Rather to my surprise, Metro (LON:MTRO) raised the necessary. I still wouldn’t invest.
Next Tuesday 9.00 a.m. Radio 4 Jonathan Sumption starts off on the Reith lectures. There are really intelligent people and then there is Jonathan Sumption. He started his working life as an historian, switched to the bar and wound up as a judge on the Supreme Court. I would be surprised if his offering were not compelling.
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The chairman gave me a copy of Max Hastings’s VIETNAM, subtitled An Epic Tragedy 1945-75. 1945 is a bit late since the real trouble kicked off with French settlers in the nineteenth century who behaved appallingly towards the Vietnamese. The Vietnamese rebelled.
In 1963, I was 17 and the custom then was to assume that, given the chance, the Russians would invade western Europe in accordance with their doctrinal beliefs. Accordingly, the Americans took the same view of likely developments in the Far East. The Vietnamese affected communist sympathies but that was essentially to recruit support. That noted, Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore was more reserved. Eventually Mr Lee was proved right but, by then, the Americans had had a real lesson.
However, VIETNAM is an extraordinary book. Well worth reading.