As far as the Brits are concerned, intellectuals begin at Calais and gravitate to Paris, where the fact that they are lionised in its cafes and salons is seen as proof that the French, despite their cheese- and wine-making skills, are fundamentally unsound. Given this nasty linguistic undercurrent, a Martian anthropologist would be forgiven for thinking that Britain was a nation of knuckle-dragging troglodytes rather than a cockpit of vibrant cultural life and home to some of the world\’s best universities, most creative artists, liveliest publications and greatest theatres and museums.
So, not lionising intellectuals, not actually taking them seriously, means that we have a vibrant intellecual life as a nation?
Why, it\’s almost as if doing our own thinking, rather than palming it off to those who would tell us how to think, leads to lots of useful thinking going on.
A reasonable and general rule for life perhaps: those who would tell us how to think, what to do, can bugger off and we\’ll get on with it ourselves.