I send Simon Price a message to verify if he identifies as straight; he does, but adds that he is "culturally queer." That'll do. He says I'm "Wide of the mark" to call Hilary Mantel's remarks bitchy. Why? "Because it demeans the valid points she made and implies that her remarks were made with personal malice, when her beef wasn't personal."
The struggle against islamophobia is the struggle for a nuanced and contextualised appraisal of events involving Muslims, a refusal to accept that everything can be explained away through a facile reference to 'Islam' and a defence of a European minority group. There is nothing Orwellian about that.
Martin Amis provided the evening's most entertaining moments. Going through old photographs with Stephen Fry, he was fantastically funny, noting a baguette stowed away in Hitchens' top pocket while in Paris, and remarking upon his abundant sprouting chest-hair in another that showed him smoking a cigarette while holding a brace of pheasants on the Rothschild estate.