A view from the Grill

By Geoffrey Paul
April 1, 2011

Is it just me or is there something that smells particularly unpleasant tucked into the middle of Alistair Horne's review (published in this week's Spectator luxury supplement) of a meal in the new Savoy Grill? I am not one of those who senses bigotry on every hand, or who goes looking for it, but...well, you read what troubled me: “Our conversation was beaten down by the nasal tones of Finchley Road entrepreneurs, boasting their latest high-powered deals” which carried him back to a party in the Savoy Grill in 1940 for a war-hero cousin who had brought his battalion out of Dunkirk. As they rose at the end of the meal, Horne relates, the cousin “looked around the room and asked scathingly:'Are these really the people we fought for?' He might possibly have posed the same question today,” adds Horne, “except that he was killed two years later at the head of his brigade in the desert.”


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 04/04/2011 - 13:13

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Horne has, in returning to a place redolent with memory, unfortunately reverted to a lazy anti-semitism that can go with his background. The Earl of Stockton (Harold Macmillan) – for whom Horne is Official Biographer – similarly let slip casual anti-semitism in his later years. They share a background; Eton and the Guards. Simon Ball (in his book The Guardsmen) has recalled an attitude of casual anti-semitism amongst Macmillian’s set in earlier days. And the Etonian background is shared by Sir Tam Dalyell who also, when advanced in years, engaged in his own anti-semitism in an interview.


Bush, an honourable man, might have made a good President – without Iraq. His fault was to heed too often the voices of the Zionist lobby in Washington. Never before has the Israeli tail wagged the American dog quite so vigorously; the results threaten to prove as disastrous for Israel as for the Western alliance.


Joe Millis

Mon, 04/04/2011 - 13:17

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I find that a lot of city boys have nasal tones.


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