Sir Denis Mahon arrived at The Spectator 40 minutes before he was due to be interviewed. While I scuffed around in search of tape recorders and sensible questions, Britain’s most distinguished collector and historian of Italian art sat in the editor’s office, waiting. Every now and then I looked at him through the door jamb. He stared peacefully into the middle distance with his hands folded in his lap: nearly 100 years and £20 million worth of old man, upholstered in impeccable three-piece pinstripe.
Multiculturalism is in crisis. By that I don’t just mean that political correctness has ‘gone mad’, as the Daily Mail likes to put it: the British public worked that out long ago, and merely shrugs when it learns (for example) that the Lake District National Park is to abolish its guided walks because they attract insufficient numbers of black people. ‘Political correctness’ is shorthand for the etiquette and working practices of the most influential ideology of our age: multiculturalism, or ‘identity politics’.