This was only the seventh time President Obama had treated a visiting foreign leader to a full-on State Dinner and mon dieu but it was a flashy affair. French President FranĂ§ois Hollande got the full works on Tuesday night: a menu of American Osetra caviar, dry-aged rib eye beef, Hawaiian chocolate-malted ganache and 300 guests summoned to the White House in his honor, including luminaries such as Bradley Cooper, Mindy Kaling, JJ Abrams, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Stephen Colbert.
When the Women’s Equality Party (WE) revealed that Sophie Walker would run against Philip Davies in the forthcoming general election, the MP for Shipley accused her of a “publicity stunt”. This seemed a little rich, coming from a man whose parliamentary career has been pockmarked by stunts devised to signal his support for regressive “meninism”.
At his funeral we tried to explain why he’d made such an impact on all of us. This isn’t the send-off Richard would have wished. We’ve ignored his instructions. You had to do that sometimes with Richard. A world designed by him would have been more just, more free, with chocolate and cigarettes on demand – but it wouldn’t have functioned for a day. He was utterly brilliant – and utterly impractical.So this event is not what he’d have wished – it’s much too predictable, too conventional.