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March 1997

Feb 97 Mar 97 Apr 97





To the Editor

The Guardian 12 March 1997


Dear Sir,

Luke Harding may be entitled to tell the world that he does not like Living Marxism, me or the German journalist Thomas Deichmann ('A shot that's still ringing', Guardian 12 March 1997). But it might have been more useful for your readers if he had bothered to deal with the actual evidence that Deichmann has presented, which shows exactly how ITN's award-winning reports from Trnopolje camp in August 1992 fooled the world.

Instead, on this central issue, there is a resounding silence. Perhaps Harding simply did not have space to deal with the facts, by the time he had finished compiling his catalogue of cheap insults, scare stories, innuendoes and inaccuracies about LM magazine and its supporters.

Alright, I admit that I wear good suits, I went to university, I sometimes drink 'vin rouge' and I am a Communist-Fascist-Serbomaniac-Alien-From-the X-Files. But what has any of that to do with the truth revealed by the ITN rushes from Trnopolje, which Deichmann showed in public for the first time last week at the London event to launch the LM libel appeal, The Off the Fence Fund?

The Guardian appears to have put aside its own recent criticisms of the censorious use of the libel laws, and allowed Harding to act as a cheerleader for ITN's attempt to gag LM and prevent proper discussion of Deichmann's story. As a result, a story which has been debated in respected papers across Europe remains effectively blockaded in Britain, the one country where it ought to cause a scandal.

Harding reports that, at the Off the Fence fund launch, 'after a rousing speech by Mick Hume, the entire audience rose to its feet as one for a standing ovation'. He does not mention that the issues which roused the 500-strong audience were the need to defend the freedom of the press, the integrity of the truth, and journalistic standards. If Harding's scurrilous hatchet-job is the best that such a Vulliamy-wannabe can come up with after a fortnight of full-time dirt-digging, it seems I may have seriously underestimated the problem.

Yours faithfully,

Mick Hume (yes, it's my real name!)



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