22 JANUARY 1965, Page 8

Spectator's Notebook

Liss-r Friday, Christopher Booker started his first ar- ticle on 'The Press' with a piece on what he called 'the fastest-fading myth in Fleet Street'—the Daily Express. On Monday of this week, the Daily Ex- press carried a full-scale assault on me. Funny co- incidence department? Per- haps. But it seems odd to me that the same paper (and indeed the writer of the article) should have rung me up just before Christopher Booker's piece appeared to ask if I would give them a 'fighting interview' on Wilson's hundred days. I explained with genuine regret that I was already committed to a broadcast on this theme, and we parted with expressions of mutual regard. Then came Booker. And one phrase of his haunts me : 'Without the continual threat of that Canadian rasp down any Express- man's telephone, the paper has become flaccid, dull . . .' Almost enough to make one believe in spiritualism. Ah, well! Back to the dog-house.