Letter: Purple and privileged

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The Independent Online
Sir: The image of Tony Blair and Chancellor Kohl has an older history than you might think. The 12th-century historian William of Malmesbury records that in 1121 Pope Calixtus II ridiculed the antipope Gregory VIII, whose election had been engineered by the German Emperor Henry V, as "that puppet of the king of Germany".

Tories will be gratified to learn that the English commentator considered the jibe "an exquisite and refined piece of wit". As their fortunes continue to languish, they may also find comfort in the fate of the antipope, who was arrested by the church authorities and forced to end his days in a remote monastery pressed into service as an ecclesiastical high-security prison.


St Leonards, Fife