Celebrity Deaths 2020 (& Dec 2019)

jon b

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In the film "A Bridge Too Far" about the Arnhem disaster, an Intelligence Officer called Major Fuller does his best, prior to commencement of "Operation Market Garden", to convince those planning the operation that it was critically flawed because reports were coming in from the Dutch Resistance and aerial reconnaissance of significant German armoured units in the area.

His reports were ignored and the airborne troops discovered the strength of German forces the hard way.

"Major Fuller" was actually based on Major Brian Urquhart who died on 2 January 2021.

His name was changed in the film to avoid confusion with General Roy Urquhart, commander of the 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem (the part played in the film by Sean Connery).

Although his war service was impressive his main claim to fame was his work post war at a very senior level at the United Nations, where he worked for many years with various UN Secretary Generals and has been described as one of the most influential people in the history of the organisation.

He was a prime mover in organising the first UN Peacekeeping force in 1956 and suggested the use of blue helmets to distinguish them from the Israeli and Egyptian forces confronting each other in the Sinai Peninsula.

During the vicious and barbaric war in the Congo in the 1960s he was the main UN representative and survived being abducted and brutally beaten by Katangese troops. He put his survival down to persuading his captors that his death would lead to retribution by UN Ghurka troops who the Katangese feared.

 

jon b

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The death has been announced at age 86 of Sir David Barclay, one of the billionaire Barclay twins, owners of an extensive business empire including "The Spectator" magazine and the "Daily Telegraph" & "Sunday Telegraph".

It will be interesting to see how the media report his death in that I'd expect there to be some very carefully worded obituaries appearing. There being a couple of reasons for caution, one is the traditional reluctance of newspaper/media owners to slag each other off or report adversely on the activities of each other's families for fear of retaliation in kind.

The other reason being the twins well known propensity for resorting to lawyers and bringing actions for libel. And, of course, the likelihood of success in such civil actions is much greater if you have wealth. Billionaires have deep, deep pockets. Someone taken to court by the Barclays might well find themselves financially ruined even if their case could be considered strong. Although one of the twins has passed away the survivor, Sir Frederick is still on the scene, as are his lawyers.

So it may well be that we have to wait for the next issue of "Private Eye" for a deeper look into the life and times of Sir David, and even Ian Hislop will be very careful to take legal advice before publishing.

Despite their fierce protection of their privacy the Barclays have been involved in numerous controversies over the years including their corporate tax arrangements, disputes with the Government of the Channel Island of Sark and members of the Barclay family secretly recording their relatives' business conversations at the Ritz Hotel.
 

johnr

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The death has been announced at age 86 of Sir David Barclay, one of the billionaire Barclay twins, owners of an extensive business empire including "The Spectator" magazine and the "Daily Telegraph" & "Sunday Telegraph".

It will be interesting to see how the media report his death in that I'd expect there to be some very carefully worded obituaries appearing. There being a couple of reasons for caution, one is the traditional reluctance of newspaper/media owners to slag each other off or report adversely on the activities of each other's families for fear of retaliation in kind.

The other reason being the twins well known propensity for resorting to lawyers and bringing actions for libel. And, of course, the likelihood of success in such civil actions is much greater if you have wealth. Billionaires have deep, deep pockets. Someone taken to court by the Barclays might well find themselves financially ruined even if their case could be considered strong. Although one of the twins has passed away the survivor, Sir Frederick is still on the scene, as are his lawyers.

So it may well be that we have to wait for the next issue of "Private Eye" for a deeper look into the life and times of Sir David, and even Ian Hislop will be very careful to take legal advice before publishing.

Despite their fierce protection of their privacy the Barclays have been involved in numerous controversies over the years including their corporate tax arrangements, disputes with the Government of the Channel Island of Sark and members of the Barclay family secretly recording their relatives' business conversations at the Ritz Hotel.
Without wanting to risk Court action, this is what the Guardian said 10 months ago about Sir David's son evesdropping on Sir Frederick,

On Monday it emerged that Sir Frederick Barclay, one half of the billionaire twin brothers who co-own the hotel and The Telegraph newspaper, had been bugged by his nephew as part of a bitter family dispute, a court heard.

A high court judge was told that an “elaborate system of covert recording” had been used to record conversations between Barclay and his daughter Amanda since last September. Last month, Barclay’s nephew Alistair was filmed “handling the bug placed in the conservatory at the Ritz”, the court heard.
 

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