AR-Online logo Posted Friday, July 16, 1999
Caricature by David Smith

FOR THIRTY-FIVE years author David Irving has kept a private diary. It has proven useful in countless actions. For the information of his many supporters he publishes an edited text in his irregular newsletter ACTION REPORT.




pril 1999


I MAKE up a parcel of videocassettes to send off for duplicating. The highly complicated covering letter is just complete when Jessica strolls in, decides she wants to use the Macintosh, and calmly zaps it off the screen. Five year olds! But the new version of the letter is better, so she is perhaps right.

To my huge delight it turns out that Lipstadt's lawyers, Mishcon de Reya, have inadvertently sent to us three videotapes from their own research, namely the raw unedited film taken by a Thames TV news cameraman of my speech at Halle for their documentary of 1991 -- precisely the tapes Thames TV denied to me they had. I have been looking for these ever since 1993.

A triumphant phone call to E. about this blunder. He advises that I must issue an immediate summons against Lipstadt, demanding a new affidavit on her discovery, sworn this time by a partner of Mishcon.

I suspect that the provenance of the tapes is the Board of Deputies of British Jews, because one tape has an old pencilled label on its case, reading "Yes Minister--programme about Jews and Muslims." God, they are sensitive people.

Video labels

Whatever; the videotapes should have been included in their Discovery; there has been possibly even a contempt of Court, as Prof. Lipstadt manifestly swore a false affidavit. I get the girls to investigate a legal precedent in Lonrho v Fayed.

The counsel whom Lipstadt has at present instructed is Andrew Caldecott, QC, who is at One Brick Court (chambers whose flagstones I have of course trodden frequently in the past, since it is "one of the two leading defamation sets"). Caldecott was called in 1975 and took silk in 1994, which puts him in the 47--50 age-bracket perhaps.


square To Hamley's with Jessica in the afternoon to buy stickers, the latest craze. She now reads books including the Bible at high speed. She has taken to gazing around restaurants looking for other families with children of her age; then she boldly goes over and strikes up a conversation with them. No fear, that child.

8:30 a.m. wakened by a phone ringing. It is 2GB Radio, Sydney, Australia, wanting to interview me tomorrow morning on Fredrick Toben's arrest by the Germans.

The newspapers show the cruel photographs, taken from television cameras mounted in the nose cone of the Nato missiles that blasted a Yugoslav train in Kosovo. The newspaper explains that the Nato pilot bravely launched the first rocket missile from several miles away (his nationality is not to be revealed says the Daily Telegraph, adding however that he is not British, which rather narrows the field).

The first bomb-camera photo shows scared human beings looking out of the windows a millisecond before the high-tech missile and its load of rocket fuel roast them to a crisp; rather curiously, the second picture shows the train a hundred yards further on, a blazing wreck. Reading the small print reveals that the American pilot, realising he has missed the bridge, has come round and launched a second missile -- again hitting the train.

As I study the photo, the BBC is broadcasting Britain's prime prat Tony Blair announcing that all the "war criminals" are to be brought to justice. All of them?

Three p.m. train to [. . .]. Discussion with -- Ltd who will be printing Focal Point's books. Tour of their pre-press department. Useful guidelines.

Ghastly news on our return of a fresh Nato "mishap" in Yugoslavia -- the bombing of a refugee column this morning has killed seventy Albanians; the television shows hideous scenes reminiscent of the Falaise Gap in August 1944, with the difference that the dead, mutilated, and dying are not soldiers, but peasant men, women, and children. Even so, it must have been only a fraction of the suffering inflicted on the German and Jewish refugees from the east in 1945.

Television brings this holocaust into the front rooms of ordinary people. So it seems much worse. Blair wriggles and lies, and suggests the Serbs shelled the refugees themselves, to incriminate Nato. Yeah, right. Simultaneously, the newsreel has pictures of sobbing peasants describing how the "Allied" planes had come in and rocketed their tractors and farm carts.

Let's see how Nato's street-porterish spokesman "Jamie" Shea -- he managed to split two infinitives in one sentence yesterday -- slithers out of this one at his press conference. He does to the words of the English language what the American airmen of US General Wesley Clark now do to Yugoslav civilians: he mangles them beyond recognition.

Hitherto Clark's airmen have only proved adept at bringing down ski-lifts and cable cars in Italy; so I suppose hitting moving farm carts does represent some improvement in their aim.

Benté tells me that her friend David Wirt, No. 2 on the staff of the US Naval Chief in Europe, has been promoted on the strength of these victories.

I ask what that means. A big pay-rise, she says; and an extra gold star.

"A gold star?", I say. "That's what Jessica gets at school for spelling right."

Some people never grow up -- unless they are burning alive children of Jessica's age, in the name of Nato's humanitarian mission.


Phone e., then this significant letter goes off to Mishcon:

Further to my letter of Thursday, April 15, 1999 we confirm receiving all videos listed in the first paragraph of your letter of April 8. . . . I shall shortly write you again about the videos sent with your letter of April 8.

Ho-ho. See them in Court! At three p.m. I go down to the High Court, and get an hour's appointment on Friday. We look through our Australian files for the evidence that Mishcon knew I was looking for precisely those videos for years.

Heather T. comes today to use the Big Mac. A stunning blond of thirty, with high Slavic cheekbones and a megawatt PhD intellect -- she speaks fluent Russian and half a dozen other languages -- she has been "seeing" a certain gentleman for six months, who earns million-dollar bonuses each year as a broker but, she laments, he does not have much real time for her; she just gets talk about money. He squanders it like water, flies her everywhere first class, etc. (By this time I have guessed that he is Jewish.)

She has finally flounced out on him last night, and this time it is final. He called out, "What about all those presents I gave you!" She asked, "What presents!" "The sunglasses," he blusters, "the . . . uh," but he could not remember any others.

H., Latvian-born (her grandfather died on the Eastern front somewhere: she has a faded photo of him in an SS-style uniform -- can we tell from the badges what the unit is?), said, "I never realised how much those people network," meaning the Jewish community. "Every Friday I cooked dinner for him. The whole evening was taken up with a round of phoning, around the whole network."

She is an instructor at the Royal College of Military Science at Shrivenham in Wiltshire, lecturing on eastern European security services.


The rogue Mishcon videos: I now infer that the TV camera concerned was that of Mathias Schmidt, an undercover cameraman who figures on the Munich police dossier against me in 1991, volunteering his tapes as a "witness." Public-spirited of him. One of Ewald Althans' friends (which raises questions as to his sexuality too, I suppose).

All day working on the necessary research into the files. Mounds of paper everywhere. The affidavit is masterly, and at 1:43 a.m. I download E.'s draft skeleton argument. It still needs some work but I thank him in these terms:

Having read the authorities I know many of the tricks of the trade, but not as many as you, o master! I could have done half of it, but not the brilliant half, and not the rhetoric. Many thanks. The girls are going to enjoy this.

Bed around 2:30 a.m. Thus begins another hard week.


square Up at 8:30 a.m. I send S. to the Law Courts to get the Summons sealed; she serves it on Mishcon at three p.m.

Fax then comes from them, timed 2:45 p.m., claiming immediate return of their three "privileged" videocassettes. Interesting to know on what grounds they claim privilege (there aren't any). Later, a fax comes repeating their demand, and inquiring in wounded tones why I have issued the Summons.

On Friday all will be clear to them.

A BBC Talk Radio producer phones: can I appear on tomorrow morning's Drive-Time to talk about Hitler's 100th birthday. Although I do not share the BBC's custom of celebrating that man's birthday, I politely I point out that it is his 110th, not 100th.

Never mind, they would like me to talk about Hitler, the new Reichstag Building opening in Berlin tomorrow (I wonder what German history "scholar" overlooked the significance of the date) and, no doubt, the Balkans. They say they'll phone me for the interview at 7:30.

I don't cancel any plans. I tell my staff that it is odds-on that the BBC will phone in an hour or two to cancel -- somebody'll be checking the card-index right now, and he'll look up with an "Uh-oh!" That's been the practice of this great bastion of British democracy and free speech over the last few years: usually at the last moment, when it is most inconvenient. A total broadcasting blackout on me.

To help them along, I put this alert in small print onto the front page of my Website newsletter AR-Online: "Listen to David Irving on BBC Talk Radio: 7:30 a.m. April 20."

square We finalise the legal arguments for Friday's hearing. The main precedent on deliberately concealing documents is a case called Landauer. The judge in that case threw out Landauer's entire defence because of the concealment. Landauer was represented by one Eldred Tabachnik, QC; now where have I heard that name before? Oh yes, he's now a head honcho of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. It's a small world.

Of course, being a lawyer is no guarantee that a man is not also a crook: seventeen of nineteen Watergate defendants were attorneys; as were nearly all the Nazi concentration camp commandants; and Clinton and Blair. Need I say more?

This letter goes to Mishcon de Reya:

Responding to your query about side (b) of the September 1992 microcassette, although I have not had a chance to review its contents again, I have now determined that a few days after that function Mr Julian Kossof of The Jewish Chronicle approached me about the sequence of events, and I voluntarily loaned the tape to him for his newspaper to review and use as it saw fit.

That characteristic act of generosity seems to destroy any privilege that I might have argued existed in side (b).

I claimed that privilege because it is not a tape of me speaking, so its relevance appears questionable, and that is still my position.

2. I have received by fax your letters of today's date, timed respectively 2:45 and 6:36 p.m., in which you state that the three "rogue" videos are privileged. Please state your grounds for claiming privilege in them. From their labels all three are prima facie discoverable documents in this action, and they clearly originated before this action was commenced.

At 2:40 a.m. I phone H. in Hawaii, to wish him well. His cancer has not taken him down in body or spirit yet. I'm delighted to hear he's going to be in Seattle on the same day I am.

Up at 7:30 a.m. for the BBC phone call. Nothing happens. At 8.00 a.m. female from BBC Talk Radio phones: "Is that Mr Irving? I am afraid we are not going to be able to give you the time that you deserve on this morning's programme."

I say, "Thank you," and hang up. Quoi de neuf. The BBC does not of course do such programmes on the fly, everything is mapped out hours in advance. The Board of Deputies of British Jews or some other traditional enemy of free speech has no doubt monitored the front page of AR-Online and rung the appropriate alarm bells.

It's an odd world at this fin de siècle: Free speech for me on Australian radio and TV, again and again -- but unable to enter the country. Free movement about the U.K., but nameless gremlins stifle my access to the broadcast media (or trick me into appearing in a slime-fest).

Heavy work day completing the affidavit and exhibits; swear them at 5:30 p.m.

John Bennett phones from Australia around three or four a.m.; I am still working, but suitably abrupt. What's wrong with these Aussie meatheads that they can't work out the time difference? Up at eight a.m. This fax goes to an American who has complained about the anti-Irving caricature [see top of page] on my letter:

We [English] tend to take attacks on the other cheek, with a touch of whimsy like Noel Coward. That cartoon attacking me was published in 1977 in England's most serious left-wing national newspaper, The Guardian. My way of dealing with it is to use it ever since (I bought the rights). . . An American would send in Apaches or Tomahawks -- we respond with different methods.

Finnish television showed the odious Nick Fraser BBC film last night.


Friday, day of the court hearing on the concealed videocassette evidence.

Exactly 200 incoming e-mails are waiting for me to deal with. But I spend all morning with the girls finalising the documents, skeleton argument, and authorities. I have printed out colour copies of the video labels [see above], just in case Mishcon's fail to bring the originals as they have undertaken.

JuliusTo the High Court at three p.m. with S. At 3:30 p.m. my opponents march up -- James Libson, a rather hushed Anthony Julius, a female solicitor, counsel, and a couple of trainees. No hands are shaken; there are no introductions.

Boors, the lot of them. It's going to be a costly day for them.

I lead off with our skeleton argument. Master Trench has read enough to recall that this raw videotape footage includes my famous Nov. 9, 1991 open-air speech at Halle.

I begin by stating that much of what we are to deal with is unrefined Style and Hollander. I explain that that is a text-book (tho' not an authority) which I have found illuminating, as a layman, for its disturbing advice to lawyers, for instance on how to avoid helping opponents to establish the truth of a matter.

They are advised: Never allow a third party to bring documents to your office, in which case they are discoverable -- always inspect them at the third party's premises in case any of them may actually help or even exonerate your opponent.

I make a jibe about the morality of lawyers which has the judge murmuring, "Quite, quite," and S. wincing and trying to hide behind our mound of files. Being the only non-lawyer in the packed room I can afford the remark.

I point out that I am a small, powerless, litigant-in-person, totally ignorant of the law, up against a wealthy, conniving, clever, cunning, and unscrupulous firm of solicitors, so I have to rely on the protection of the Court from fraudulent methods such as these.

This is not the first time that Lipstadt's lawyers have tried to hide documents from me, I recall: I remind the Court of the saga of Document No. 500, and of the entire categories of documents before that -- all of which have only been produced after I served summonses on her. Master Trench inquires about No. 500 -- "What is that?"

"That is a secret 25-page report on me, Master, compiled by a Canadian Jewish body," I explain. Thus they have now proven that I cannot expect a fair trial (one of the prerequisites for the defence to be struck out).

As for the three rogue videos which have triggered today's action, I add, it is an Act of God that has led the Enemy to bounce their ball over my fence; now they are pleading to have their ball back. God had disposed that the ball bounced my way; it is for Master Trench, as God's servant, to ensure that these wicked lawyers are punished and I am protected from such machinations in future.

S. winces again. The pile of files in front of her is not high enough to hide behind.

Around 4:20 p.m. the judge looks at the clock, and asks how long we expect this hearing to take, as he has an invitation to a party at four-thirty, to celebrate the Issue of the Last Writ (as from Monday, new Rules come into force). I offer to withdraw for a while, but he says: "No, I'd prefer to carry on here, this is much more interesting.")

He is clearly angry that Lipstadt failed to identify these videos in her lists. "How can a litigant trust the assertion of privilege if he does not know what the documents are?" he asks. And: "How is Mr Irving to know what documents to challenge on privilege if you do not even list them?" "I really think these videos should have been listed," he repeats.

Then: "I can understand the Plaintiff's suspicion, but I don't think it goes so far as to say that the Second Defendant acted in the way set out in the summons."

That is, fraudulently. He will therefore not order Lipstadt's defence struck out, since James Libson in his affidavit has successfully fudged the crucial issue as to whether those videos we obtained were "copies of originals" or "originals of copies."

Instead he invites Mishcon to set out in an open letter to me a list of any other documents that they have up their sleeve, to enable me to challenge them.

Anthony Julius leaps to his feet and instructs counsel to request that the Court state explicitly a finding that Deborah Lipstadt has not sworn a fraudulent affidavit. I interject that James Libson has tried to the very 11th hour to pretend that all three videos are privileged, when they aren't; that he has pretended that they are copies, and thus privileged, whereas their type reveals that they are clearly originals, from inside the actual newsreel camera. I add that Mr Libson has given an undertaking only yesterday to bring the original videos to the Court today, which undertaking he has not kept.

That sinks them, and Master Trench pronounces that he will not declare that Deborah Lipstadt has not sworn a false affidavit "fraudulently and with intent to deceive me".

This is highly unpleasant for the defence.

There remains the issue of costs. Master Trench has already made plain that, given what he has heard of Mishcon's behaviour, "This will have a bearing when it comes to any application for costs." Mishcon themselves suggest that no order for costs be made. My own costs are minimal; theirs again probably of the order of ten thousand pounds.

This complaint about Mishcon's goes at once to the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors:

This firm of solicitors had inadvertently sent three videos to me, which they had not properly discovered to me in the above matter. Prior to a hearing of my application for a suitable Order before Master Trench today, they demanded the videos' return.

I wrote to them yesterday (enclosure) stating my willingness to return to them the original videos on their undertaking to produce them in Court today. This undertaking they breached, and did not bring the videos to Court.

This is a serious breach which is not without consequence for the conduct of this case and I ask that you apply the proper sanctions against this firm and inform me of what steps you have taken.


I work until two a.m. on paperwork.


U comes, uninvited; I toss him out after ten minutes. I strongly suspect who's behind him.

A Mr Leon Simmons also sends to me persistent queries about the Holocaust. I reply:

Leon, -- I am up against a law firm that is unscrupulous, cunning and devious (as witness their attempts to conceal video cassettes that would have benefited my case).

I suspect that they are bombarding me with e-mails from around the world in an attempt to prise some incautious remark from me which they can then take out of context, splice together with others, and use.

Rather than try to identify the culprits, I place all such e-mails, however innocent they may actually be, in a folder marked: "agents provocateurs", and give only the most anodyne reply.


ON SATURDAY a nail bomb detonated in Brick Lane, in the East End of London where the street signs are written in both English and Urdu.

According to the newspapers, a passer-by saw the heavy sports bag standing by itself, and picked it up and placed it in the trunk of his very nice red car and locked it.

We have this gentleman's word for it that before the nasty shock of seeing his car thereupon blow up before his eyes in a ball of fire, he had taken the bag "to the nearest police station" but found the doors locked; whereupon, he says, he returned, still carrying the bomb, meaning to drive it to another police station with more amenable opening hours.

I suppose the East End always has bred rather odd characters. We must remark upon the sense of public duty of this ethnic gentleman, who finding a sports bag identical to the one widely publicised as containing the nail-bomb that devastated Brixton, a Black community in south London, only one Saturday before, did not leave it well alone, but picked it up and placed it in the trunk of his evidently expensive car.

This gentleman is last seen in the newspapers as being "interviewed by police" -- in any other circumstances he would be regarded quite improperly as a pickpocket or bag snatcher. Being far less brave myself, I confess I would have given such a bag a very wide berth indeed.

There are however other noteworthy features of this "Nazi nail bomb" story.

The news came at a convenient moment to divert newspaper attention from the increasingly shameful spectacle of Nato- mangled civilians in Serbia, where Mr Tony Blair's brave bomber offensive has just wrought such famous victories as flattening an evil TV make-up girl, a dangerous tool of Milosevic's propaganda weapon, beneath tons of Belgrade television studio debris, in a building-pancake oddly reminiscent of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

So who did plant the nail-bomb in Brixton?

Combat 18, a fictitious "right wing extremist" body which I believe has in fact as much flesh on its bones as Mr Abu ("they seek him here, there seek him there") Nidal? After all Combat 18 is evidently boneheaded enough to phone-in its claim to having fathered the Brixton Bomb from a pay-phone in the street where Stephen Lawrence's alleged racist killers lived. Duh?

Perhaps the Brick Street weapon was planted by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, trying to take the heat off President Bill Clinton -- who that very day was speaking of the school massacre at Littleton, Colorado, a little town in mid-America which I know well, having spoken half a dozen times to Ordinary Americans in a little bookshop in its centre: Mr Clinton spoke in properly measured presidential tones of people who try to make politics by using violence, even as his high-tech bombers were doing precisely that to the Littletons of central Europe.

Or are the real culprits of Brixton and Brick Street to be sought nearer home: I ask only, cui bono? Whom do such "Nazi nail-bombs" really benefit?

A clue: pre-empting any outcome of the police inquiry, our widely loved Home Secretary Jack Straw has hinted at tougher laws to clamp down on the right wing, revisionists, and "extremists". London's newspapers this evening announce that a vigilante body of five hundred "armband-wearing" young men will patrol the streets of Southall, the Indian suburb of London, from now on: would these musclemen be a million miles from the Community Security Trust, we wonder (and we all know who are behind them).

Are these bomb outrages an uglier manifestation of the synagogue-daubing self-mutilation sometimes practised by such bodies when they need to attract attention to themselves?

Whatever: I am proud to offer from my own pocket one thousand pounds to add to the police reward offered for the capture of the Brixton Bomber, if (and only if) he should turn out to be a bona fide member of "Combat 18." I feel my money is quite safe.

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