Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Steeple Times

Earlier this week I was interviewed by The Steeple Times. Here is a copy of the feature from their website. Original story here:

Sir Benjamin Slade Bt.: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

The Steeple Times asks the right-wing businessman and owner of Maunsel House and Woodlands Castle, Sir Benjamin Slade: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom.” What’s your guiding force?
Money, power, sex, success, land, trees, books and fine wine.

“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
“If it f**ks, floats or flies: Rent it, don’t buy it and don’t marry it!”

Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2012?
David Cameron and Sir Mervyn King.

Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Being in London full-time.

What might you swap all your wealth for?
Good health and two healthy sons.

Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank.” What’s your view on the banking crisis?
It’s like putting bartenders on commission and allowing them to give credit to alcoholics who die and go bankrupt.

What phrase or word do you most loathe?
I’ve got three: 1. “Sustainability.” 2. “Stakeholder.” 3. “Human rights.”

In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home.” What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
UKIP and Help for Heroes.

The judge in “Law Abiding Citizen” states: “I can pretty do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
They are useful for ringing up if late, doing deals and arranging dinners with girls.

If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
Warren Buffett, Bobby Faber, Philip Gibbs, Bettany Hughes, Brian Kingham, Lady Kitchener-Fellowes, Francis Fulford, Robert Lyle, Sir John Madejski, David Ord, General Sir Michael Rose, Roger Seelig, Alexander Stockton, Jonathan Sumption PC, Norman Tebbit, Lord Westbury, the Duke of Westminster and Mrs William Worsley.  Adrian de Ferranti can sit in the luggage car and serve wine.

Sir Benjamin Slade Bt.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
It’d have to be at La Tour d’Argent in Paris.

What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
1pm and 6pm.

A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
Green tea.

Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
Sotheby’s and Christie’s and those hosted by Liz Floyd and Philip Gibbs.

Who is the most positive person you know?
My friend Bobby Faber.

What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Drinking claret at £100 per bottle.

If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
A big castle with lots of walnut trees, good books and bottles of wine. And girls’ hips.

If you were a car, what marque would you be?
A Ford Fiesta.

Cilla Black presented “Surprise, Surprise.” Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I’m self-made, have a great knowledge of history and am a seriously good doctor with over 120 patients. And, you’ll be surprised to learn that I was a spy in the Middle East for Britain.

What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
Tankards, invites, various Mouser and Walther pistols, cows horns, Roman artifacts, decanters, pewter cups, silver, an 18th century bottle of port and a Russian machine gun.

Maunsel House, North Newton, Near Taunton, Somerset, TA7 0BU. Telephone: +44 (0) 1278 661076. Website:

Woodlands Castle, Ruishton, Taunton, Somerset, TA3 5LU. Telephone: +44 (0) 1823 444955. Website:

Read Sir Benjamin Slade’s blog at: and follow him on Twitter at:


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