“We won’t be heating the pool until October”


David Bond, Earl Alan Bathurst, Tessa Hardy and James Jones (left to right) are not currently worried about the impending energy crisis.

Rain in the middle of a Nun the Giraffe polo match against the Mount Loftus team at the chic Cirencester Park Polo Club in the south of England. Stimulating. But stop England. Horses gallop across the grounds, scantily-clad ladies and kind spectators parade from the terrace to the Ivy Lodge, the clubhouse. And Alan Bathurst (61) goes to the terrace protected from the rain with his glass of wine: “Can I?” he asks, pointing to the chair next to Blick’s reporter. “Of course, the chair is not mine.” – “I know. It’s mine!” said Bathurst, sitting down.

Alan Bathurst – officially Earl Alan Bathurst, 9th Earl of Bathurst and 8th Earl of Epsley – with his tousled hair, checkered shirt and sparkling yellow tie, doesn’t look like you’d expect of British aristocracy. But the owner of the Cirencester Polo Club, Britain’s oldest sports ground, is blue blood through and through.

The vast park, where the Thames has its source, served, among other things, as a military camp during the two world wars. Bathurst’s good friend, Prince Charles, visits him from time to time.

Concern about the coming energy crisis: small

Earl Bathurst is one of those very wealthy Britons who can actually accept the current crisis in the country with a tired smile. The art collection alone in its ownership of around 100 pieces is worth more than 50 million francs. “And with all the wood here, I can get through every winter,” said the Earl, gazing at the oaks outside in the rain.

And yet: Rising gas prices and skyrocketing energy costs in the country – Britain generates more than 40% of its electricity with imported gas – are also a topic of conversation here at the Polo Club . The crisis affects everyone, says David Bond, who joined Earl Bathurst and the journalist with his partner, Tessa Hardy. Everyone must answer in one way or another: “For example, we will not heat our swimming pool until October of this year.”

Then David Bond talks about his uncle and Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond books. “My family provided Fleming with the model for the Bond stories,” he says proudly. On their Aston Martin license plate number: 007. Worried about the impending energy crisis: Small – upstairs, well, unheated pool.

“A lot of people are going to die”

The crisis is hitting Britain hard: almost no country imports more gas – and almost no other social system is so burdened. By the end of 2023, 14 of the UK’s 67 million people are at risk of poverty. About two-thirds of all islanders will struggle to pay winter heating costs. “A lot of people are going to die,” said Torsten Bell, head of UK think tank Resolution Foundation.

At the same time, the gap between rich and poor in the state is widening: there are now 177 billionaires on the island. The country’s richest 10% own almost half of the country’s wealth, while millions of people now depend on free food from the country’s 1,400 official food banks to meet their needs. In Western Europe, the gap between rich and poor is wider only in Italy and Luxembourg.

Many UK pubs face extinction

But neither Luxembourg nor Italy have to deal with such a cold and wet winter. And neither Luxembourg nor Italy has a head of government who, during the election campaign, refused to increase state subsidies for the needy or to ration energy in winter so that there was enough. have enough for everyone.

UK shops and restaurants can be particularly affected in cold weather. There is no maximum price set by the government which cannot exceed the electricity and heating bill of a particular house. So many of the country’s roughly 47,000 pubs are facing potential bankruptcy, writes Britain’s ‘Guardian’.

Not even a concern for Earl Alan Bathurst, 9th Earl of Bathurst and 8th Earl of Apsley. After all, their Ivy Lodge is private property, accessible only to club members. And otherwise there will always be trees if needed.

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