Roger Scruton says that France has never recovered from Jean-Paul Sartre’s horror of the bourgeoisie and his repudiation of both Christianity and the idea of FranceJean-Paul Sartre, born 100 years ago on 21 June 1905, was the most striking presence in French post-war literature, and the originating cause of the left-bank culture of the Sixties. His prodigious literary gifts found expression in seminal works of philosophy, in novels, plays, stories, criticism, in a highly influential literary journal (Les Temps modernes) and in a remarkable work of autobiography (Les Mots, 1964).
Alan Duncan, the dapper shadow transport spokesman, is indisputably the most eye-catching of the Tory leadership contenders. Aside from being openly gay, he has a habit of saying and doing unusual things. Earlier in the year he posed for a charity calendar called ‘Men in Wellies’ wearing only a red Santa Claus hat, with a photograph of Lady Thatcher concealing his private parts. Recently, while launching his campaign, he cheerfully compared the Conservative party to an underwear department that needed frilly knickers.
There’s a moment in the new Batman (reviewed elsewhere in these pages) that made my ears prick up almost as much as those on top of the dark knight’s cute little Bat-mask. Bruce Wayne has just bumped into his childhood sweetheart Rachel Dawes in the lobby of some Gotham City hotel. Unfortunately, he’s sopping wet, having been cavorting in the ornamental fountain with a couple of hot pieces of arm candy.
Bob Geldof has urged us not to dwell on ‘the corruption thing’ — but, says Aidan Hartley, corrupt African leaders are using Western aid to buy fleets of Mercedes Benz cars‘Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz,’ prayed Janis Joplin, and the Lord obliged. With or without divine intervention, the late Pope had one. So does the Queen. Erich Honecker hunted at night by dazzling the deer in his Mercedes jeep’s headlights until he got close enough to blow them away.