Tom Lappin’s article in The List 180 about the cult Skinhead books by Richard Allen made for compulsive reading, as indeed do the books themselves. However, Allen and his new publisher George Marshall seem to be more than a little bit confused about the role of these books.
Marshall first says that he is publishing the books to make them available to modern skins and that Allen is an exciting writer, chronicling youth cults of the 705 which would otherwise have been forgotten. He then goes on to apologise for Allen, saying that because he only had a short time to write the books he turned to what the papers were saying and concentrated on the racist elements ofskinhead culture and ignored reggae (and presumably ska). These seem to be two totally incompatible statements to me.
Presumably Tom Lappin interviewed Marshall face-to-face, so he has some sort of excuse for his failing logic. Allen has none, having had the luxury of a written interview. He admits that his novels became a blueprint for skinheads. He does not argue against the suggestion that his writing glorified violent and racist characters, although it appears that he would prefer to call them ‘patriotic‘, rather than racist. He did not restrain himselfwhen he realised he was writing for a young and impressionable audience.
All this leads to the conclusion that no matter how entertaining the books are, they are knowingly racist novels, written for an audience which will take them as blueprints for their actions. If Marshall wants to be so worthy and publish books which highlight what he sees as the true skins, he should publish a new novel from Allen to set the record straight.
Johnny Angus Partickhill Road Glasgow
0n the bus
I would like to share the following conversation with you, which I
Played Listo yet? Well, what did you think: the most inﬂuential board game since Monopoly, or about as sexy as a hyena with halitosis? Write to us with your comments, suggestions and queries about the more arcane points in the rule book. The best one we publish will receive a bottle of the Listo-enhancing Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila.
overheard as I was sitting on a number 31 bus (upstairs), the other day.
It was a couple in their 605 or so. sitting right up front, and chatting away to each other. The wifie said to her husband, ‘Have you seen that Fringe programme thing yet?‘ To ‘ which he replied ‘No‘, and she said. ‘I was looking to see ifthere was anything on at Chambers Street, but there doesn‘t seem to be anything on, Och there‘s not much happening anyway.”
I wonder if the various Festivals should do a bit more promotion here at home?
Susan McCormack Fettes Row Edinburgh.
Going for gold
Is there something wrong with my television set, or have other List readers noticed that as soon as they switch on to watch the Olympics, having heard that Linford Christie has won a gold medal or some other such wondrous and earth shattering event, it is never on? Instead. Mr Smugness Lynam spends the next hour interviewing the successful sportsperson, constantly referring to their ‘fine moment for British sport‘ and we don‘t get a chance to see it. Either that or, in the worst case. he is just looking up from his desk. referring to said fine moment and saying the dreaded words: “and now over to the boxing.‘
Ifthere is any duller, more mindnumbingly boring sport than boxing I have yet to see it. What I
also have yet to see is that Christie gold performance. Sure I heard it on the radio, but somehow that did not manage to convey the whole moment of the event. Perhaps some gold tequila would help me conjure it up?
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And as Adelle sprints into thefinal straightshe is well ahead with lime and salt at the ready and, yes, she has won the Jose Cuervo gold tequila, a bottle of which awaits her in our Glasgow ofﬁce. It 's afine dayfor Golﬂiill Drive, and now over to Harry Carpenter forthe boxing. . .
Kevin Brolley claims to be ‘appalled‘ at how many animals come to him from the abattoir with broken bones and bruises or with deep purple ﬂesh. signifying fear (The List 180). The animals must, indeed, be grateful to him for his concern. He claims to be appalled. but still continues in his obscene trade. He mentions the animals‘ fear. Their fear is so great that pigs have been known to die ofa heart attack, while standing. or hobbling along. as they queue up awaiting their fate. Anyone who condones such disgusting cruelty — and that includes
all those who eat animals — should
visit a slaughterhouse. to see just how their bacon, burger or sausage came to be on their plate. If they can still eat it. they deserve to choke on it. But how many are willing to do so anyway. Very few. Most people would rather forget about the animals‘ suffering, as they continue to munch on bits and pieces ofcow, sheep, pig etc.
To briefly satisfy one‘s taste buds eannotjustify the suffering that animal-eaters condone.
Sandra Busell Lutton Place Edinburgh.
Shoot to kill
Gillian Cooper‘s letter in your recent edition expresses a personal point of view which is at odds with scientiﬁc fact.
Authorities as diverse as David Bellamy and the RSPB accept that the management of heather moor for grouse shooting produces a habitat with greater wildlife variety than any other upland regime. Ornithologically and botanically the number ofspecies supported by this habitat greatly exceeds those in aforested or agricultural areas. D.S.P. Cant British Association for Shooting & Conservation Trochry By Dunkeld Taysidc.
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