WHEN GENERAL DE GAULLE left power, the world did not end: but something more than a lamp-rather, a great, illuminating searchlight-was suddenly dimmed. His enemies and critics-with as much generosity as condescension and vice versa at that moment heaped praise on his head: he was, they said, a great man and so unique. The earlier attacks-that he had been a bloody-minded anachronism, forcing his will on a would-be enlightened world-were softened and muted.
I WAS AT a dinner party the other night with some friends of mine who had been eager Labour Party campaign workers in the 1964 election and who had sweated for months to usher in the new dawn of the technological revolution then promised by Harold Wilson. Naturally, I twitted them with the present chaos of the Labour govcrnment and the widely accepted certainty of a Conservative administration after the next election.
SINCE OCTOBER 1968 there has been a great deal of-usually loosetalk about the Irish problem in British politics. The essence of that talk has been that, the problem of Home Rule and independence for Ireland having been a wrecking agent in British politics for nearly half a century from the time Gladstone fell on the Home Rule issue in 1886, the Civil Rights crisis of the 1960s might yet provide the material for yet another Anglo-Irish explosion in our own time, the consequences of which none of us could foresee, but which would certainly be appalling.