Sunday, 29 March 2009
Letter to The Spectator
Sir: I warmly welcome Mr. Liddle’s appetitive sentiment (‘The smoking ban was always going to be the thin end of the wedge,’ 21 March), but think he should draw the line at enjoying these “tipples” as he researches articles for The Spectator. The web site www.google.com is a useful resource for journalists and creative people like Mr. Liddle! Matronly Sir Liam didn’t say that the death toll in Britain for bird flu would most likely be 50,000. The worry was, and still is, that the bird flu virus will mutate into a form that can be transmitted directly between humans. There is historical precedent for such mutations, but their timing is difficult to predict. Since no mutation has happened yet, it is unfair to call Sir Liam’s projections disproportionate. Mr. Liddle would not say the death toll of the Asian Tsunami “proved to be, uh, nil” just because he went swimming the day before? Drudges like Sir Liam are very particular in what they say, it pays to listen to them quite closely. Else it may lead to feeling, as Mr. Liddle surely does, mistakenly smug about still being alive.