Wil­liam has a Nasty turn

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QUES­TION Is there a with­drawn Just Wil­liam story where his gang demon­strate out­side a Jewish shop?

Rich­mal cromp­ton’s Just Wil­liam sto­ries, pub­lished be­tween 1922 and 1970, are some of the best-loved and fun­ni­est chil­dren’s tales.

Wil­liam Brown was the ar­che­typal naughty school­boy whose pre­oc­cu­pa­tions in­volved get-rich-quick schemes, up­set­ting el­derly aunts, taunt­ing the nou­veau­riche-mil­lion­aire’s lisp­ing daugh­ter Vi­o­let El­iz­a­beth Bott (‘i’ll thcream and thcream ’till i’m thick’) and get­ting the bet­ter of his arch-ri­val, hu­bert lane.

the illustrati­ons of Wil­liam, by thomas henry, with his freck­les, shorts and askew cap, are uni­ver­sally recog­nis­able.

Wil­liam and the nas­ties was pub­lished in 1934 in mag­a­zine form, and re­leased a year later in the book com­pen­dium Wil­liam the De­tec­tive. co­in­cid­ing with hitler’s rise to power, it is, at best, a clumsy at­tempt at satire and con­tains themes that are un­ac­cept­able to­day.

Wil­liam and his out­laws gang, henry, Dou­glas and Gin­ger, dis­cover that there’s a po­lit­i­cal party sweep­ing to power in Ger­many, which they think is called the nasty party.

‘What did you say they were called?’ said Wil­liam. ‘nas­ties,’ replied henry, who as usual was the fount of in­for­ma­tion on the sub­ject. ‘ they can’t be called nas­ties,’ said Wil­liam. ‘no one would call them­selves a name like that.’

henry goes on to ex­plain: ‘they chase out Jews . . . they chase ’em out and take all the stuff they leave be­hind. it’s a jolly good idea.’

the story is full of un­com­fort­able racial stereo­types. the out­laws call them­selves the nas­ties and de­cide their vic­tim will be mr isaacs, the owner of the lo­cal con­fec­tionery shop, who has re­fused to give them free sweets.

Wil­liam takes on the role of ‘him hitler’, be­cause herr hitler sounds like a girl. they make a swastika ban­ner and the out­laws be­come ‘storm troops’.

in the end, they foil a bur­glary at the con­fec­tionery shop and the grate­ful mr isaacs gives them a bar­row-load of free sweets. Wil­liam re­alises that the ‘nasty’ way of do­ing things is wrong. While cromp­ton may have been at­tempt­ing to write an anti-racist story, it was so un­sub­tle that it has been ex­punged from the Just Wil­liam canon. Mar­cus White­man, Sal­ford,

QUES­TION Is there a le­gal limit for how many pass­ports you can have?

Some coun­tries wel­come mul­ti­ple cit­i­zen­ship, par­tic­u­larly for eco­nomic rea­sons. oth­ers con­sider it un­de­sir­able and un­der­min­ing of na­tional iden­tity, so take mea­sures to avoid it.

in china, in­dia, in­done­sia, Ja­pan, Kuwait, nepal, malaysia and sin­ga­pore there is an au­to­matic loss of cit­i­zen­ship if an­other cit­i­zen­ship is ac­quired vol­un­tar­ily. Dual na­tion­al­ity is le­gal in Bri­tain.

some coun­tries give cit­i­zen­ship to those who make a sub­stan­tial fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment in their coun­try, in­clud­ing an­tigua and Bar­buda, cape Verde, cyprus, Gre­nada, Do­minica, malta, st Kitts and nevis and st lu­cia — you don’t even have to live in these coun­tries. this is how a U.s.-born cana­dian busi­ness­man, who has cho­sen to re­main anony­mous, has racked up eight pass­ports.

he was a client of David les­per­ance, an in­ter­na­tional tax and im­mi­gra­tion lawyer, who brought the case to light. the man is a citizen of cape Verde, Belize, Do­minica, Gre­nada, st Kitts and nevis, ireland, canada and the UK. he re­nounced his U.s. cit­i­zen­ship for tax pur­poses af­ter ac­quir­ing his first new cit­i­zen­ship.

the client’s original in­ten­tion was to legally in­su­late him­self against fu­ture U.s. tax li­a­bil­ity.

his first ac­qui­si­tion, the cape Verde pass­port, of­fered lim­ited ben­e­fits in terms of visa-free travel. next, he se­cured an ir­ish pass­port in re­turn for a five-year un­se­cured in­vest­ment of U.s. $1.7 mil­lion, in or­der to get a foothold in the EU.

per­ma­nent res­i­dency in canada was se­cured via the fed­eral im­mi­grant in­vestor pro­gram in re­turn for a tax-free loan to the govern­ment.

the other pass­ports sug­gest it be­came some­thing of a hobby.

Nathan Pot­ter, De­vizes, Wilts.

QUES­TION Some spreads and yo­ghurts claim to be proven to lower choles­terol. How is this pos­si­ble?

CHOLES­TEROL is nat­u­rally pro­duced by your body and is es­sen­tial to its func­tion. how­ever, ex­ces­sively high lev­els — in par­tic­u­lar, low-den­sity lipopro­tein (lDl), so-called ‘bad’ choles­terol — is thought to be a pre­cur­sor to se­ri­ous health prob­lems, such as heart dis­ease, clogged ar­ter­ies and stroke.

con­se­quently, some food man­u­fac­tur­ers have sup­ple­mented their foods with sterols and stanols, plant chem­i­cals that have a sim­i­lar struc­ture to lDl. they are ab­sorbed into the blood­stream and act as a bar­rier to lDl ab­sorp­tion, thus low­er­ing lev­els of it in the blood.

We con­sume small amounts of sterols from plant-based foods, such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, whole­grains, fruit and veg­eta­bles. But this is usu­ally not enough to lower lev­els of lDl, hence the need for sup­ple­ments.

anal­y­sis in Food & nu­tri­tion Re­search in 2008 demon­strated that grad­ual use of sterols/stanols for sev­eral weeks leads to a five to 15 per cent re­duc­tion in lDl.

one con­cern with sterols and stanols is that they may re­duce the ab­sorp­tion of fat- sol­u­ble vi­ta­mins, such as beta carotene, so it is ad­vised you should eat a diet rich in fruit and veg­eta­bles.

Drian smith, Cam­bridge.

IS THERE a ques­tion to which you have al­ways wanted to know the an­swer? Or do you know the an­swer to a ques­tion raised here? Send your ques­tions and an­swers to: Charles Legge, An­swers To Cor­re­spon­dents, Daily Mail, 2 Derry Street, Lon­don, W8 5TT; fax them to 01952 780111 or email them to [email protected]­ly­mail.co.uk. A se­lec­tion will be pub­lished but we are not able to en­ter into in­di­vid­ual cor­re­spon­dence.

Wartime sto­ries: Just Wil­liam

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