31 JULY 1964, Page 7

Spectator's Notebook

What triggered this incredibly nasty comment? Simply that David Walder has written a pleasant political send-up of all three political parties and their candidates (The Short List, Hutchin- son, 18s.). But David Walder is a Tory MP and a Bow-Grouper, and this is quite enough for him to be lumped with John Bloom. 'The Blooms and the Bowgroupers' is the headline.

`No doubt this is all fiction,' says the leader- writer generously. 'But some of it has the un- comfortable ring of truth, and Mr. Walder, after all, has every incentive to present himself and his colleagues in as favourable a light as pos- sible.' Either as political or literary criticism this is superbly funny.

No doubt (1 reply equally generously) this is not 'guilt-by-association.' It is simply that the silly season has started in Great Turnstile rather earlier than usual. Chuck it, John . . . or Paul . . . or Ringo.