The matron and the gormandizer

As nouns the difference between egomania and megalomania

is that egomania is excessive vanity, pride or arrogance; self-importance while megalomania is a psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.

I don’t want to fall out with Paul Lewis over this, but I have been wondering overnight whether his tweet shows traits of egomania or megalomania and am concluding that Paul is driven by  narcism – common to the “West London Liberal Elite” – that demonstrates each trait in equal quantity.


Jo’s excellent article, which I featured yesterday, is a model of journalistic humility, Paul’s tweet – an example of hubris.

That said, Paul’s hubris is more Falstaff than Hamlet – and we love him for it.

The problem with being Sir John Falstaff are well documented by William Shakespeare. His former spar- is now the King who turns on Falstaff with the following jibes

I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy prayers.
How ill white hairs become a fool and jester.
I have long dreamt of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swelled, so old, and so profane;
But being awaked, I do despise my dream.
Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace;
Leave gormandizing. Know the grave doth gape
For thee thrice wider than for other men.
It’s not pretty stuff and the words could well be aimed at the corpulent Pension Plowman, but I am not holding out to be above a retirement plan and absolve myself from Paul’s hubris. Paul gormandises on social media, he eats at our table without restraint but he should heed Hal’s warning – “the gave doth gape”.

The matronly Cumbo

My admiration for Jo Cumbo stems from her being a working Mum who takes motherhood in her stride and produces some of the best financial  journalism of her generation.

She is a mother not just to her children but to her readers, and her opinion piece has moved several of my friends. To boot – this message addressed to me that I’ve passed on to Jo

Just wanted to say Thanks for alerting me to this opportunity.  I’ve contacted an adviser already.  My kids seemed to be getting tired of hearing me say I’m looking forward to early retirement with them looking after me!

The matronly Cumbo stands in loco parentis to many of us.

Who advises the advisers?

Paul Lewis is a financial adviser, one of the best we’ve got in this country. His twitter feed is a fount of knowledge, his opinions are seldom wrong, he is the scourge of the weak-minded.

He has a financial adviser – I know him – one of the best financial advisers in the country. So I know the answer to my question.

But I have a suggestion for Paul. That he also listens to the matronly Cumbo and considers Henry’s words.

Leave gormandizing. Know the grave doth gape
For thee thrice wider than for other men.
Reply not to me with a fool-born jest.
Presume not that I am the thing I was,
For God doth know—so shall the world perceive—
That I have turned away my former self.
So will I those that kept me company.
When thou dost hear I am as I have been,
Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou wast,
The tutor and the feeder of my riots.
Till then I banish thee, on pain of death,
As I have done the rest of my misleaders,


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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