And the Emir [of Qatar] knows how to embarrass people who get in his way. Apart from being fabulously rich and owning large bits of London – as well as the greatest liquid gas exporter in the Middle East – he doesn’t take kindly to insults. When he visited Washington during the Bush administration and was invited to see Dick Cheney, he was astounded to see the then vice-president with a large file on his desk, marked “Al-Jazeera”. What’s that for, the Emir asked? Cheney told him he intended to complain about the channel’s coverage of the Iraq war. “Then you’ll have to speak to the editors in Qatar,” the Emir replied – and walked out of the room.