CASTRO AS A JOKE FIGURE
WHAT is one to read, I wonder, in to Ca stro's joke. made just before he heard of Kennedy's death, that he would tell everybody he was a good friend of Senator Barry Goldwater if it ensured Kennedy's re-election.
He is already one of the best friends the Senator has got, and by telling everybody of his anxiety to see Kennedy reelected, he must have given Goldwater a tremendous boost while underlining the pathetic inadequacy of the present Government's economic sanctions against Cuba.
Castro as a joke figure — a gesticulating tinpot dictator on whom we can afford to smile indulgently – • is all very well, but when Castroism has spread throughout Latin America just as Nkrumahism has spread throughout Africa and Soekarnoism is spreading through the Far East there will be precious few place's left where justice and order enter into the running of affairs.
Englishmen who have confined themselves to English newspapers — and not only Left-Wing newspapers at that — will have a vague impression of Senator Goldwater as someone standing between Colin Jordan and Verwoerd, committed to the suppression of the black races, an immediate invasion of the Chinese mainland and declaration of war with Russia as soon as an opportunity presents itself.
The fact that a majority of the Republican party seems to favour Goldwater's nomination is therefore proof to us of how wildly unreliable and unintelligent the mass of Americans arc. If we are too lazy to enquire into the man who may very well be America's next President, no wonder that we invariably seem to get left behind.
Since we arc not going to have to vote for or against the man. I wish somebody would take the trouble to tell us what he stands for, instead of trying to prejudice us against him when it is a matter of no importance how we feel. Since we rely on them for our lists and our freedom, we cannot maintain indefinitely our smug acceptance of the possibility that most Americans are mad.
grounds. lhe o. MORAL instruction can be given only on the basis of full, detailed sexual knowledge, said a bright young fellow at the National Union of Students Council last week. He proposed that secondary schools should make courses on sexual matters, with particular reference to contraception, compulsory for all except those who objected on religious or other only possible reason for n lhe o. this must be to make fornication less hazardous, and so more popular among sixth formers. Needless to say, the resolution was passed. I do not grudge anyone his pleasures in this neo-pagan society of ours, but why on earth should he try to impose them on everybody else'? People are always very unpopular who enjoy music or cricket and take their enjoyment so seriously that they will never rest until the whole world enjoys music or plays cricket. Fornication is only one sin. If
simonists, intemperate eaters. sodomites and people envious of ry
another's spiritual good all de manded compulsory there would be no room in the syllabus for anything else. and we should never become a great race of scientists at all,
LAST week my publishers sent me the dossier of press cuttings on my new novel. It is an ordeal with which all readers who have written books wil'l be familiar, Dividing the reviews into three groups — the good, the noncommittal and the insane — I found my attention compulsively drawn to the last pile, and after a time to the conclusion that here we have a very real social problem on our hands.
What are we to do with these anti-social outcasts who can make no contribution of any sort unless a destructive one? 1 he Conservative ethic of self-help plainly can never apply to them, and if one rejects, as one must, the courses of action which pragmatic socialism might suggest — the gas chamber. the forced labour camp — one is left with a large body of people simply unable to cope with life, who arc forced to take to crime or some other anti-social livelihood by the pressures of existence.
1 have sent a small contribution to the Simon Community Trust (344, Kensington High Street, W.I4) sponsored by Lord Longford and designed to cater for just — such people. I hope others writers and readers alike — will follow my example. It should prove a good investment.
As for Path of Dalliance, the novel which prompted theft reflections, readers should not be deterred. It will make an eAcellent Christmas present for uncles, aunts, pussies, budgerigars, children — anyone on whom they normally spend a guinea or more.
PROF. COLIN BUCHANAN makes three proposals for accommodating the motor car inside the framework of our growing prosperity and our urban society, but he does not seem to query whether such an accommodation is necessary or desirable, The reason for the present popularity of the motor car is that it seems to be the most convenient method of moving, As soon as it becomes comparatively less convenient, people will take to other means of transport. The motorist who complains at the congestion of our roads must imagine an ideal state in which either he is one of the very few people permitted to drive or an enormous proportion of our national product (representing, at the moment, comfort and convenience in other ways) has been painlessly diverted to make passage
by motor car easier. .
But if this greater convenience ill motoring must be paid for by an equal inconvenience in other matters — inability to park within miles of your destination, building and welfare programmes pruned, taxes heavier, homes uprooted and habits changed — then it soon becomes apparent that the only really radical measure needed is the resolution to do absolutely nothing.
The situation cannot get worse beyond a certain point, because somewhere the motorist, being a rational animal, will abandon travel by that means. 'I he shift away from the motor car is hound to occur as soon as the balance of convenience tips against it. Until then. money spent on delaying the process is wasted.