 thou ?
More ?:

Trailblazer said...

Many years ago John Travoltas yacht was in need of engine repairs whilst in Nanaimo BC.
At that time the local repair rate was about $55/hr.
Travolta was horrified and cried out that he only pays $15/hr for such work.
I never did hear the end of the story.

The greedy bastards club becomes ever richer and controls more and more of the news we hear and read.
It will take much more than taxation to bring them down to earth.