My attention was drawn today to Duncan Fallowell's Telegraph review of The Pursuit of Laughter, a collection of bits and pieces of journalism and diary by the late unrepentant fascist Lady Diana Mosley, one of the idiotic Mitford girls. In life, the silly bitch was feted by newspapers and magazines despite her admiration for Hitler - who was guest of honour at her Berlin marriage to Oswald Mosley, the wartime British fascist leader. She didn't deny Hitler's personal responsibility for the Holocaust, which she regarded as most unfortunate, but the fuhrer had such lovely blue eyes, and he was so good at mimicry. Oh, the laughs.
Duncan asks: "How do you solve a problem like Diana?" The problem: though her views were repellent to most visiting writers and journalists, and others besides, she tended to charm their socks off. But of course. She was an aristocrat, a witty one too, and beautiful: she was a history-bauble celebrity, up there by association with some of the big names of the 20th century: no sin can quite dull the radiance of fame, particularly one rooted in the British upper class: its warm light, even if a little off-colour, enraptures the supplicant (and status-preoccupied) gazer who suffers from country piles and an over-reverence for hereditary foolishness. Call it Bridesheadophilia.
You solve a problem like Diana by choosing to ignore her, by making a decision not to read her because of the shit-stink in her aura. That simple.