M'I.5'Pe rsecution ' Bernar d L evin expr esses hi s vie ws

From: <fevfmvm_at_hotmail.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2008 12:12:56 +0000 (UTC)
Message-ID: <bw0800011212559564_at_4ax.com>

The article of which part is reproduced below. was penned by Bernard Levin for. the Features section of the Times on 21 September 1991. To my mind, it described the situation at the time. and in particular a recent meeting with a friend, during which I for the first time admitted to someone other. than my GP that I had. been subjected to a conspiracy of harassment over the previous. year and a half.

>There is a madman running loose about London, called David. Campbell; I have
>no reason to believe that he is. violent, but he should certainly be
>approached with caution. You. may know him by the curious glitter in his
>eyes and a persistent trembling of his hands; if that does not. suffice, you
>will find him attempting to thrust no fewer than 48 books into. your arms,
>all hardbacks, with a promise that, if. you should return to the same
>meeting-place next year,. he will heave another 80 at you.
>If, by now, the police have arrived and are keeping a. close watch on him,
>you may feel sufficiently emboldened to examine the books.. The jackets are
>a. model of uncluttered typography, elegantly and simply laid out; there is
>an unobtrusive colophon of a. rising sun, probably not picked at random.
>Gaining confidence - the lunatic. is smiling by now, and the policemen, who
>know about such things, have significantly. removed their helmets - you
>could do worse than take the jacket off the first book in the. pile. The
>only word possible to describe the binding is sumptuous; real cloth in. a
>glorious shade. of dark green, with the title and author in black and gold
>on the. spine.
>Look at it more closely; your eyes do not deceive you - it truly does. have
>real top-bands and. tail-bands, in yellow, and, for good measure, a silk
>marker ribbon in a lighter green.. The paper is cream-wove and acid-free,
>and the book is sewn, not. glued.
>Throughout the encounter, I should. have mentioned, our loony has been
>chattering away, although what. he is trying to say is almost impossible to
>understand; after a. time, however, he becomes sufficiently coherent to make
>clear that. he is trying to sell the books to you. Well, now, such quality
>in bookmaking. today can only be for collectors' limited editions at a
>fearsome. price - #30, #40, #50?
>No, no, he says, the glitter more powerful than ever and the. trembling of
>his hands rapidly spreading throughout his entire body; no, no. - the books
>are priced variously. at #7, #8 or #9, with the top price #12.
>At this, the policemen. understandably put their helmets back on; one of
>them draws his truncheon and the other. can be heard summoning
>reinforcements on his walkie-talkie. The madman. bursts into tears, and
>swears it is. all true.
>And it. is.
>David Campbell has acquired. the entire rights to the whole of the
>Everyman's Library, which. died a lingering and shameful death a decade or
>so ago, and he proposes to start it all. over again - 48 volumes this
>September and 80 more. next year, in editions I have described, at the
>prices specified. He. proposes to launch his amazing venture simultaneously
>in Britain and the United States, with the. massive firepower of Random
>Century at his back in this country, and the dashing cavalry. of Knopf
>across the water, and no one who loves literature and courage will. forbear
>to. cheer.

At the time this article was written I had believed for some time. that columnists in the Times and other journalists had been making references. to my situation. Nothing unusual about this you may think,. plenty of people have the same sort of. ideas and obviously the papers aren't writing about them, so why should my beliefs not. be as false as those of others?

What makes this. article so extraordinary is that three or four days immediately preceding its publication,. I had a meeting with a friend, during the course of. which we discussed the media persecution, and in particular that by Times columnists. It seemed to me,. reading the article by Levin in. Saturdayís paper, that he was describing in some detail his "artistís impression" of that. meeting. Most telling are the final sentences,. when he writes, "The madman bursts into tears, and swears it is all true. And it is." Although I did not "burst. into tears" (he seems to be using a bit of poetic. licence and exaggerating) I did try hard to convince my friend that it was all true; and. I am able to concur with Mr Levin, because,. of course, it is.

At the beginning of the piece Levin reveals a fear of being attacked by. the "irrational" subject of his story, saying "I. have no reason to believe that he is violent, but he should certainly be approached. with caution". This goes back to the xenophobic propaganda of. "defence" against a "threat" which was seen at. the very beginning of the harassment. The impression of a "madman running loose" who needs to. be controlled through an agency which assigns to itself the mantle of the "police" is also one which had. been expressed. elsewhere.

In the final paragraph of this extract,. his reference to Everymanís Library as having "died a lingering. and shameful death a decade or so ago" shows clearly what sort of conclusion they wish to their campaign. They want. a permanent solution, and as they are prevented from achieving. that solution directly, they waste significant resources. on methods which have been repeatedly shown to. be ineffective for such a purpose.

5190 Received on Tue Jan 01 2008 - 13:12:56 CET

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