Spare us the self-pity. The young have never had it so good


Originally published by The Times

Somebody recently asked me whom I admired, and I gave them the truth: “Simon Raven’s godfather and the present Countess Mountbatten.” The reasons for the idolatry are related.

The late novelist’s godfather was celebrated in the Raven family, and still cherished by me, for a single comment overheard by his co-pilot during the Second World War. After his plane was hit and it began to plummet to the ground, he was overheard simply saying: “This is unfortunate. This is the end.” Both pilots actually survived.

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