Justice Perverted    
    John Tyndall comments on the Irving libel action    

LONG AGO, I made myself a golden rule in the struggle against the dominant "liberal" establishment: keep away from courts. Of course, this is not always possible: the law may pursue you, even if you do not pursue the law. But to avoid doing the latter is, almost always, the best policy in a society where power is completely loaded against the true ideological radical - which today can only mean one belonging to the radical right.

In popular mythology, the legal system in a democratic state is a bastion of fairness and justice. In the real world, this only applies where the sacred tablets of the state are not threatened. It is difficult to imagine David Irving not knowing this when he made his decision to sue Penguin Books and the Jewish "holocaust" writer Deborah Lipstadt for libel in consequence of a book which cast aspersions on his honesty and integrity as an historian.

Irving's case against the defendants rested on a simple formula. He was there in court, he said, not to "re-fight" World War II, not to argue whether particular crimes attributed to the Germans in that war had actually taken place or not, certainly not to deny the "holocaust" as alleged, but solely to establish that he had not, as also alleged, knowingly lied by denying facts he knew to be true - and doing so, moreover, for pecuniary gain.

In ordinary affairs, this is a perfectly logical and reasonable argument, and one which should carry weight in a court of law. But did Irving really seriously believe that it could possibly prevail in a court of law in contemporary Britain where everything was loaded against people associated with his particular brand of heresy and where pressure groups enjoying massive power were mobilised to ensure he would be crucified for his pains.

In the event, his action against Penguin and Lipstadt had about it the aura of a Charge of the Light Brigade - magnificent but not war, heroic but certain of defeat. And so it transpired. The Judge, Mr. Justice Gray, found against Irving, and the latter now faces a bill for costs of £2.5 million and likely bankruptcy.

The inevitability of the verdict was underlined by the Judge's summing up, in which he accused Irving of being a "racist", an "anti-semite" and a consort of "neo-nazis". David Irving may be all of these things, or he may not. But this should have absolutely nothing to do with the question of whether - as the case was supposed to establish - he had knowingly lied. Reading Mr. Justice Gray's summation, one might have imagined one was reading a transcript of one the Stalinist show trials in the darkest days of Soviet tyranny instead of the proceedings of the High Court in London. Irving quite clearly was an ideological "enemy of the people" and had to be sent to his own Siberia, quite regardless of whether he had done anything unacceptable within the traditions of British law.

Perhaps the most odious feature of the case was the crowing and gloating of the media at Irving's defeat. "Consigned to history," "bankrupted," "destroyed," "ruined," "finished," "disgraced," screamed the press. This was a lynch party of the most repulsive hue. All that was absent was the crowd of cackling harridans shaking their knitting needles as the guillotine fell. Press writers also grossly misrepresented the verdict. Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian smugly asserted: "Much more than the fate of David Irving was decided yesterday. The High Court also drove a stake through the heart of revisionism..." Others wrote in a similar vein, proclaiming that revisionist history had been finally buried and the "orthodox" view of the events surrounding World War II utterly and permanently vindicated. In fact, nothing of the kind had happened. All that had happened was that a paid public servant, operating in a climate of hysterical Talmudic hatred and vengeance, and under a crescendo of professional and media pressure, had delivered his own personal interpretation of events and arguments. It had no more been established that the world was flat by people once being burned at the stake for saying otherwise.

These matters aside, the case, and the media reaction to it, should have taught us a lesson. Irving was throughout, as he has been over the three decades of his career as a writer, at pains to deny he was a "nazi", and in fact referred in his opening address to the "criminal" nature of the Hitler regime, going on to acknowledge that numerous atrocity and extermination stories connected with the Nazis were perfectly true. It availed him nothing. "Neo-nazi" he was in the eyes of the court and the legions of newspaper scribblers reporting. Perhaps the most telling verdict on this non mea culpa approach was The Guardian's cartoon the day following, which showed Mr. Irving drowning in a whirlpool, his right arm stiffly raised in the familiar salutation and swastika flags floating around.

Reading the details of the trial, it is easy for one to be critical of some of the tactical aspects of Irving's presentation of his case - something that may be said of his writings generally. What cannot be gainsaid is his courage in bringing the action. Was it the courage of the kamikaze pilot? Or was there some method in the whole business? It is reported that Irving's financial affairs were in a precarious state before this latest bill was presented to him. He was probably already ruined as a writer depending on his books being published and sold through the ordinary network - the lynch mob had seen to that. Yet this case, which has generated enormous worldwide publicity, undoubtedly will have aroused massive curiosity as to what Irving actually does have to say. Meanwhile the rise of the Internet provides him with a fast-growing medium for saying it.

We often find ourselves disagreeing with David Irving, but his type of bravery is a rare treasure in the country Britain has become. We must hope that others derive inspiration from it, and we wish him all good fortune in his future endeavours to promote the truth as he sees it.

    Spearhead Online