Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Kamm book review saga- one year on

It is exactly one year ago today, that my review of the book 'Anti-Totalitarianism', by Oliver Kamm appeared in the Daily Telegraph.

Little did I know when I filed my copy, that writing a critical review of Kamm's book, would subject me to a year-long campaign of vilification and character assassination.

An email, written under an alias and cced to Kamm, was sent to one of my commissioning editors, repeating malicious libels which Kamm made on his blog, just one day after my review appeared. Kamm's webblog entry was written not just for the benefit of his readers, but also to newspaper editors who employ me.

Faced with what any impartial observer would agree was a malicious campaign to jeopardise my career, I had no option but to take legal action, and brought a case for defamation against Kamm in the County Court in April. But as the defendant (Kamm) did not give his consent to the case being heard there, the court dismissed the action. The only reason why I did not bring a High Court action at the time was financial: unlike Kamm, I am not the founder of a Jermyn Street-based financial services company which started with $1bn of assets.

Kamm and his supporters have continued to hound me.

My wikipedia entry has repeatedly been altered by supporters of Kamm, to give a misleading version of our dispute. They also seem obsessed to include in my entry the information that I am a 'teacher of A Level-retakes' as if that would invalidate my opinions on the Iraq war or any other issues. As it happens, I have not taught 'A Level retakes' for a few years now, but the very fact that people are prepared to spend Christmas Day altering my wikipedia entry to say that I have, demonstrates just how fanatical - and desperate- they are.

I wrote earlier in the month on how a certain ' George Courtenay' wrote a malicious email to the editor of the Australian drawing his attention to untrue and libellous allegations Kamm had made about me on my website. I sent an email to ' George Courtenay', asking if he could provide a postal address or telephone number, to prove he was who he claimed to be. I have yet to recieve a reply. In addition to "George Courtenay", there is also a mysterious personage called "Admiral Cheddar", who spent the evening of the 25th December altering not only my wikipedia entry, but also that of David Cromwell from the organisation Media Lens. In both case, the alterations included references to Oliver Kamm. A few days earlier Kamm had posted on Cromwell on his blog.

What sort of person would spend the evening of 25th December altering the wikipedia entries of Neil Clark and David Cornwell?

Kamm, through his pursuit of Noam Chomsky, has, as I think most impartial observers would agree, shown himself to be something of an obsessive. His mysterious, anonymous supporters seem to take great pride in following his example.

But despite his attempts to jeopardise my livelihood, I bear Oliver Kamm no ill will. The emotion I feel towards Kamm is not hate, but sorrow- that such an intelligent person (anyone who lists Carol Reed's wonderful 'The Third Man' as their favourite film can't be classified as stupid), would invest so much time and energy in trying to sabotage the career of a fellow journalist.

The end of a year is however, a good time to let bygones be bygones. I know Kamm and myself will never see eye-to-eye on Iraq or the Balkans, but I hope that exactly one year after our dispute began, we can finally bring this 'tawdry affair' to an end. I do not seek a grovelling apology, merely a simple posting by Kamm on his blog to say that he was wrong to make the unsubstantiated and libellous allegations against me which he did (namely that I did not read his book and that I deliberately misled my editor over one of my sources) and that he does not approve of people, using aliases, emailing my commissioning editors and repeating the untrue and libellous allegations.

The ball is firmly in Oliver Kamm's court. I very much hope that he decides to ends this dispute exactly 365 days after it started. But if, as I unfortunately suspect, he and and his supporters decide to carry on their vendetta in 2007, they should be aware that I will use any means, within the law, to defend myself and my reputation.

A very Happy and peaceful New Year to each and everyone of you.

15 comments:

1defender said...

You are absolutely right Neil! Anyone who allows himself to stoop so low can only be pitied. The wheel turns and so do situations. The likes of Kamm have had their day. Truth is trickling out slowly, but surely. A very happy New Year to you and yours.

RobBBB said...
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The Exile said...

There does seem to be a rather obsessive interest on the part of certain tossers with people's jobs. I used to get the same treatment - but then again I was a porn merchant at the time and it didn't trouble me.

I think that it was David T. from Harry's Place who started this off, and if memory serves me right he is the same type who started on about you working at an A-Level college.

Happy New year

RobBBB said...
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Neil Clark said...

You're a hard man/woman/beast to please gojira- you spend half the year attacking me for censoring comments, then have a go at me for not filtering comments!
fyi, 'David T' is an alias. http://technology.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,16559,1644361,00.html.
I think you'd have a very hard job to convince a judge that one pseudonymous commenter suggesting that another pseudonymous commentator may be posting under another pseudonym is libellous. If you honestly believe that a comment made by an pseudonymous commenter about another pseudonymous commenter is 'much more serious' than the allegations Oliver Kamm made about me (a journalist who writes under his own name )- then you must have had a bit too much brandy over Christmas.
Incidentally 'David T' wrote in shortly afterwards to deny that he was 'George Courtenay'.

RobBBB said...
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RobBBB said...
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Neil Clark said...

Wow, gojira, you seem to be taking an enormous interest in matters anent 'David T/David Tate'.
I'll leave readers to come to their own conclusions as to why that might be.
To compare the comment by 'grapesofplenty', posted on this blog, in a discussion regarding the possible identity of the mysterious 'George Courtenay', to malicious emails sent, under a false name, to a newspaper editor to draw his attention libels made by another journalist (and cced to that journalist) is quite ludicrous.
David T does write under the name 'David Tate' on the Guardian site, (thanks for the link), but there still seems remarkably little information about him- not even a photograph. Does anyone know who 'David T/Tate' actually is?
What we do know about 'David T/David Tate' is that he is a friend and collaborator of Oliver Kamm's, and that he shares Kamm's extremist opinions.
The link I've posted here,
http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/archives/2006/02/20/seriously_does_anyone_know_a_bigger_crank_in_britain.php
is just one occasion when 'David T' has parroted faithfully allegations made by Kamm about me, and added some other info of his own, such as the 'A Level retakes' line-(which 'admiral cheddar' and 'elena zamm' seem obsessed about including in my wikipedia entry, even though it is untrue.

If you do have some spare time in the next few days, I recommend you
(a) looking at David T's past Harry's Place postings about me.
(b) all Kamm's postings on me.
(c) looking at 'elena zamm's' and 'admiral cheddar's attempt to revise my wikipedia entry.

Then let me know your conclusions.

ps
Even if we're still unsure about who 'David T/David Tate' actually is- at least I've managed to discover your true identity.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047034
Nice to know we have readers as far away as Japan, even if they can be rather monstrous at times....

RobBBB said...
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Neil Clark said...

Can you give some examples of comments on this blog being at the 'loonier end of the conspiracy therory' spectrum, gojira? Perhaps you're referring to claims that the British and the US knew all along that Iraq did not possess WMD? Or that there was no genocide in Kosovo?
If you want to read loopy consipracy theories you've got the wrong site. Try the pro-war blogs who talked of Iraq's WMD capabilities and who portrayed Slobo as the New Hitler.
As for your mission to expose hypocrisy, I suggest you focus your attentions on self-proclaimed free speech fundamentalists who don't even allow comments on their own blog. Or those who warn us almost daily about the threat of Islamic fundamentalism, yet who championed the cause of Islamic fundamentalists in the Balkans.

TheRedLeopard said...

Neil, Happy New Year.
A tip for 2007: don't bother engaging with Gojira, he's shown his pro-Kamm bias on several occasions.
The attention that you've been getting from the pro-war brigade is a sign of just how rattled they are. As 1defender says, the truth about the Balkans and Iraq is trickling out slowly, but surely. But as it does, I think you can expect even more nastiness from Oliver Kamm, Stephen Pollard, David T and all those mysterious 'George Courtenay/Admiral Cheddar types'. They simply don't know how to lose gracefully.

TheRedLeopard said...

Neil, have you seen this totally disgusting comment about you by a regular commentor on Stephen Pollard's site? It shows how sick the bastards are.
http://www.stephenpollard.net/cgi-bin/mt/my-comments.cgi?entry_id=3091

TheRedLeopard said...

Neil, you should also know that gorija has been joining in in a lynching of you on Stephen Pollard's site. Again, why do you bother to engage with him?. He bears you nothing but ill will.

RobBBB said...
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David Lindsay said...

Why don't you ask as many people as possible who HAVE read his dreadful book (I have, and I do not doubt for one moment that so have you) to write reviews of it, and then publish them as a short book, or on a website, or something? Kamm could be invited, publicly, to respond.