Monica’s year

Prospect Magazine

Monica’s year


In 1997, “Diana’s year” illustrated a dominant theme of our age: that the right has won politically, but the left has won culturally. In 1998, “Monica’s year” illustrates a related theme: the political problem of our age is the brutality of the right, and the dishonesty of the left

As somebody may have already observed, all the great events and personalities of history reappear in one form or another, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. Doubtless there were farcical aspects to “Diana’s year,” which I looked back on 12 months ago (Prospect, January 1998): the mass hysteria and peasant hagiography of Diana Week at the beginning of September 1997, and the bizarre excesses of some of the late princess’s admirers. Most absurd of all were the attempts by feminists in particular, and the left in general, to make a heroine out of Lady Diana Spencer and to connect her death with the Labour landslide four months earlier-as in David Edgar’s claim that the floral tributes of September echoed the demand of the British people in May “that the brute, metallic logic of the market be constrained by a sense of moral responsibility.” Still, even when it

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Geoffrey Wheatcroft

Geoffrey Wheatcroft is the author of Le Tour (Pocket) 

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