Driving back around the M25 London orbital today, I passed a poster headlined, ‘Where wealthy men date beautiful women’. I was both amazed, disappointed and uninterested all at the same time. But afterwards (chewing with some difficulty on a ‘premium’ sausage roll) some truly dark questions occurred to me. Such as:

  1. If and when the species does ever evolve, why are we assuming an ascent will be involved? Based on ads like that one, isn’t there every chance it will be a matter of getting back down on four legs?
  2. The strategy must be working, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to afford 96-sheet supersite posters. Does this mean lots of rich blokes are superficial in their definition of beauty, and beautiful women think all factors are superfluous compared to money?
  3. What do the wannabe beauty-wealth seekers write down when asked to scope out the kind of date they’re after? I mean to say, what is there to say beyond “I want supermodel sex” (the blokes) and “I want superrich treatment” (the women)?

Anyway, as I neared this, the last hotel of my tour , I googled the poster headline. Disturbingly, there were 36.7 million results. Here’s a selection:

datebeautywealthSo as you can see, they’re not pissing in the wind with this idea.

This is what the blurb for one site tells you:

‘EstablishedMen.com is a site which has bold and beautiful young ladies looking out for dating a wealthy man. The website is pretty biased as the membership is free for girls who are in search of rich men. Hence, you would find more stunning ladies then rich men signing up for this site.’

“Three girls for every guy….” as the Beachboys once sang in a faraway and more innocent age.

This stuff brings out two desires in me: first, to get  Harriet Harman to debate the Wimmin’s side of the deal; and second, to get a rigid neoliberal like Daniel Hannan to explain why Rich guys could be that stupid as to sign up for a guaranteed gold-digger. As the copulation commences, you can almost hear the man begging, “Please be gentle with my bank account”

I was trying to find a meaning to all this right up until the moment when the airport hove into view. I cruised along the road identified by Booking.com and Google maps both as the exact position of the hotel I’d booked. Not only was the hotel not to be found at at the forecast venue, nobody on the airport complex had ever heard of it. Eventually, by sheer chance I stopped to ask an old lady if she knew its location, and she pointed me in the right direction. It was in fact five miles away from both the road and the airport location given out by Google, and in a village that is nowhere to be found on the website directions.

I casually mentioned on arrival at reception that the journey had taken two hours from Kent, and then an hour gaining The Knowledge on every square metre of the Stansted Airport. Ironic sarcasm doesn’t fly that well when you’re speaking someone’s third language, so I reverted to “Did you know this place is impossible to find?”

“Yes,” the concierge replied, “Quite a lot of people say that”.

Another desperate attempt at Building the Better Key was supplied for the purpose of opening my room door. If you approached the sensor from the North East and turned the card upside down, the door opened. That only took five minutes to work out. The decor was of good quality and unfeasibly bad taste; sort of old Chinese restaurant meets Arab bathroom. In places, it evoked memories of the mafiosa interior designer portrayed by Angelica Houston in the film adaptation of Richard Condon’s wonderful novel Prizzi’s Honour – that is, execrable and yet at the same time surreal.

I performed some email drudge, and then used the loo. It overflowed.

Safely removed from the lake that had been room 23, I settled down into Room 9 (featuring lime-green sparkly sink set against sky blue and brown shower curtain) tweeted one or two things about refugees, and then turned as the door opened.

“There nobody in this room,” asserted a startled maid.

“That’s right,” I said, “I’m a malign figment of your imagination.

The staff were a familiar mix of Asian, Bulgarian, Spanish, Polish and cockney, but they put in a huge and courteous effort to overcome organisational chaos capable of making Basil Fawlty seem the ultimate in well-organised hotel management. A hour later the wifi died, and so I gave up and went to bed. At 4am the TV turned itself on, and at 7 am another maid appeared. For some reason, it reminded me of being in hospital.

It being 7am and me being awake, I continued reading Paul Gambaccini’s diaries. Kept during his year of being on bail while the Met Police slowly get round to accepting that Paul is a gay bloke with zero interest in abusing small children, the pernicious nature of the forces behind his arrest were, as always, creepily apparent. I was saddened but not remotely surprised that, the minute he was cautioned and interrogated on ludicrously trumped-up charges, Ed Miliband’s Labour troupe dumped Paul (a lifelong supporter and philanthropist) from all  their fundraising bashes.

I attracted unpleasant hate-mail during 2010-11 for opining that, like his brother David, Miliband minor is a one for running like a jack-rabbit from the sound of gunfire…..as did so many self-styled leftist stalwarts the minute McAlpine got in among the chickens after being falsely accused of paedophile offences.

Well, his replacement is by contrast renowned for being a gunfire magnet. After Blair, Brown and Miliband, what a pleasant change this will be. Maybe not for me (I won’t be here anyway) but certainly for those unfortunates sinking into the slime that lines the dirty bottom of Oceana Britannica.

I packed and made my way over to the ‘car rental village’. It felt good to be leaving.