Guy Hands, one of our most remarkable businessmen and philanthropists, has just brought out his memoirs — and been highly complimentary about me in them. Unfortunately, he seems to have the wrong man.

To explain: Charlotte Edwardes, a journalist, has conducted a fascinating interview about this private equity titan’s life and career. She reported that Nigella Lawson was catty and couldn’t express herself well, while Dominic was ‘unfailingly generous’.

This struck me as strange. My sister is not like that, and ‘unfailingly generous’ is something I have never been.

Remarkable businessman and philanthropist Guy Hands has recently brought out his memoirs titled Dealmaker: Lessons From A Life In Private Equity

Remarkable businessman and philanthropist Guy Hands has recently brought out his memoirs titled Dealmaker: Lessons From A Life In Private Equity 

Could it have been the other direction? I asked my sister and she said that she had no memory of ever meeting Guy Hands.

I then searched for the full account in the memoir (Dealmaker – Lessons From A Private Equity Life).

The passage refers to my alleged “unfailing kindness” and my sister’s alleged “somewhat cutting”: “Rich Tories would sponsor weekends away from student politicians.

“One I vividly remember was held in a beautiful country home just outside Oxford. There were around 30 of us there, including Nigel Lawson’s son and daughter as Chancellor of Exchequer. . . The assembled company seemed only interested in discussing politics past and future.

In 2015 Professor Adam Zeman spoke to the BBC about aphantasia and suggested that only around 2 per cent of the population completely lacked a visual imagination

2015, Professor Adam Zeman spoke to BBC about aphantasia. He suggested that only 2 percent of the population had a visual imagination.


Odder still. I am not like Hands, who was President of the Oxford University Conservative Association. I was not involved in politics as an undergraduate and never joined The Conservative Party.

My sister has never been interested in politics or how to win elections. Even if she did decide to join a party, it would not be the Conservatives.

This is a complicated case of false memory. This confusion was revealed in an interview with Edwardes, a multi-billionaire resident of Channel Islands. Edwardes says Hands has a condition called aphantasia. . . He is unable to form an image of himself mentally [his wife]Julia is aware that she has blonde hair and blue eyes.

Now I understand — and only too well. If it can even be called that, I also have the same condition.

The name aphantasia was given by the cognitive neurologist Adam Zeman to describe those people who have no ‘mind’s eye’ — that is, they can form no visual images.

This is not a disability. Until Professor Zeman spoke to BBC 2015 about my lack of mental imagery, I didn’t believe there was anything unusual about it. He suggested that only 2 percent of the population has a visual imagination.

Dominic Lawson with his sister Nigella, who Guy Hands in his new memoirs claimed he met in the 1980s despite neither sibling being able to recall the encounter

Dominic Lawson and his sister Nigella, whom Guy Hands claimed he met in 1980s, despite neither sibling being capable of recalling the encounter

Indeed, I was always amazed to hear my wife say that she could keep a photo of me (and many other people) in her head, which she could retrieve at any time.

I can’t remember any images of her or our kids, but I can describe her appearance, just like Guy Hands. I can describe her auburn hair, grey-green eyes, and she is a great mom.

Dr Zeman — coincidentally a schoolfriend of mine — became interested in this when he had a patient who suddenly lost the ability to visualise.

This occurred after the man had had a surgery to his coronary artery. The patient was very upset by the sudden loss of his visual imagination and complained to Dr Zeman.

It is not possible to feel any distress for those of you who have never had it. We don’t know any other way.

Dr Zeman discovered that aphantasia is linked to a very low autobiographical memory, which is a social disadvantage.

My is embarrassingly terrible. Adam explained to me why this was so. He said visual images can be a great aid in recalling our lives’ experiences.

Blake Ross, an American software engineering engineer who created the Mozilla Firefox internet browser, provided a stark description.

Ross felt relief after reading Zeman’s account. It is vindication in a lifelong struggle against an enemy I could not find.

“I’ve always felt an incomprehensible mixture of stupid-smart. . . What was it like growing to be a Miamian? I don’t know. What did you do today, I don’t know. I don’t know.

Although this may seem extreme, I can identify with it. I have very few childhood memories. I also struggle to remember what I did in 24 hours.

But I can recite symphonies in my “mind’s ear” and I can recall things like historical dates or telephone numbers. I can also play chess.


There are also some benefits. I don’t experience vivid nightmares because I don’t have vivid dreams, but I don’t have mental images.

I would also be the last to suffer from any form of post-traumatic Stress Disorder. This condition is often characterized by a painfully realistic recalling of horrendous personal experiences and images that can’t easily be erased.

I was involved in a head on car accident once. It was not pleasant at the time, but it was painful after it had happened. It was. . It’s over. I didn’t feel any shock.

This form of resilience is a way of compensating for the social awkwardness I feel when I hear a friend talk about something they did together in the distant past. I don’t remember the details. He doesn’t even know if he’s accurate in his own recall.

This was my first anxiety when I read Guy Hands’ flattering account about my non-existent encounter with Him all those years ago. It is much easier to say, “Oh yes, I do remember it well.” Even if you don’t know.

Here’s how Boris might shock the French

The French government has threatened to cut electricity supply to the UK for its campaign against the UK over fishing rights in British waterways.

Clement Beaune was the minister for European Affairs in the UK. He stated that while diplomatically defending its interests is important, it’s not enough. We take action when necessary. The UK’s Channel Islands, or Channel Islands, depend on us for their energy supply.

This is a minor reference to the fact, that electricity comes from the ‘interconnector.’ It runs along the bottom of English Channel.

Last week the French minister for European affairs, Clement Beaune (pictured), said: ‘We defend our interests nicely, diplomatically, but when that doesn’t work we take measures'

Clement Beaune, French minister for European affairs (pictured), stated last week: “We defend our interests nicely and diplomatically, but we take steps when that doesn’t work.”

Yet EDF (Electricite de France) also owns and runs all Britain’s eight nuclear power stations — and is set to build a new one, Sizewell C in Suffolk.

There has been increasing concern in the British government at the fact that China has a 20 per cent equity stake in that particular project — and a larger, 33.5 per cent stake in another proposed reactor, at Hinkley Point.

These arrangements were in place when David Cameron’s government was making friendly with Beijing. However, the mood has changed and Whitehall wants to find a way that China will divest.

A project design for the new Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk which EDF (Electricite de France) is set to build

A project design for the new Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk which EDF (Electricite de France) is set to build

However, Xi Jinping’s Communist regime is not threatening to cut our electricity supply.

The government of Emmanuel Macron has done this repeatedly. Yet, it is suggested that the contracts for the next generation of nuclear power plants should be awarded to the same state via EDF.

I don’t recall what Boris Johnson said about Macron at the G20 summit in Rome this Sunday. But I believe it contained a warning that if Paris cuts our electricity supply as an electoral weapon, then this arrangement would not be acceptable. We would also re-nationalize our nuclear power program as a last resort.