Magazine article The Spectator


Magazine article The Spectator


Article excerpt

Just a little bomb Sir: How many more apologists for the German nation proudly following the Nazis? Mr Lamb's letter (2 November) `for the want of a little bomb handed over in a British embassy' -- beggars belief.

Amid the resources of the all-conquering Wehrmacht could no one find a little bomb with which to assassinate the Fuhrer? Why did not von Stauffenberg use a grenade? How did he get all those medals and wounds? While riding a bicycle?

Read the German books and newspapers and watch the films of the pre-war period. One Dietrich Bonhoeffer does not excuse all the priests and pastors leading the prayers for German domination of Europe and beyond. Go and see the film Cabaret, Mr Lamb.

I played chess with German prisoners after the war. No one apologised for Hitler. He found them work and gave them selfrespect. He offered something to all Germans.

When Tony Blair is flattered by a trip with the Chancellor, heading east in the latest people's car, he'd better make sure it is not a tank. Ray Ackary 72 Boyd Court, Downshire Way, Bracknell, Berks

Spare us this hack Sir: A.A. Gill (`Provincial, po-faced, Pooterish', 2 November) obviously considers himself to be a cut above businessmen, solicitors and other dull members of bourgeois society. As for the middle-aged, he can't abide them. It seems hard to gain Gill's approval, and the Good Food Guide, like most of us, fails to do so.

The contribution of the Guide to raising the standard of restaurant food in Britain over the last 40 years is widely acknowledged, although, of course, we could all list some curious omissions and some dubious entries. Such faults do not justify a contemptuous dismissal of the Guide.

Rather curiously, the real source of Gill's animosity towards the Guide seems to be that it looks askance at smoking in restaurants. Like many smokers, he finds it difficult to understand how objectionable smoking in confined spaces, with food on the table, is to non-smokers. But, then, lucky the restaurant visitor who has only seen Gill smoking at table, for he boasts, inter alia, of spitting, farting and wearing harlot scent (really, Mr Gill!) in restaurants.

Finally, he tells us that the list of correspondents in the Guide is useful as naming people with whom one should never break bread. Breaking bread seems not to be Gill's sole activity in restaurants and the rest of us may doubt that we wish to be in the same room as this malodorous and conceited journalist. Peter Long Booterstown, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Anti-Lottery winner? Sir: I bet Alasdair Palmer thought he'd won the Lottery in a way, being given my book Living on the Lottery to review (Books, 2 November). It gave him a chance, once again, to repeat all the fatuous anti-Lottery nonsense he's been trotting out for the last two years. Surely, I thought, after all this time, his knee-jerking, ever so superior moralising will have been tempered by a few facts, some careful thought and a bit of common sense. Nope. Out it all came again. The Lottery, he spouts, is `tapping the greed and gullibility of the British people'. Come on, Alasdair, move on a little bit. I know you believe the great British public is not only unwashed but absolutely stupid - but after two years of winning nothing would 30 million people, of all classes, all brows, still be playing every week? What if, terrible thought, just a few of them consider it harmless fun, worth an average of 2.40 a week to take part?

I only mention it as a possibility, but clearly his tiny mind is totally closed. However, there are two mistakes in his review of which I'd like your readers to be aware. Mark Gardiner of Hastings won half, not a quarter of 22 million. And I did explain how Camelot got the licence. Their bid was the lowest. Very simple, really. Hunter Davies 11 Boscastle Road, London NW5

The original Boylett Sir: There is no doubt whatever that `Mr Boylett' was the original of 'E.L. …

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