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Posted Tuesday, August 10, 2004

He shook my hand, without force or conviction. The name meant nothing to him any more.

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August 10, 2004 (Tuesday)
Key West, Florida

AN INCORRIGIBLE friend writes overnight from Nevada apologizing for having got it wrong: "I prophesied that your $1,000 reward offer would never be published. I can't believe that the Judenpresse was dumb enough to do it," and he adds further unprintable comments about what will happen if "some courageous Kiwi cop" actually finds out who did it -- i.e., desecrating the two cemeteries.

In another message he suggests (no doubt tongue in cheek): "Follow your $1,000 reward with the coup de grâce, an announcement that you now believe in the holocaust. (Find out exactly what you are supposed to believe about the holocaust first.) See if they can keep you out then."

Duly noted. An alternative would be to go the Madeleine Albright route, but that would be really pushing the envelope.

A daughter reminds me: "Hi Daddy -- I am in the South of Spain at the moment, near Cadiz on a two week holiday. Today, by the way, is Daniella's 1st birthday." Um, that would be one of the grandchildren.

The folks at the National Press Club in New Zealand have begun the process of issuing a formal invitation, as they inform me. Seems that some guys down there have guts after all.

Churchill I send this teaser to a number of media people in New Zealand:

I hear there was a report on the TV news yesterday that a skinhead is wanted for questioning about the Jewish grave's destruction in Wellington.

Yes, we can expect all sorts of spurious reports about "skinheads" etc., now to pop up and ... die away. Hence my reward offer, which has completely bouleversé the traditional enemy of free speech. As for [Deputy Prime Minister] Michael Cullen, [. . .] I hear that he was interviewed in a parliamentary corridor yesterday and he repeated that the law is clear and that to admit me would require a dispensation. Not true. He repeated his comments on the radio that my views are "vomit making". I shall mention that point next time I speak, which is thank goodness now quite often, on NZ radio. He obviously has not read even one of my books. Yet he vomits easily.

I suggest that these journalists now ask the Hon Phil Goff, NZ's foreign minister, who was speaking in favor of my entry, whether he has had a chance to look at the copy of "Churchill's War", vol. ii: "Triumph in Adversity" which I sent him. "I thought it would be salutary if the decision-makers actually had a chance to look at my works." "Hint: Churchill's War, vol. ii: 'A vivid portrait accompanied by much striking and original analysis. It is certainly no mere repeat of the usual hagiography. Once again David Irving shows himself a master of documentation. '-- Prof. John Erickson, University of Edinburgh, April 30, 2001; 'His knowledge of World War Two is unparalleled' -- Mr. Justice Gray, April 11, 2000

I shall shortly repeat the process and send copies of this and other works, so far as I have them down here in Florida, to other leading Cabinet ministers. Just to make it that much tougher for them as mid September and my arrival approaches. Will the corridors of power in Wellington be flooded with vomit? Will you all need Wellington boots? I fancy not.


I AM sorry to see that Bernard Levin, right, has died. He launched a crusade against me in the early 1990s, at a time before the Internet gave anybody who could write HTML the chance to strike back and defend themselves.

He published four half-page articles in the space of as many months attacking me in The Times, which stolidly refused to print my responses, however brief.

I was never on good terms with that paper. When they earlier (1983) fell for the fake "Hitler Diaries," which I exposed, I reflected that it could not have happened to nicer guys. They had had their knives into me ever since.

After one of Levin's weightier attacks in May 1990 -- which I shall eventually get round to posting in my newspaper archive -- I wrote a letter to The Times: my diary entries for those years --

May 14, 1990 London. The Times ran an article attacking me by Bernard Levin. I drafted a hilarious response to him, but decided to spike it. (Its last para quoted Lord Mountbatten about not getting into a pissing match with a skunk; not that I was comparing Levin with a skunk -- I would hate to be accused of anti-skunkism. Decided on balance that a dignified silence was preferable.)

As said, I had second thoughts about sending it off, and it remained unpublished.

July 19, 1990 London. Sally phoned, reporting that Bernard Levin has taken another swipe at me in today's The Times, saying I denied that the Holocaust happened, and am a greater admirer of Hitler than ever. I draft a letter.

May 11, 1992 Munich 5 p.m. Phoned Sally: she said The Times has another vicious attack on me today by Bernard Levin. God, he's going really nuts.

Bernard Levin, veteran columnist of The Times, published a fourth hate-filled, half-page attack on me. This time the newspaper finally allows a truncated reply. "He [Levin] devoutly wishes that I would go to Austria and be thrown in jail for life for my (to him) inconvenient views. I was in Austria, researching, on Sunday [May 10] despite an arrest warrant issued in 1989 . . ."

August 28, 1995 (Monday) London Bank holiday, I cleaned corners and crannies of kitchen floor with a scalpel. Fifteen years' accumulated filth. Tempted to mail it to Bernard Levin for his next column.

On reflection, most of my best works, ever since I wrote an editorial to The Phoenix at Imperial College in 1959 entitled "The First Cuckoos of Spring" (about our beloved rector, Sir Patrick Linstead), have remained unpublished. A treasure-trove of pirate gems, if I might so make so bold as immodestly to say. Now there is a Levin-like sentence.!

Levin gradually faded from the pages of The Times. He earned the obloquy of the Great Unwashed Left by being among the first journalists to decamp from Fleet Street into Fortress Wapping, the fortified newspaper-complex secretly set up by Rupert Murdoch (one of his most brilliant moves, which effectively smashed the powerful British print and typesetters union NATSOPA and emasculated its perfectly-coiffed figurehead, Brenda somebody (now Lady Brenda, under Tony Blair: I trust that too much will not be read into the last phrase).

Oh gosh, these sentences are becoming more convoluted with each paragraph. I hope I am not going the way of Bernard Levin now.

LevinMemorable images of him will survive: During a one-on-one interview on one of the early live David Frost television programs, That Was the Week that Was, Levin deflated that pompous, adenoidal pratt by taking a realistic water pistol from his jacket, and squirting water at Frost's face each time he said something daft. Get out of that, if you're on live TV.

I bumped into Levin four or five years ago, in the Sketchley's Cleaners in Marylebone High Street. He came shuffling in; I recognized him and stuck out a paw to shake. "David Irving," I said with a conciliatory smile. "You have written, uh, once or twice about me." He shook my hand, without force or conviction. The name meant nothing to him any more.

 [Previous Radical's Diary]


© Focal Point 2004 F DISmall David Irving