William has a Nasty turn
QUESTION Is there a withdrawn Just William story where his gang demonstrate outside a Jewish shop?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.
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Wartime stories: Just William