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Posted Thursday, March 5, 2009

As I was walking in Mayfair," he began, "I noticed David Irving across the street, shouting at a crippled motorist…

click for origin[Previous Radical's Diary]


March 4, 2009 (Wednesday)
Windsor (England)

I SEE that the German prosecutors have decided to disregard the advice of their toothsome Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries (left) to charge our Catholic Bishop Brigitte ZypriesWilliamson under their weird laws for the suppression of free speech.

After all, his remarks were made in English, for broadcast in Sweden; and the spectacle of the extradition, arrest, trial, and imprisonment by Germany of an English Bishop might have proved a little raw for the rest of the world to stomach. It would have aroused memories of Germany's 1938 arrest and incarceration of Pastor Martin Niemöller, yet another turbulent priest in history.


WE POST our mail at Eton, and I have a coffee with Jae after a stroll up Windsor High Street and back. A weird incident follows as we leave the coffee shop. Two women shopkeepers have deliberately, as they now loudly boast, moved their cars S465 CHT (Eton Art Gallery) and P916 MLH (The Beauty Room) to trap our little Citroën in its parking bay. Their bumpers are literally rammed up against ours, and our little engine would hardly shift the four-by-four Chelsea tractor behind or the car in front by force. Verbal argument has no effect.

Being only human, I deduce quietly that the financial crisis is hitting them badly -- their stores are empty of customers -- and the innocent presence of a beautiful young blonde has been the final straw for them.

"We're here until eight o'clock tonight, and you can wait until then!" shrieks one, the spitting image of the aforementioned Frau Zypries; a post-menopausal bitch, as I rather ungallantly advise her, still baffled, through the open window upon driving away, having finally had no choice but to phone the local police to intervene. Hey-ho.

The Tatler

IT ALL reminds me of two episodes in what I might call our Rolls-Royce days in Duke Street. In one, I returned from an outing to find that a woman had parked on "my" spot facing my study windows. A brief check confirmed that she had no resident's permit, so I powered up the two hundred and twenty horsepower of my 6.7 liter V-8 engine and nudged her gently forwards off the bay and onto the yellow line.

It turned out to be a great injustice. On walking past, I found that she did have the permit, but it had slid out of sight. Distraught, I waited until an officer came to affix the penalty on her.

"It was not this driver's fault," I said. "There was this great big car -- not the Rolls that's there now -- that pushed it off the bay."

It was a White lie; the Black officer made a note. "If the driver write us," she said, with a broad smile, "we go cancel the ticket."

The next morning I saw from my study window the afflicted driver, a young lady, puzzling over the penalty ticket and scratching her head -- how had her car ended up on a yellow line? I ran downstairs, and told her about the big bad car that had shoved her off the bay, and how I had spoken to the officer, and what she had said. "All you have to do is write them," I concluded.

"You are such a gentleman," said the lady gratefully. "There are not many who would have gone to the trouble you did."


AND then there was the even more shameful affair of the disabled-driver tag in the 1980s. I saw one dangling from the front window of a large car parked in our street, and a driver unloading heavy cases from the rear. I stopped. Those blue tags were a sore point with us all.

"You people get up my nose," I said. "You've got a brother who's a doctor, or a sister who's a nurse, or an uncle on the City council, and you get these blue tags and park where you want: on yellow lines, that's okay. But you also park on our bays which we residents pay for, and then we have to go on the yellow line and we get the penalties."

"And why shouldn't I," he snarled at me, putting down his heavy bags on the pavement.

"Why? Why? You're about as disabled as I am," I retorted, pointing at the bags.

He reached down and rolled up both trousers legs, to reveal not one, but two tin legs.

There was a sequel, undoubtedly well deserved. A Daily Mirror gossip writer routinely phoned me a few days later -- any items in my life he could use for his column? Time for penance, I thought, and I told him the whole episode against myself, the story of the man with the disabled tag.

Ah, the journaille! The next day, his story duly appeared in the tabloid, but with an unexpected twist:

"As I was walking in Mayfair," he began, "I noticed David Irving across the street, shouting at a crippled motorist…" 

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[Previous Radical's Diary]


Ori Golan in The Sydney Morning Herald: Irving tries to enter Israeli market 
Jaenelle Antas: page and photo gallery 2008-2012
Longerich refuses to answer David Irving's question about the Schlegelberger Document in his talk in 1998
Now see The Times's version: "Irving misses the irony and a glass of wine."
© Focal Point 2009 F DISmall David Irving