By on August 25, 2013

gucciwolf-21

Wealthy Arab men have been in the habit of offending the sensibilities – pecuniary, aesthetic, and otherwise – of the English upper class for some time now; just ask Prince Charles.  Recently, however, privileged Arab youths in the habit of transporting their exotic wheels to London for “Supercar Season” – a fortnight of pre-Ramadan Dionysian revelry based on conspicuous consumption, street racing, and gratuitous throttle blipping rather than imbibition – have found themselves in the public eye.  Rather than breathless Youtube and Instagram fluffers, these arrivistes have found themselves in the critical eye of a Very Serious Documentary Film, entitled Millionaire Boy Racers.

If this is a lazy Sunday for you, check it out (apologies, but my exceptionally limited technical skills prevent embedding a non-YouTube video).

If you choose to devote 45 minutes of your day that could otherwise be invested in edifying activities, you’ll be thrilled by naive, carefree men from the Middle East who’ve escaped hellish temperatures and stifling societal strictures for a few weeks of summertime fun.  They’re preening and strutting around London’s glamorous West End in their flashy supercars, but the resident English aristocrats are unwilling to stand for this effrontery.  The stiff upper lip brigade is galvanized, politicking and raising awareness for this worrisome “degradation of the neighbo(u)rhood.”  These xenophobic practitioners of received pronunciation are concerned about “reverse colonization,” whereas the intruders who’ve interrupted the idyll are just there to have a good time (and pump untold pounds into the still struggling economy).

I know which group of people I’d rather spend time around.

David Walton grew up in the North Georgia mountains before moving to Virginia to study Economics, Classics, and Natural Light at Washington and Lee University. Post-graduation, he returned to his home state to work in the financial services industry in Atlanta.  A lifelong automotive enthusiast, particular interests include (old) Porsches and sports car racing.

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58 Comments on “Sunday Share: Priggish Puritans vs. Arab Arrivistes...”


  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Just give them a racetrack and grease the curves.

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      Well they’d be on the racetrack to avoid bothering you, ideally. Grease Piccadilly Circus if you don’t want to see this sort of thing.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “Grease Piccadilly Circus”

        They’d hit Brits. Best to isolate them for Darwin.

        *hop* “I’m not scared of a lit-tle oil!” *hop hop* “I will drive that!”

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      One reason they do this in Europe instead of home is because if they did it at home, it’s pisses off the 99%, many who are struggling just to eat. One of these days, the elites in Saudi are going to have a very bad day.

      • 0 avatar
        David Walton

        If you watch the video, you’ll see one of the guys profiled pushing a heavily tuned 997.1 GT2 along a Middle Eastern divided highway at exceptionally high speed.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    You really have to watch this link.

    Crazy as hell!!

    I’ve driven in what we call Stockton Beach sand dunes north of Sydney, but these are real out there Arabs. I don’t think these Arabs are mega rich, but they must have some cash to do what they are doing to their 4x4s.

    Check the guy who rolls his Landcruiser. Safety?

    http://video.carsguide.com.au/2396723804/Crazy-desert-drivers?origin=newsfooter

  • avatar
    brenschluss

    I’m pretty sure 3 months of street racing loud cars through the toniest parts of any US or EU city would get the residents a little pissy.

    I understand they want to have a good time, driving sideways through quiet neighborhoods isn’t how you’re supposed to do it. There seems to be a fair amount of “exhibition driving” if you will in that video (full disclosure I watched 3 minutes of it.) That’s just being an asshole, disregarding social mores around not disturbing people in their homes.

    If they were at Silverstone working these cars out I would love to watch that, maybe even a little stretch-out on an empty highway, but no sympathy when they get their toys taken away for burnouts down Saville Row.

    It’s not hard to wait until you’re out of town to make noise and smoke, unless you’re a manchild, but then, should you have 700hp?

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      It’s actually only about 2 weeks, even though they call it Supercar *Season*

      They aren’t going to Silverstone – not enough camera lenses there.

      • 0 avatar
        brenschluss

        Thought I heard someone says months, and went with it.

        Two weeks is still a long time to have to put up with that.

        Preening and strutting do not need to infringe on someone’s right to be able to cross the street safely, or not listen to drag races in densely populated areas at night.

        It doesn’t matter if the appropriate venues don’t suit vanity requirements.

  • avatar

    THE RICH ARE JOB CREATORS!!!

    Imagine all the jobs that will be created having to service these cars and clean up all the destruction and body parts when the accidents start!

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I think you’re being a little sarcastic but for those who missed the sarcasm (or in case you’re being serious), I’ll respond to the point head on.

      Imagine how many jobs could be created if these people chose to invest the money in sensible businesses, rather than merely spending it.

      Spending money creates economic activity, but not all economic activity is created equal. The broken windows fallacy isn’t exactly what’s happening here, but its close enough to illustrate what I’m trying to get across:
      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

      In other words, wouldn’t more jobs be created if the rich guys invested the cash in building a factory or something? It’s their money and their choice, of course, I just think that investing (rather than spending) would be better for the community AND their personal wealth. It also shows the limitations of a flimsy partisan euphemism that is almost always used sarcastically in my neck of the woods.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        I hope you’re being sarcastic, or are you really that naive about how the economy works?

        No matter how many laws you pass, there’s always going to be rich douchebags. That doesn’t give governments a license to confiscate wealth in order to make “better” investments of somebody else’s resources.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    “the Middle East … hellish temperatures and stifling societal strictures”

    Sure, the commentariat will eat this up. But wouldn’t it be more appropriate to at lest give a nod to the actual car culture in many Arab cultures?

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    This has nothing to do with xenophobia. Those guys have no respect for England.

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      Did you watch the video?

      When the English gentleman refers to the tourists as “Gulfies” is that not xenophobic?

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Yes, because the use of a word is the defining characteristic of xenophobia.

        The excuse of “have no respect” has been used (unsuccessfully) in the US. Never mind that there are plenty of white people who have no problem with black people so long as they don’t act like they’re in a hip-hop video, or they haven no problem with all the Mexicans who work hard at their jobs, but do have a problem with the ones who don’t get licenses or insurance, get in accidents and then disappear.

        Any term used to describe people who engage in such undesirable actions becomes unarguably racist.

        As far as the video, if the problem only occurs during a few weeks, simply put a cop on every corner during that time, make it especially difficult (slow is sufficient) to import cars immediately prior, and thus make it more difficult than it’s worth. Odds are they will simply go somewhere else.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m sure that if these “Gulfies” were the “studious, hard-working types” who strive to keep a low profile and adherence to the “model minority” archetype, there wouldn’t be any problems. Well…those types usually don’t own 700+ horsepower supercars in the first place.

          Jerks are jerks, but I’d chance that if it were the obnoxious native-born rich engaged in these shenanigans, the outcry over it would be a bit more muted in nature.

          • 0 avatar
            juicy sushi

            Knowing the English press, no they probably wouldn’t. A good scandal with moral outrage is the core product they deliver. That said, The language used would be different.

  • avatar
    Adam

    Just be glad these guys probably can’t afford a ticket to London…yet:

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    British can’t stand that their home and country, which they hold in such great esteem (as they should), has been reduced to a mere playground for the bored Arab rich. It’s upsetting because they’re used to it being the other way around.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      This. Also, I hear they’re chuffed about Jaguar/Land Rover being owned by Tata, given the history of the British Raj.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        I would imagine they’re quite displeased how Mini/Bentley/Rolls Royce/Lotus are somehow owned by companies not based in England. By Jove, there’s all those British Leyland plants they can fire back up! But yet there will be some Brit who will gladly bore us with stories about how a Brit came up with the first automotive; oh, whatever. It was never marketed successfully or was made better in another country. Then he’ll babble on about the strength of the British car industry. With a straight face, mind you. He’ll elicit peals of laughter and between chortles someone will ask “mate, how’s it feel to have your car industry cuckolded?” The Brits haven’t figured out that the former empire is now reduced to selling bespoke clothing and some traders in the City churning money. Yes, Jeremy Clarkson is the most jingoistic of the buffoons.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Well, nobody with a narrow nose wants to admit that bug people and worse are out-breeding, out-working, out-studying and will soon be out-inventing our kind. And most heinous of all, some of them have out-lucked us like these fine Arabian chargers.

          But Americans can’t really fault Brits for living in the past while every summer brings us the Rolling Thunder noise and MSM networks fall over each other with knee-jerk and utterly phoney championing of the military .

          They’ve got their imperial nostalgia, we’ve got our victory disease.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Yeah, because when native Brits drive like as*holes, street race and massively violate and ignore traffic laws people love it.

    Wait till they hit a kid and people will see through the whiny “they hate me because I’m Arab” identity politics to the fact that these guys are just as*holes being disliked for that reason.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    *duplicate*

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Part of me says “advanced toolbaggery of the highest order”. Another part of me says “the used supercar market starts here”.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Oh, the irony…..a bunch of wealthy young guys need to leave their country to have the kind of fun & freedom that’s just not possible in the country that made them rich in the first place.

    What they really need to do is use some of that wealth and influence to have a revolution within their own country and start making some changes that will allow them to have freedom over there.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      They have enough wealth that travel elsewhere to “have freedom” it is not an inconvenience in the same way it’s not an inconvenience for college kids to travel to Mexico/Florida/S Padre for spring break.

      Their country’s current system works very well for them, and they have no incentive to put that in any sort of danger.

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      What incentive do they have to do that? As long as they keep paying off the extremists, and make sure their Filipino “guest workers” don’t get too uppity, it’s smooth sailing for them, freedom or no.

      Besides, it’s generally not “their wealth” to begin with — it’s Daddy’s money, or family money. So that makes them even less likely to want to rock the boat.

      If you really want to get them to change…frack, baby, frack…

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      “What they really need to do is use some of that wealth and influence to have a revolution within their own country and start making some changes that will allow them to have freedom over there.”

      This guys are royalty. These spoiled Kuwaiti and Saudi kids are parts of royal families that preside over Pakistani slaves that do the real work in their countries. They absolutely do NOT want revolution. Revolution would be their heads on chopping blocks. Back home they gang rape women and then have the victims imprisoned for being promiscuous or not having their male guardians with them. They have servants whipped with the snap of a finger.

      They are privileged oppressors, which is why they love the ability to go to England, drive like as*holes, and pretend they are edgy, oppressed bad boys.

      • 0 avatar
        jeffzekas

        Actually, the Arab royalty are no different than the U.S. Elite or Brit royalty: money, servants, and no real concern about their respective citizens. Look at the Waltons (owners of Walmart): BILLIONS of dollars yet their workers are paid slave wages and no benefits. How are the Arkansas Rich (or the New York, SF or Chicago rich) any different than the Kuwaiti rich? Answer: they aren’t. Which is why former President Bush whisked Arab royals safely out of the U.S. after the 911 attacks: he had to protect his wealthy friends, the oil and gas elite (it should be noted that the 911 hijackers were Saudi nationals, yet, instead of going after Saudi Arabia, we attacked Iraq– ever wonder why? Answer: rich Texas oilmen are in bed with rich Saudi oilmen).

        • 0 avatar
          darkwing

          The fact that you seriously think that underscores that, for all our problems, just how good we have it in the US.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          Jeff, in what way was Sam Walton comparable to royalty? He built a business on selling retail products at relatively low prices. Started out in rural fly-over country. Turns out that ordinary consumers voluntarily buy your stuff if the prices are lower than the competition. I’m probably buying a new car battery at Wal-Mart later this afternoon because they’re undercutting AutoZone by 15% and everyone else by more.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Jeff that thought process is discusting, if you truly equate minimum wage to slave labor then your part of the problem to begin with.

          Sam Walton did what any single person in America could or can do. No need to act like your owed a damned thing, your not.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        These kids with these supercars aren’t scions of entrepreneurs that “made” it with hard work and innovation, I would be willing to bet 99% of them are oligarchs that are coasting off some sort of state-owned oil monopoly from their home country.

        But for the record, when I see poor people behaving badly, my knee-jerk reaction isn’t “we need to restructure our economy so poor people don’t get away with this.”

        People are going to be assholes no matter their resources. I see young punks all the time driving crazy and reckless in crappy cars.

  • avatar
    MK

    Yeah I watched this on a flight once. Really hard to identify with either side to be honest, hooning is still hooning even if you’re in a supercar. At the same time the locals interviewed come off like a bunch of ineffectual busybodies sitting around and bitching about the oil money kids.

    Meh.

  • avatar
    afflo

    This isn’t xenophobia – this is people being rightly offended because guests in their country aren’t respecting local mores. How different is this from me visiting a Muslim country and walking into a Mosque with a “Bacon is delicious” T-shirt? Or Aussie/Kiwi tourists visiting the states and refusing to tip their waitress because that’s not what they do back home?

    By the time a stereotype can be developed into a one or two-word slur that is instantly recognized by others, the underlying problem has been festering for quite some time. See “Ugly American.”

  • avatar
    JD23

    “thrilled by naive, carefree men from the Middle East who’ve escaped hellish temperatures and stifling societal strictures for a few weeks of summertime fun”

    These “naive” young men are part of the ruling class that benefits from the “stifling societal structures” in the Middle East. There is certainly naivete displayed in this post, but it is not on the part of the young men with supercars.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Some great comments.

    TTAC again refuses to equate self defense with racism.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    These asshats could buy a small 3rd world country and wreak all the havoc they want, better yet, well sell them Florida… Cheap!

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Disclosure: did not and will not watch the video.
    Based on earlier comments, there’s 2 problems going on. A*hats violating “local mores” and laws because they believe (somewhat correctly) that they are above the law and A*hats who can’t get past their own xenophobia and limit their approbation to the offending activity instead of who’s doing it. I don’t have to sympathize with either side.

  • avatar
    theonlydt

    I’m a Brit no longer in the UK. The video makes painful watching – they somehow dug up the worst of the Brits to be represented. I can assure you that the population does not all act or sound like they do.

    I would also suggest that the “native population” of the UK does not drive like this. There are those that engage in “showmanship”, but the gentlemen from the Middle-East shown are engaging in the worst kind of showmanship in a residential neighbourhood. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with people deliberately tail-wagging, revving and squealing tires on my street at any time of day. It’s a shame that this is such a problem, and I just wish that those engaging in such behaviour took a little longer to appreciate the freedoms afforded to them in the UK they do not have in their home country.

    • 0 avatar
      jeffzekas

      Every Brit I met in London was polite, respectful and even friendly (the doorman at The Wolseley was delightful). As far as hooning: I grew up in Santa Monica- the old folks were (rightly) upset when we street raced up and down the quiet streets of Brentwood and BelAir- I mean, you pay 10 mill for a house, and then, some moron kids are squealing tires at 3am? I live in a small town in Oregon these days: nothing worse than the teens with their unmuffled Hondas blasting down our road at 70 mph! Or the dudes with LOUD Harleys who think they’re cool, as my windows shake and their motors backfire. If the kids or Harley riders were Arabs, I’d feel the same (we have wealthy Chinese students who drive BMW and Audi, but they seem well behaved, in comparison).

  • avatar
    Power6

    Soooo hard to feel bad for those old Brits…”we used to be an empire blah blah blah” not in your lifetime buddy.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    I think they ought to embrace these ‘Royal Saudi Chavs’ and create an event for them ala Sturgis, and make some money off of them rather than sitting and bitching. I love the Brits, but sometimes they are far too proud for their own good.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “create an event for them ala Sturgis”

      That’s not a bad idea. The problem, though, is that these guys want to be in an area such as Knightsbridge because it’s posh, and they want to be in London because that’s where the clubs and action are. They probably wouldn’t be content being somewhere else.

      Meanwhile, the posh locals don’t want them there, in part because they’re the wrong color, but mostly because they’re reckless and noisy. These two groups are destined to not get along with each other.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Guy rips down street in Ferrari wrecklessly: A-hole

    Guy stands in the middle of a walkway like some sort of important wanker and complains when some poor soul attempts to get through with his umbrella, hitting him: Special kind of A-hole

    Easy fix for all of this would be to add a few speed bumps.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Is “Gulfie” any worse than “Brit”?

    They’re both geographically accurate. But because one gets used in a condescending context, it’s automatically bad.

    “Jap” probably wouldn’t have a negative connotation if not for American WWII propaganda. Funny how things get adapted over time. In my part of the country, just saying “Jew” can make people uncomfortable because there are very few Jews, so 95% of the time it’s somebody making a monetary judgment of someone else.

  • avatar
    atlas_snored

    Ironically, these douchebags (and one needs to separate these spoiled boy racers from their geographical brethen) do pump the British economy. The British real estate and banking industries sure as hell are happy with them.

    Thatcher liberalized tax laws and helped to make the City of London a money laundering hub. Hell, Thatcher allowed the British banks and real estate industries to speculate away and profit from pointless land price inflation.

    ‘Cept of course, it’s always easier to pander towards (latent) discrimination against the out-group, than it is to realize that the banking regulations/tax system have been co-opted for the benefit for a small number of very rich.


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