I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling in great need of cheering up, what with all kind of scaremongering stories about Brexit and having to take critical decisions as to whether to run down food before Pesach or stockpile like mad for Brexit. Loo rolls, by the way, are parev in this scenario, as Brexit is apparently no respecter of bathroom requirements.
I was therefore hugely encouraged to read about the somewhat late but nonetheless welcome intervention into the great national debate by none other than the self-described Israeli “mystifier”, Uri Geller.
It is fair to say that Geller has a somewhat, er, chequered reputation. He has made a handsome living for more than 50 years, famously bending cutlery and demonstrating alleged psychic powers.
The retired stage magician and sceptic James Randi, for one, has never believed in Geller’s claims and devoted considerable time to trying to expose the Israeli as a con man. This in turn led to a number of suits for libel by Geller, one of which was settled out of court and the details of which remain confidential.
Nevertheless, Geller has entertained the masses for many a long year and last weekend — hot on the heels, rather unfortunately, of Purim, which caused many Jews to wonder whether this was a Purim spiel — he wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, in whose Berkshire constituency he used to live before relocating to Israel.
Trust me, this was not a Purim spiel, as Geller has previously expressed much that was in his open letter.
He reminded Mrs May that he had predicted her becoming prime minister three years before she entered Downing Street, and, worryingly, that he had successfully predicted Trump’s presidential victory.
Now here’s what brought joy to millions: Geller’s promise that with “the power of my mind” — validated, he says, “by the CIA, MI5 and the Mossad” — he is going to stop Mrs May leading the country into Brexit.
“As much as I admire you”, he has written, “I will stop you telepathically from doing this — and believe me I am capable of executing it”.
It may well be that by the time these words reach JN readers in print, Mrs May is no longer prime minister.
But there is hope at hand, because Geller — who has rather an odd view of what it takes to get into Downing Street — has also pledged to bend the keys of No 10 “out of all proportion to ensure that [Jeremy Corbyn] never takes up residence there”.
I should add at this point a memo to Geller – there’s usually a cop on hand to let the prime ministers into the official residence – he or she does not generally need keys.
However, while we are all having a good laugh at Uri Geller’s expense, I remember a lunch I had with him and several others, including the late Greville Janner. Janner was a member of the Magic Circle but he could not figure out what Geller was doing. We ate in the Lords’ Dining Room and after Geller had bent most of the spoons, he asked people round the table to draw things while he left the room.
I drew a house, with a chimney, windows, door and a path. Geller came back and reproduced my drawing completely, with the chimney on the right side of the roof — something he also did under sterile conditions for the CIA.
Yes, it was spooky and I confess I would rather like Geller to be proved right. He needs our help, though: we have to direct thought-beams at Mrs May twice a day at the singular hour of 11 minutes past 11.