Diary

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Lady Jane is in print again

LESS than a year ago, a nasty old bat called the Dowager Lady Jane Birdwood, was convicted at the Old Bailey of 10 offences concerning the distribution of literature intending to stir up racial hatred. Because of her age (78) and 'previous good record' the judge conditionally discharged her - warning: 'If you commit another offence in the next two years, you are liable to go to prison.' Intriguing, then, to get a copy of Lady Birdwood's contribution to the European debate. The August issue of her newspaper Choice was in English, French, German and Italian, and warned our neighbours: 'Millions of 'British' Afro-Asians are poised to flood into Europe] . . . Britain has a huge and growing population of West Indians, Africans, Pakistanis, Indians, Chinese and numerous other black brown and yellow peoples' who will 'move into Europe in waves of hundreds of thousands'. Furthermore, an independent European bank will be exploited by the Zionist Jews of the 'international banking cabal' for the purposes of world domination on behalf of their 'tribe'. This, and another pamphlet on the 'Holocaust hoax' is very much the sort of stuff for which Birdwood was prosecuted last time. She tells us she's 'not worried . . . Someone's got to stand up, and I don't have access to the media because of the Jewish grip on it.' Stan Newens, MEP for London Central, who is one recipient, has passed the leaflets to the DPP.

BELTS are being pulled intolerably tight at BBC Televison Centre - either that or everyone's too fat. A peckish mole tells us of a new management edict decreeing that only News and Current Affairs and Children's Programmes will now be allowed free biscuits at their meetings.

Class action

THE BITERS are about to be bit. Having taken delight in recent years in tormenting heads by grouping schools into league tables, education correspondents are about to be performance-ranked themselves. Jonty Driver, Master of Wellington College and editor of Conference & Common Room, the Headmasters' Conference in-house magazine, has commissioned Ian Walker, the headmaster of King's School, Rochester, to write an article classifying Fleet Street's finest along the lines of the Good Schools Guide. Twenty-one correspondents have been invited to complete questionnaires listing their 'most significant contribution' to 'journalism' and to 'education' in general. They have also been asked to spell out their educational qualifications. (There are, sadly, no accompanying test papers.) While some have entered into the spirit of the thing and replied light-heartedly, others, Dr Walker says, have solemnly completed the forms without a twinkle.

TRYING hard to regain the public's esteem, West Midlands Police this morning launches a booklet emphasising 'quality of service' from the force that has perhaps done more than any other to alienate the public. The booklet's title seems well aware of the gap between them and us: Your Service, Our Standards.

Harrod times

A DECLINE in the number of top people has hit their store, Harrods. So few were around last Tuesday when Nigel Mansell turned up to meet Mohamed Al- Fayed that staff were ordered to dress up in coats and hats to pose as a throng of excited shoppers. Meanwhile Harrods has gone into the discount business, opening a shop in Isleworth, west London, where the shopsoiled and unsellable can be had at knock-down prices. Example: Princess Michael of Kent's book Five Royal Paramours, reduced from pounds 17.50 to pounds 5 (didn't have the right paramours, you presume), and HRH The Prince of Wales Watercolours, with 73 prints ( pounds 20 to pounds 5). 'Oh, they've no right to do that]' says a spokeswoman for Little, Brown, the publishers, with some miff.

A POPULAR name for babies in Cambodia is Untac, as in the acronym for the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia, the local peacekeeping effort. Parents give the name, which has no meaning in Khmer, to their babies because they want them to grow up 'all powerful like Untac, and drive around everywhere in fast cars like Untac'. Bosnia is not, it is thought, sufficiently impressed by its own UN Protection Force to sprout little Unprofors.

A DAY LIKE THIS

22 September 1815 Betsy Wynne in Paris writes in her diary: 'Emma went with her cousins to the review near Monmartre where Lord Wellington reviewed 80,000 men nearly all English. I went to the Louvre Gallery. A great number of fine pictures are gone and the walls are quite bare. I understand everything is to be restored to its owner and even the Venetian bronze horses in front of the Car on the Carousel, are to be taken down in a few days. The Parisians are quite angry, and say the English are pillaging Paris. My Husband went to a dinner at the Duke of Wellington's at 2 o'clock to meet the Emperor of Austria to whom he was introduced. We dined at the Hotel and went to the Theatre Francais where we were in extecies at the Tartuffe.'

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