3 NOVEMBER 1979, Page 17

Obscure point

Sir: I can't think why Richard West should want to drag my name into his review of Thomas Pakenham's The Boer War (13 October). By doing so he muddles an obscure point by attributing to me 'a comparison between Hitler's Germany, the present government in South Africa and British rule in Northern Ireland,' I have made no such comparison.

Perhaps I can clarify his muddle by acknowledging that I have compared the coverage by the cinema newsreels of Nazi Germany in the Thirties with the coverage by television of events today in South Africa and Northern Ireland.

To conclude from that ,that I was comparing Hitler's Germany with Northern Ireland is as absurd as to suggest that a comparison between the coverage of (say) the conferences at Brighton and Blackpool by (say) the Spectator and the New Statesman constitutes a 'comparison' between the Labour and Tory parties.

Jonathan Dim ble by.

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