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The hypocrisy of celebrity activists

Nice work if you can get it: Beyoncé in Dubai. Mason Poole/Parkwood Media/Getty

Dubai is where “tyranny meets hyper-capitalism”, says Tanya Gold in The Free Press, “and it is as awful as it sounds”. Tourists can enjoy everything from an “undersea bedroom in a lagoon” to a ski slope in a shopping mall – all manned by a migrant population that makes up 90% of the city’s workforce. I once asked an ancient British tourist why he went there for his holidays. “The staff will hold your dick if you ask them,” he told me. That’s what Westerners really like about Dubai: “the indentured servitude. And the weather”.

But none of that stopped Beyoncé turning up two weeks ago to give her first live performance in five years, for a reported $24m fee. What she does for money would be none of my concern were it not for the trend of “celebrity activism”. Beyoncé’s latest album is in part an “homage to black queer culture”, yet there she is, coining it in a country that hates gays. The state’s brutal rulers must be “laughing themselves stupid”. This collusion between Western stars and Middle Eastern despots is enabled by idiotic elements on the left, who hate their own countries so much – decrying anything they dislike as “fascism” – that they don’t realise other places are much, much worse. “Call a democracy tyranny and you won’t recognise tyranny when it hands you a cheque.”