Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Alan Clark: Diaries

I have been re-reading the immensely enjoyable Diaries Into Politics, by the late Alan Clark.

The Hon Alan Clark, elder son of the Lord Clark, was MP for Plymouth (Sutton), 1974-92, Kensington and Chelsea, 1997-99.

He was appointed a Privy Counsellor when he became Defence Minister.

If you haven’t already dipped into his Diaries, or indeed his other publications (including the splendid Back Fire: A Passion For Motoring, I urge you so to do.

Alan was an insufferable snob. He once said that Michael Heseltine - “odious Heseltine” - had to buy his own furniture.

In July, 1981, the Clarks gave a grand dinner party for Aspinall’s Ball at Port Lympne: Edward and Fiona Montagu, Jonathan Aitken, Jonathan Guinness and his wife, and two of his sons.

The food “was delicious and the table almost overloaded with Meissen, solid silver, Venetian glass etc.” Boy Scouts lined the driveway holding torches of pitch, girl guides doing the same thing from the car park.

As Simon Heffer has said, the Diaries show all sides of a man who was, within his complex personality, arrogant, sensitive, loyal, unfaithful, patriotic, selfish, selfless, and - at all times - completely technicolour.


Anonymous said...

It was actually Michael Jobling who made the remark about Heseltine's furniture, Alan Clark merely recounted it. VC

Timothy Belmont said...

He mentioned Jopling quite a lot; seemed to like and respect him.