EDITOR'S BLOG: 'Conscious uncoupling' - the right and the wrong way to do it

Divorce is rarely a dignified business. But there are ways and ways of achieving separation with a degree of dignity intact. The Martins are better than Nat Rothschild.

by Matthew Gwyther
Last Updated: 28 Mar 2014

This morning we have an example of how and how not to do separation.

In the red corner, tearful after a year trying to make it work, we have the sensitive, emotionally intelligent 21st century couple who are only thinking of the welfare of their children during this difficult time. Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow have come up with a statement to the world that seems drafted partly by their PR and partly by Gwinnie's therapist. They have brought a new phrase to family law - 'conscious uncoupling'. Last time we encountered this manoeuvre was in the Rev Awdry's 'Troublesome Engines'. Our thoughts are with Apple and Moses.

In the blue corner and definitely not the way to conduct a progressive divorce with the minimum of collateral damage we have Nat Rothschild and Aga Bakrie who have fallen out very publicly after the celebrated financier raised $700 million to invest in Indonesian mining assets and the rowing began almost immediately.

The pair have chosen to fling poo at each other over Twitter like a pair of juvenile chimps. 'Thanks for buying back a worthless pile of turd' tweeted Rothschild, of the once-illustrious banking dynasty. And on he went with another 140 characters of spleen. 'Whilst your dad is an evil genius... the word on the street is that you are extremely DUMB!'

'Haha' Tweeted Bakrie in response. 'Dumb - I believe that's the word that has been associated with you by most of the people that i have met.' Well i never. that's a level of wit and repartee not since since Oscar Wilde walked Dublin's streets.

Still they weren't finished. 'Bumi resources back to Indonesia… Protect Country resources from imperialist. Good bye London… It was a bittersweet experience,' tweeted Bakrie.

'What about protect minority shareholders from Bakrie? Why is investing 1.2b into Indo bad for indonesia you dumb schmuck?!' retorted Rothschild. And there will will leave them.

It's worth remembering that in the Bumi debacle the pair have presided over one of the most shameful destructions of value and lack of attention to the rules of corporate governance for many years.

Rothschild, incidentally, needs to get his people to work on his Twitter profile. He has a modest 900 odd  followers, a number that has doubled since yesterday's outburst. Gwyneth Paltrow has 1.8 million. Meanwhile, we'd wager Chris Martin had bacon and black pudding for breakfast this morning.

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