Letter: Speculation on the Al Fayeds

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The Independent Online
I WAS wrong about Tim Hulse. He is not a smart alec, he is a clever dick. To take the letter I had written for publication and quote part of it in order to attack me and then change the subject to something unrelated, that is classic clever-dick journalism (People, 9 November). Clever dicks cannot take criticism though they like to give it out and their favourite weapon is innuendo, like Mr Hulse's sly suggestion (2 November) that the late Dodi Fayed took cocaine. As he cannot defend himself, let me confirm that Dodi Fayed was never connected with drugs. Can Mr Hulse say the same of himself?

Joan Smith says Mohamed Al Fayed "is currently contesting the decision of successive Conservative governments to deny him a British passport" ("Brown envelopes, battleaxes and very easy targets", 9 November). This is not so. Mr Fayed applied for naturalisation as a British subject only once, on 14 February 1994 and was refused by the Home Office on 23 February 1995, four months after his first allegations about the improper behaviour of four Tory ministers.

Ms Smith speculates as to the reasons for refusal. She does not know and nor does Mr Fayed. However, he hopes to find out when his case is heard by Britain's supreme court, the House of Lords, in February.

Michael Cole

Harrods, London SW1