The Judge’s Letter- on race

Hello Gilmor

How goes it? Just sitting here in my shabby old flatdown pondering life’s mysteries. Yet more trouble on the streets. Perhaps you heard about it on the radio.

I suppose it’ll be the blacks again. What a disregard some of these chaps have for civilised society. Many’s the time I’ve had to discipline one of these fellows in court. Staring at me with their beady eyes, the vicious leathery smiles- the arrogance of it. Well I suppose it’s in their nature. Inanition, sloth, a certain listlessness…a bit like you Oxonians.

Actually now I think of it, Oxford did once have a black man in. Brought in to play the role of Othello in that Shakespeare play….good God what is it called?

Anyway Willy St Ives, the Dean of Peterhouse, felt that having a person of colour would be more representative of a character who is, in essence, coloured. While some argued it would’ve been better to use a blacked-up Englishman (a la Olivier, 1956) the chap did a sterling job in my opinion. True his voice had a little too much resonance to it (like  ‘chocolate mousse’ according to one reviewer). But the characterisation was superb, really superb…

Argh, I feel a massive attack of heartburn coming on….better be off


Nick (Brown QC)


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