The best way to picture the London intelligentsia is as an outwardly respectable Edwardian family at the dinner table. Many subjects are taboo, so sexually rapacious uncles and demented aunts are never mentioned. The dependence of the family’s lavish income on the labour and taxes of others is always forgotten. It seems a traditional scene, but today’s intelligentsia break with old bourgeois patterns in only one respect. Rather than engage in small talk, the family denounces the immorality of others. Everyone else is either gullible or wicked while only their motives are pure. This unbending self-belief ensures that self-satisfaction trumps self-examination and the self-improvement that goes with it.
When Corin Redgrave died, the BBC might have ignored his politics. Actors, by definition, repeat other people’s words. Nothing they thought or did offstage prevented Corin from being a good actor and his sister Vanessa a great one.
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