Gable Libels Morris Riley

As far as I recall, the first time I met Morris in the flesh was early in 1994 by which time my action against Gable was well underway. He told me that he had intended to sue Gable himself over an article published in the August 1993 issue. The relevant lengthy extract from this article, which appeared in the HILL STREET NEWS column, is reprinted verbatim below:

Hill Street News is an occasional column, written in his own inimitable style, by Ray Hill, who was Searchlight’s mole inside the leadership of the British nazi right and the neo-nazi European terror networks in the 1970s and 1980s. (15)

It had to happen. Larry O’Hara, who for more than two years has been slandering anti-fascists and accusing Searchlight of being the centre of a web of intelligence intrigue, in league with British intelligence, Mossad and probably the Salvation Army, has found his way into the arms of the very same MI5 he is always going on about.

Searchlight first ran into this now very paranoid “researcher” back in 1988. Since then he has found his way into the political arms of Patrick Harrington, the state’s best friend on the far right. Steven John Brady, the Ulster Loyalist terrorist admirer and former vice führer of the National Front, and, word has it, a range of other nazis, racists and extreme right-wingers from Western Goals to the Revolutionary Conservative Caucus. When I described him in my column as an errand boy for Patrick Harrington, the Press Complaints Commission held that this was fair comment.

Not satisfied with attacking Searchlight, its editor and Andrew Bell, a television producer and my co-author on The Other Face of Terror, he is now making forays into America and Australia. His targets are never nazis, always anti-fascists.

So along comes Morris Riley, failed author and, in his own words, a Special Intelligence Service operator. O’Hara send him a copy of his unreadable booklet A Lie Too Far and asks him for information on anti-fascist moles working inside nazi groups.

Riley, almost but not quite as potty as O’Hara, responds as favourably as he can, but as he knows next to nothing he invents. The reason his books do not get into print is because most of the material he writes, at the behest of his intelligence masters, is so libelous that no lawyer would pass it. The letter to O’Hara reflects this inability to tell truth from fiction.

Gerry Gable is accused of being in some kind of plot with the KGB to kill Lyndon LaRouche’s people in Paris some years ago. In making this accusation he grossly libels an academic and writer by saying that Gerry had paid this man to attend a LaRouche gathering to gain information on the organisation. Searchlight actually sent somebody to a World Anti Communist League conference abroad. No attempt was made to kill anyone and the conference had no connection with LaRouche.

It says something about the low standard of recruitment by British intelligence when they have to hire misfits like Morris Riley. His greatest achievement on their behalf, and this is from the horse’s mouth, was when he was used to infiltrate Militant in the 1980s. He told Gerry and a colleague what he was doing and also gave them the name of the person running him.

A more sinister person whom Riley was close to was a man called Pat Jordan, who is now serving a very long sentence for being a spotter for IRA bombers. Jordan wrote to Searchlight from prison recently. Searchlight ignored his letter, having no interest in communicating with terrorists or their helpers, but I wonder what that was all about.

Riley’s lack of ability as super spook became very apparent when he insisted on trying to foist an unusable programme idea on colleagues of Gerry in television. A free lunch always at the forefront of his mind, Riley went off, leaving his unlocked briefcase in their office. Gerry promptly opened it and copied Riley’s rather interesting address book. Watch this space.

O’Hara cannot claim he does not know of Riley’s SIS connections because Riley spells it out in his letter to him dated 13 July 1993. In the letter Riley says Gerry paid him money to do some spying on the far right. The purpose of the money was to lure him in because, knowing how loose-tongued he is, Gerry was trying to find out who was behind a smear campaign against Searchlight in 1982, similar to the one being run by Larry O’Hara and his playmates at present.

So there we go. Gerry is now working for MI5, Mossad and the KGB all at the some time. But we now know what Larry O’Hara is. Not just an errand boy for the nazis, now he has made it into the big time as an informant for an agent of the SIS.

**********

Morris had several objections to this article. One was that it may have put him in physical danger if he were to visit certain countries, particularly in the Middle East. I was, or would have been, extremely skeptical about this claim, but my own - and other people’s - experience of Searchlight led me to believe it was more credible than it sounded. (16)

The reference to “failed author” is interesting. Morris had been a regular soldier for twelve years and had served in the Middle East, including Aden. During that time he had become fascinated both with the region and with the spy Kim Philby. He was subsequently to write a book about Philby. This was published by United Writers, a well known subsidy publisher, (17) but due to objections by the powers-that-be, it was withdrawn. The book is written almost entirely from interviews and other personal research; I don’t believe Morris ever visited the Public Record Office (and I’m not sure that he would have found anything useful in this connection if he had). It is not an easy read but is certainly not without merit, and unlike a lot of the trash written about spies, Larry O’Hara’s “Secret State”, the Kennedy assassination, etc, it will stand the test of time, of that I am sure.

Morris certainly knew his stuff, not just about Philby but about the Middle East and the politics of the region, and politics in general. I remember one day he had a long meeting with Ted Goodman at his Croydon office, (18) and the latter, who is something of an amateur historian, told me that he was extremely impressed with his erudition.

The Issue Of The Writ

I made copious notes on my involvement in this case from the beginning, but I will try not to bore the reader by going into minute detail. On the morning of July 3, 1996, Morris phoned me out of the blue and told me that he was definitely going ahead. There had been some doubt about this and he had already spent a considerable amount of money in instructing a solicitor. Gable had already given him an undertaking - albeit a verbal one - not to mention him in the magazine again. Morris said he would be issuing the writ from the High Court in Sheffield. Eventually it was issued in London.

The following day, July 4, he phoned me again and said that his solicitor had asked for another £800 before he would instruct Counsel. At this point I was not optimistic. The libel was August 1993, and at that time the time limit for bringing a defamation action was three years, so we had only until the end of the month to issue the writ.

On July 6, Morris phoned me just after 9am. I thought he’d had some bad advice but he was adamant that he wanted to go through with it. I told him he should get my barrister John Orme to draft the writ, which he did. In order to keep down costs we (probably me) decided that Morris should act in person for as long as possible.

On July 8, I phoned Morris and arranged to meet him in London the following Saturday.

On July 13, we met as arranged at Westminster Central Reference Library, although he didn’t turn up until nearly 4pm.

On the evening of July 18, Orme phoned me and arranged to fax through the completed writ. He charged Morris £200 for this and basically all he did was write out the defamatory words. I made a note the following day to the effect that without pleading innuendoes it would be struck out.

On July 19, after printing out the writ, I attended the High Court where I was informed that a statement of claim issued by a litigant-in-person had to be signed by the same, so I had to send the whole lot up to Morris. On my way (19) there I dropped in an annotated copy of the writ at Orme’s chambers. Late that same night I spoke to Morris and gave him comprehensive instructions. He’d now decided he wanted to issue the writ in London after all (20) so said he would be coming down for 10.25 on Monday. According to my diary notes, Morris and I spoke at least three times on the phone the following day, July 20. He said he was going to Sheffield on Monday (21) and hoped to sort out everything at the High Court there. He told me too that Russell Press, Searchlight magazine’s (now former!) printer published books in their own right; I was surprised at first but in retrospect thought I’d heard this sometime previously.

On Monday, July 22, 1996, Morris phoned me just after 6pm; he said the court in Sheffield was useless and that one clerk had suggested he post the papers to London! I arranged to meet him at eleven thirty in the Supreme Court Library the following day, and to act as his MacKenzie Friend. We wanted to serve the papers forthwith. We met up as planned, and the writ in Riley v Gable & Others was duly sealed by the Action Department. The case number was 1996R 918, and the defendants were Gerry Gable, Searchlight Magazine Limited, Ray Hill, and Russell Press Limited. Actually it wasn’t as simple as that. As we didn’t have a definite address for Hill, we had to use substituted service. (22) but the practice master, Master Hodgson, refused to let Morris serve the writ on Hill until the other parties had acknowledged receipt. (23) Morris also came a cropper with his mobile phone. (24) In the afternoon Morris went to see Deputy Master Chism, who was practice, then he went back to Hodgson, then back to Chism!

The following day, July 24, Morris phoned, thanked me for showing him around and said he’d never have done it without me. He was always generous in his praise. In the meantime I spread the good news in various quarters that the writ had been issued. Chris Tame of the Libertarian Alliance was happy; Mike Newland, who at that time was the British National Party’s press officer, thought it was hilarious. Orme phoned (the previous night) and we discussed various things including amending the writ. (25)

On July 3, Morris phoned me early in the morning and said that Russell Press had acknowledged receipt of the writ, and that they were still using the same solicitors. Morris had previously written to Russell Press and the wording of that letter nearly put him in hot water because later they tried to claim estoppel.

August 2 was my 40th birthday; Morris phoned to inform me that he had received an acknowledgment from Gable, along with a claim that Hill’s current whereabouts were unknown. (26)

After The Issue Of The Writ - 1

On October 22, Morris took John Orme and myself for an expensive meal at the Connaught Hotel, where he was known. Afterwards I went to the Land Registry and looked up Gable’s house. He and (his then future wife) Sonia had taken out a mortgage in January 1982; it was still in their name. And the Midland Bank’s!

On November 1, I was arrested by a piece of bent filth named Julian Nemeth and spent six months languishing in Brixton Prison until my acquittal on May 1, 1997. Various reports of this - not all of them accurate - have appeared in various places. (27) Morris appeared as a defence witness and nearly ended up getting me convicted when the prosecution tricked him into giving an answer that wilfully misled the jury. Fortunately, I was allowed go back into the witness box myself by the judge, to correct this wrong impression. Apart from that Judge Watts did me no favours at all, to put it mildly.

All this time I was still in litigation with Gable myself, and he used my incarceration to try to have my writ struck out by bringing application after application knowing full well I was in no position to defend them. (28) My colleague Mark Taha was also in litigation with him, and this action went to sleep for the duration. (29) The six months from November 1996 to May Day the following year were my darkest hour, and a time when I found out who my true friends were. And none was more true than Morris. He literally bombarded me with letters, which helped keep my spirits up as much as anything else.

Early on in the case he was himself arrested by the same bent filth, Nemeth, who travelled all the way up to Chesterfield specifically for that purpose. The bogus charge Nemeth brought against him was soon dropped. (30)

Shortly after I walked from Southwark Crown Court, Morris found himself in the nick, not for anything related to that piece of filth Nemeth, but for a drink driving offence. On May 22, 1997 he phoned me from Sudbury Prison and told me that he would definitely be out on bail the following day. He’d also had some heart trouble; fortunately it wasn’t that serious, because he was refused bail.

This was the second time Morris had served a gaol sentence, the previous one had also been for drink driving. Gable didn’t appear to have known anything about either of these run-ins with the law, something which bolsters my belief that he and the Searchlight Organisation are not assets of Larry O’Hara’s ubiquitous “Secret State”.

During my incarceration, nothing much happened in Riley v Gable. However, when he read the March 1997 issue of Gable’s comic, Morris received a shock, for on page 17 was a photograph of Gable and Hill together at the former’s 60th birthday party. (31) But Gerry, you don’t know Mr Hill’s address, remember? Like myself, Morris couldn’t quite believe Gable’s stupidity. He wrote to Gable on March 5 demanding his address. He got nowhere, and when eventually he took this up with the High Court, the Master (see next paragraph) didn’t seem to understand the implications of the two of them being photographed together.

When eventually we consulted John Orme, he suggested that Morris apply for summary judgment against Hill. This, Morris did, and after swearing an affidavit, a summons was issued, sealed February 4, 1998, reserved to a private room appointment at the beginning of March. Hill still didn’t surface but Gable’s lawyer opposed the application. Master Tennant gave leave to re-serve. On April 1, at my suggestion, Morris wrote to Gable’s wife, Sonia, advising her that as Company Secretary she could find herself in contempt of court if she refused to divulge Hill’s address. This had the desired effect, and on April 16, Sonia Gable wrote to Morris claiming that “Yesterday we received a communication from Mr Hill in which he promised to telephone Mr Gable in the next few days. When we receive that call, we shall arrange to serve the writ on him as instructed by the court.”

She went on: “Mr Hill’s letter carried no address, as has always been Mr Hill’s practice since nazis tried to firebomb his east coast home several years ago.”

She ended her letter with a prophecy: “I expect the court will hear from Mr Hill in due course.” As indeed it did.

The Nazis Are Out To Get Me

Mrs Gable’s reference to “nazis” attacking Ray Hill is a typically tiresome reference to the mythical fascist menace. Hill himself whined that his address must remain secret lest Hitler’s hordes exact revenge on him, and indeed this is de rigueur for such activists. Gable’s later “mole” Matthew Collins even claimed that he himself was forced to emigrate to Australia in case the wicked Nazis got him. (32) However, in a letter from Mishcon de Reya to McGoldricks dated 11 June 1999 we read:

“We now refer to your second letter of 20 May 1999...your request for disclosure of documents relating to the attacks on Raymond Hill, his property and family, and Mr Riley’s alleged threat to reveal Mr Hill’s address. No such documentation is in Mr Hill’s possession, although it is possible that documents relating to the attacks, which were investigated by the police and reported in the press, may be obtained from the Skegness police department or newspaper archives.”

Ray Hill has no such documentation?

The letter continues: “However, we do not consider it proportionate at this stage to incur the expense of carrying out a search for these documents, which relate to an essentially peripheral matter.”

So, as things stand, we have only the word of a many times proven liar that such attacks happened. (33) Nuff said. (34)

Ray Hill’s (Concise) Defence

When finally Ray Hill submitted his defence, it caused some merriment, especially from Orme. It arrived June 12, 1998, with a one line undated letter headed with Gable’s home address, and it read as follows:

Defence of Third Defendant.

(1) I make no admission to any of the claims made by the Plaintiff and deny all his allegations against me contained in his writ.

**********

Below the numbered paragraph was Hill’s signature. And that was it! Hill’s witness statement of April 2, 1999 expanded on this denial somewhat. It was again headed with Gable’s home address. Hill, a former street thug (35) and rabble rouser was now styling himself a B.A., claiming to hold an honours degree in history, and to teach history, English and basic mathematics to private pupils. This is probably true, and no one should mock a man’s attempts to better himself. The next paragraph may be true too, but as I argued consistently against Orme and later Nigel Ley as well, it didn’t matter if it were true.

The second sentence reads: “Upon receipt of the writ from Mr Riley, I wrote to him and explained that I was not the author of the article which had apparently aggrieved him and I now reiterate this absolute fact.”

Hill goes on to claim that he started writing the Hill Street News column in April 1988, that he wrote for it for about a year, then after a break with a “reduced personal input”, and then finally because of a mixture of Gable’s desire to widen the scope of the column and his own, personal commitments, he ceased contributing to it altogether. The column was in effect a gossip column, and “Gerry Gable tells me that he personally wrote the material to which Mr Riley objects...”

This claim is amplified later in his witness statement. Larry O’Hara had long claimed that Gable rather than Hill had written this column, but as I said many times to Orme: so what? If you allow your name to be put to a column, a newspaper article or whatever, then you are just as guilty, just as liable, as the author and publisher. If this had been a one off, that would have been different, but the Hill Street News column had run for several years, and Hill had been quite happy to allow his name to be put to it - and presumably to be paid for the privilege. Furthermore, the column was written throughout in the first person singular. Recall what the author had written at one point in the actual article: “A free lunch always at the forefront of his mind, Riley went off, leaving his unlocked briefcase in their office. Gerry promptly opened it and copied Riley’s rather interesting address book.”

Gerry copied it, not I copied it. Orme, and later Ley, insisted that in law Hill would not be found liable on this account, and advised and even insisted that Morris drop the action against him. Fortunately, wiser counsels (ie mine!) prevailed, and Morris took the advice of his legally unqualified friend over that of two barristers, one of them very experienced. (36)

Conduct Exemplary!

As part of my ongoing researches into Gable and his gang, I sought to confirm the veracity of his every pronouncement, public and private. In my libel action, Gable submitted a lengthy autobiographical witness statement, wherein he claimed inter alia that he had studied at the London School of Economics during the 1950s. I asked Morris to check this out; he did so, and in a letter dated 10 September 1998, Catherine Murray of the LSE’s Alumni Relations Team replied to the effect that “regarding Mr Gerald Clark Gable...we do not have a record of anyone with that name on our Alumni database. Furthermore to the best of my knowledge the LSE did not run a course for a ’Diploma in Social History’ in 1958-59.”

This is strong evidence, if not conclusive proof, that Gable had simply lied in his witness statement. In 1991, Gable had contributed a chapter to a book called Neo-Fascism In Europe wherein it is claimed that he “holds an American Adjunct Professorship in journalism.”

In view of Gable’s innate propensity to lie through his teeth at every opportunity, the current writer regarded his claim that he was a professor with some suspicion. Gable actually claimed to have received this professorship through Syracuse University in London, at which he had lectured for several years. He claimed too to hold an MA in Criminology.

Incredibly, further inquiries revealed that he was actually telling the Gospel truth. He did indeed hold a professorship, had indeed lectured at Syracuse University, (37) and had indeed obtained an MA in Criminology. (38) It remains though a possibility that he obtained his university post partly on the strength of a false claim to have obtained a diploma in social history from the LSE, but for once I won’t hold this against him. Many people, including a few genuine academics, lie on their CVs.

At some point in 1998, Morris also contacted Syracuse University. Undoubtedly this was at my request, although I can’t remember exactly why. It may have been that we were looking for clarification of what he had lectured on, or something of that nature. At any rate, Gable soon found out, (39) and in a letter dated 21st August 1998., Gerry Gable MA Crim wrote on his headed notepaper drawing this to Mr Riley’s attention, and also asking him what the letters after his own name stood for. (40)

At some point he asked too for details of his army service, obviously hoping that Morris had been booted out or had something unflattering on his record which could be used against him in court. Bad move. Morris Riley’s Certificate of Service, Army No. 23948337 shows that he enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps January 26, 1960 and was discharged February 2, 1972. Under Assessment of Military Conduct and Character his Military Conduct is listed as EXEMPLARY. (41)

After The Issue Of The Writ - 2

On October 18, 1998, I met Morris in Central London, he had his wife Margaret with him; this was the first time I’d met her. Sadly, the next time I was to meet her was the day of his funeral.

In May 1999, the second edition of Philby: The Hidden Years, was published, by Janus of London. (42) An undated press release issued cJanuary 1999 quoted Yours Truly. And, when the book was published, on the back cover, again there was:

The first book to expose Lord Rothschild as the

“first man”.

Alexander Baron, Editor, Anglo-Hebrew Publishing

Actually I never said any such thing, but Morris had a wry sense of humour, and I readily forgave him this faux pas. (43) Morris told me he’d be getting a fistful of reviews of the new book, including in the New Statesman. This latter never materialised, but he did get some, including in the Sheffield Star. (44)

Unlike Baron v Gable, which Gable did his best to delay interminably, there was no serious attempt to delay Riley v Gable. This may have been because unlike the former there was not a lot of scope for muddying the waters by dragging in all manner of irrelevant non-evidence. It may also have been that Gable fancied his chances on account of the attacks on Morris being largely comment. At any rate, on June 1, 1999, I set down the case for trial; this involved delivering the relevant papers to the High Court and paying the setting down fee. I had to get a letter faxed through from Goodman and also get leave from the Practice Master, Master Foster, to set down out of time. (45) Riley v Gable was probably one of the last cases to be heard at the High Court under the old rules, and very likely the last such defamation action. (46)

Witnesses For The Plaintiff

There were, or would have been, three witnesses for the Plaintiff: Morris, myself, and the publisher Sandy Leung, (47) owner of Janus. My witness statement was fairly prolix but straightforward. Leung didn’t come in until the last minute. There had been a possibility of Morris calling other character witnesses but this would have caused great inconvenience and expense.

Apart from a glowing character reference, I felt that the most important piece of evidence I could give would be to the effect that Hill had written (or at least been credited with) the defamatory article. This would totally undermine Hill’s claim, and would reveal Gable as a potential perjurer. At the very least he had lied in a witness statement.

In his witness statement in Baron v Gable & Others, Gable had stated at paragraph 109. that:

Ray Hill, in the “Hill Street News” column said that the previous month’s issue of the NUJ magazine carried an advertisement for the ravings of a “buddy” of Patrick Harrington...

**********

The “buddy” of Patrick Harrington concerned was me. As this article was published after the libel on Morris it was inconsistent with Hill’s aforementioned claim that “Gerry Gable tells me that he personally wrote the material to which Mr Riley objects...” And to the broader claim that the column was not written by Hill at all but was simply a gossip column.

Let me make my position clear, I agree one hundred percent with Larry O’Hara that this column was in fact written by Gable. But so what? Again, if you permit your name to be put to a newspaper or magazine column for an extended period in the full knowledge that it is making defamatory claims about other people then you are just as responsible as the person who really writes it. Both Orme and Ley insisted that this was not the case, but at the trial the judge disagreed.

At the end of the day though, both Morris and myself were convinced that it would be the defence evidence that would win him the case. To this end I drafted fairly early on in the proceedings some notices to admit facts which were served on the other side, and which wisely went unanswered! Morris praised these notices to high heaven and a couple of weeks after the trial he told me that they had made a major contribution to his wsinning the case; incredibly Orme hadn’t wanted us to serve them. (48)

The Defence Witness Statements

There were three witness statements for the defence: from Gable, Hill, and Oxford educated scumbag journalist Andrew Bell. (49) While Hill’s statement was simply a total denial, both Bell and Gable attempted to give the impression that Morris was a big mouth, a Walter Mitty character and a fantasist. He actually referred to Morris as a Walter Mitty character.

The bottom line was that Morris fantasised about being a spy, yet Gable claimed to have proof that Morris was indeed a spy! This is typical of Gable’s schizophrenia; I truly believe the man is in a sense clinically insane. He has an almost unique ability to believe two entirely disparate and mutually exclusive facts simultaneously.

Briefly, working through his witness statement we find that at paragraph 3: “I was warned a few years ago by a former MI5 operative that the intelligence services would find ways of punishing us for our revelation that one of the British sections of the Gladio network...was in fact a nazi organisation called Column 88.”

The implication here is that Morris was assigned to this non-existent punishment detail. This is total nonsense as is all the garbage that has appeared in Searchlight over the years about the quasi-mythical Column 88. (50)

At paragraph 5 he says that Baron v Gable “was eventually settled last year without any apology by us”. He forgets to mention that he a) published a retraction, and b) paid me £5,000 towards my costs! (51) In the September 2001 issue of his lie-ridden magazine Gable makes an even more wilfully misleading claim about Riley v Gable. (52)

At paragraph 11, Gable asserts that “It soon became apparent in conversations with Riley, that he had a very big mouth and could not be trusted at all”. I can only say that this is totally contrary to my experience of Morris. Not only could he keep a confidence but he was very reserved and self-effacing. In his widely quoted classic Tragedy And Hope, Professor Quigley writes of one former communist: “Much of this evidence, released over the years, became more remote from his personal knowledge or even from the facts.” (53)

This is undoubtedly true not only of former communists (and “Nazis”) (54) but of spies. The revelations of former Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky have been seized on by the extreme right, even though he was only a relatively low level operative and was not with the organisation for long. Over the years that I knew him and as his trust in me grew, Morris told me a few things that he hadn’t when we first met, but one thing that impressed me about him was that he never spun tall stories either about Gable or anyone else. He told me that he had been recruited by Gable to report on the activities of certain alleged far right groups, something which he considered legitimate, but he never made wild accusations about Gable or anyone else. His position remained simply that Gable would smear anybody if the price was right.

Morris did produce an open letter called MORE ABOUT HOW SEARCHLIGHT “SETS-UP” PEOPLE FOR MURDER, but this was certainly not a fanciful idea; it was written in response to a letter from Ulster Loyalist David Kerr to Housmans Bookshop. (55)

Returning to Gable’s witness statement, he denounces Morris to high heaven, attacks his book as being long on speculation, but short on facts, and at paragraph 20 claims that Hill had survived two assassination attempts.

Paragraph 21 begins: “Ray stopped writing for the column in about 1990 or 1991”. Again, this is not what Gable said in Baron v Gable.

In the same paragraph, Gable refers again to Baron v Gable and says that “When Baron sued us, the article he alleged was libellous had appeared in Ray’s column and Ray’s name appeared on the writs. After some time it was explained to Baron that I was the author of both pieces and he ceased the action against Ray.”

This is not quite true. In the first place I did not sue us, ie Searchlight magazine, only Gable as editor. In the second instance I sued Hill only in the second writ, which related to the February 1994 issue, and I sued him by mistake! Nothing was explained to me, in addition to settling with other parties I dropped the action against Hill on the basis that both parties paid their own costs. (56)

Paragraph 25 is an interesting piece of sophistry in which Gable tries to explain - or explain away - how Hill attended his 60th birthday party without giving Gable his phone number or address, and of course without either Mr or Mrs Gable saying anything to the surprise visitor about Mr Riley’s writ.

Paragraph 26 repeats this with regard to a report about Hill’s activities that appeared in the October 1997 issue. Paragraphs 27 and 28 contain some flannel about Gable and Hill being “not convinced that Riley had the financial means to follow the action through” (57) and in response to their inquiries in this matter, Morris threatened to “pursue Ray for his home address”, with the intent of revealing it to the hordes of “Nazis” who were waiting in the wings to assassinate him.

We have already seen how real this threat was; (58) we should point out that Gable’s home address has been known to the far right for many years, and he is hardly less hated by them than Hill. (59) In fact, Morris did no such thing; he sought Hill’s address only for the purposes of bringing and continuing his libel action, including enforcing any orders of the court.

Paragraph 29 alludes to the letters Morris appended to his name, “which we suspected gave him false professional credibility”. What sort of journalist is Gable to write something like that?

Paragraph 30 says that Morris “continued to pursue me for Ray’s address, which I was not prepared to release for the reasons set out above.” This is more lies. It goes without saying that none of this was raised in court; Gable and Hill both elected not to give evidence, and their quite adept barrister never put it to Morris in cross-examination.

Paragraph 31 reports inter alia that Baron (that’s me folks!) was “arrested...on the...charge of sending a malicious communication...and fined £200 with £100 costs”. What sort of criminologist is Gable? Sending a malicious communication is not an arrestable offence, and I was actually fined £250; Gable has no excuse for this because he was actually in court during this show trial. (60) “Since that time, Baron has been imprisoned for various breaches of court orders.” That’s news to me!

At paragraph 32 Gable whines that Morris had tried to obtain details of his and Sonia’s financial status via a commercial agency. So what? He was perfectly entitled to do this, and let us not forget that at paragraph 27 (see above) Gable claims that he and Hill sought similar information from Morris about his own financial status.

Paragraph 33: “Riley was visited by the police during their investigations of Baron. I was told by a source that Riley had been found to be working while drawing benefit and driving illegally, and that despite both matters being reported, no action had been taken against him. This strongly suggests that Riley had associations with the Security Services.”

In the April 2000 issue of his lie-ridden magazine, Gable referred to me as “the arch conspiracy theorist Alexander Baron”, obviously a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

The true facts and context of this claim about Morris being protected by MI5 is as follows. Gable made a witness statement in Regina v Baron in which he attempted to implicate Morris. His bent copper friend Julian Nemeth then drove all the way up to Chesterfield and arrested Morris; Nemeth is the source referred to. While poking his unwanted proboscis into Mr Riley’s affairs, Nemeth came to the conclusion that he had been driving without being taxed (wrong) and doing undeclared work while drawing state benefits (again wrong).

No (further) action was taken because Nemeth (who was apparently doing a good impression of Inspector Clousseau) realised that he had gaffed, and quietly dropped the case/non-investigation. Morris did actually serve a gaol sentence shortly after this (see above) for a purely technical driving offence. He was in charge of a motor vehicle, although not actually driving it, and because of his having lost his licence and this being a second offence, he ended up in clink.

Finally, at paragraph 34, Gable claims that in Baron v Gable, two restraining orders were issued against the current writer “which told him to stay clear of me and my family”. Again, this is total nonsense. To relate the entire story here would take us way off course but basically, during the course of my suing him for libel, Gable applied for two motions to have me gaoled for contempt of court. (61) These applications were frivolous and clearly the actions of a desperate man. When the application went before Sir Michael Davies (sitting as a High Court judge), Gable’s equally duplicitous lawyer Robin Lewis, (62) who had filed the supporting affidavit, backed down. I was though asked by the judge to give an undertaking to conduct the litigation in the proper manner, ie to communicate only with Gable’s lawyers, and this I did. (63)

Russell Press Throws In The Towel

On December 16, 1999, the solicitors for Russell Press Limited paid into court the sum of £5,001 in Riley v Gable & Others. The same sum was paid in, in settlement of Taha v Gable & Others. Both Morris and Mark Taha accepted. Whoever advised Russell Press (64) to make such a payment showed excellent judgment because their assessment was spot on; the jury would later award Morris £5,000 in damages. Be that as it may, I am convinced that if Morris had not been betrayed by Orme on the opening day of the trial in such a gross and unethical fashion, (65) that he would have been awarded considerably more than £5,000.

On February 3, 2000, with the trial a mere two weeks away, I’d just been to the High Court on another matter - where I’d passed a certain David Irving in the corridor! - and was on my way to the British Library via Holborn when I decided to drop by Orme’s chambers to see if he was there and maybe pick up a bundle of documents. I’d previously phoned him at his home and got his answering service. I saw his bald head from the street, but boy was I surprised when I walked into his chambers and found both Morris and Goodman there. Anyway, I got a free lunch out of Ted while Orme grilled Morris. The big surprise was that Richard Hermer, Gable’s Jewish barrister (and fellow traveller), had been replaced by a goy named Hudson. Morris told me later that Orme thought we were going to piss it now. Rather than piss it though he very nearly pissed it up.

I had no idea that Morris was in London, and it transpired that as well as preparing him for the trial by subjecting him to an intense cross-examination Devil’s Advocate style, Orme was trying to influence him into dropping me as a witness. The reason for this is an incident, or non-incident, which happened at Horseferry Road Magistrates’ Court in 1998. I won’t go into detail here but it involved me standing up and shouting at a bent Filth while I was in the dock at a remand that she was committing perjury.

There was absolutely no chance of my getting bail over police objections from that arsehole of a stipe, and I don’t regret what I did. Nevertheless, Orme got it into his tiny mind, that if I were to appear as the star witness in Riley v Gable I would get “wound up” and verbally attack the defence barrister. Again, nothing could be further from the truth, and Orme had no excuse even for entertaining the suggestion because as he well knew I had not only withstood a gruelling cross-examination from an adept barrister at my own trial (67) but had conducted it in a manner which had at times made the police - Nemeth in particular - look stupid. (68) And I had also, some years before that, conducted in person a County Court trial in which I was awarded £3,000 against a publisher who had ripped me off.

All that was by the by though, because Orme had got this idea in his head and was intent on going through with it, and he did. His crass stupidity undoubtedly cost Morris a great deal of money, and almost lost him the case too.

Ten days before the trial Gable’s lawyers (69) paid £750 into court, although they didn’t specify for whom. Goodman and Orme sought clarification. On top of that they faxed through a supplementary witness statement by Gable minus the exhibit. I told Morris to expect them to pull other tricks like nitpicking about the trial bundle. Goodman faxed them back to the effect that if they wanted to add any more documents they could do so themselves.

On February 7, 2000, a phone call was received from a South African news agency. The following day Morris told me that the previous week when he met Orme he was shown a copy of a press release (concerning Ray Hill). Dear oh dear, I wonder who could have sent them that! (70) Later, they turned up for the trial.

The following day, February 8, I delivered the bundles to Gable’s lawyers and the High Court.

February 12, I made a diary note that the trial had been delayed. As well as my usual problems with my neck and back (71) I had a loose filling and it was tearing my tongue to shreds.

On February 13 at twenty past nine in the evening, Orme phoned me, and I couldn’t believe the crap he was coming out with about how Morris should withdraw against Hill - and each pay their own costs - because we’ve got no evidence that Hill wrote the article. I called him all the names under the Sun. How much evidence does he need, I thought? He started giving me all that William Hickey crap that he’d raised before. (72)

The following morning, February 14, I delivered a couple of bundles to Goodman’s office, but first I phoned Orme, and read out Hill’s comments in the April 1994 issue of Searchlight; he sounded a lot more confident. That same night I received a phone call from that South African news agency. I told the bird on the other end of the line that I was Ray Hill’s biographer but that I couldn’t comment on the case. She said she had a copy of Liars Ought To Have Good Memories. I wonder who sent her that!

Later still, Morris phoned me from Luton; he said he’d met the people from the South African news agency that day. He promised me he hadn’t said anything that could compromise the case, and I hoped not.

On February 16, I received a phone call from Orme who told me that the trial was on for the following day, and that he had received a fax from the judge (apparently a duplicate of that sent to the other side) pointing out that he was not happy with the way the first two defences were pleaded and inviting them to draft a skeleton argument. The judge was Mr Robert Walker QC, a defamation specialist. Regarding his fax, Orme said the courts were now taking a “Woolfian” view of things. He said too to make sure the case was not reported on the Internet. I told him what I’d already told Morris, namely to refer any and all press inquiries to Goodman.

The following day, Riley v Gable & Others opened in Court 35 at the Royal Courts of Justice.

The Trial - Day 1

It’s one thing for a litigant to become nervous as the trial date approaches, but it’s quite another for his Counsel to. When Morris and I turned up at Orme’s chambers at 9 o’clock on February 17, he was already there. So was Nigel Ley, whom we were informed would be acting as Leading Counsel. (73) Goodman told us later that Orme had lost his bottle - or words to that effect. This was his first actual libel trial.

When we arrived at the High Court there was a minor problem with the consent order between Morris and Russell Press. Although they had been out of the frame for some time, there was the proverbial question of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. I had to spend a bit of time running around finalising it, and eventually Goodman got the judge to settle it, and with a bit of help from the associate it was finally disposed of. Morris was charged another twenty-five quid for the privilege.

The first real problem to confront Morris was the late payment into court. Goodman wanted him to take the money. In view of the fact that he had settled with Russell Press for £5,001, a further £750 from the three major defendants could be seen as derisory. If he had accepted, the defendants would have had to pay his costs as well as their own. And there would of course have been no trial.

I advised Morris to ignore it and press on. Incredibly, and not for the first time, Orme wanted him to allow Hill to walk away, with both parties paying their own costs. (74) Ley wanted to get some money out of Hill. Morris said he was the man in the middle again and got quite angry at one point with us coming at him from all directions, raising his voice at all of us, a rare occurrence for him. Eventually though he agreed with me, and after lunch when Ley opened the Plaintiff’s case, Hill was sitting next to Gable on the right hand side of the court. This is what will win us the case, I wrote in my notes; Ley still thinks we’ll win. I stressed to Morris that having two liars against you is better than one.

The South African press agency turned up, but a far more important trial (for the rest of the world) was ongoing elsewhere in the Royal Courts complex: Irving v Lipstadt.

Before the trial started there were submissions, unsurprisingly, and at this came Orme’s gross act of betrayal. Hudson, the defence barrister, submitted that all my evidence was inadmissible. The judge agreed with the exceptions of paragraphs 13-5, but Orme and Ley allowed those to be jettisoned too.

As a witness (still) I wasn’t allowed into the court during the pre-trial submissions, and when the four of them came out (Morris, Goodman, Orme and Ley), Morris, drawing on a cigar, said I was out, and thought it was a great laugh. He wouldn’t have laughed if the judge had accepted Hudson’s submission at the close of the Plaintiff’s case that there was no case to answer against Hill. I was the only person who could give evidence to the effect that Hill had written (or should be held jointly responsible for) the defamatory article, because Gable had claimed in his witness statement in Baron v Gable that Hill had been writing for the magazine at that time.

There was no way his witness statements in the two actions could be reconciled. Either Gable was lying in the first or in the second, and either way was prepared to perjure himself. In spite of all the forewarnings, I couldn’t believe that Orme would do something so venal. There was bad blood between us for the rest of the trial and for some time afterwards. When I spoke to him the following month he said I had to stop insulting him. Sorry John, but if the hat fits wear it; his betrayal - both of me and of his client - nearly lost Morris the case - and, I am convinced, cost Morris a lot of money in damages. (75)

The fact that Hudson wanted all my evidence excluded begs the question how damaging could my testimony have been to Morris? While Orme obviously couldn’t get that non-incident in Horseferry Road Magistrates Court out of his tiny mind, (76) Hudson had just as obviously been better briefed, possibly by Gable’s former barrister Richard Hermer, who had sat in the public gallery towards the latter part of my 1997 Southwark trial. Hermer had also seen me act in person in the High Court. Whatever, Gable’s gang had obviously been rightly impressed. I say this without false modesty, in spite of outward appearances at times I am not a creature of moods, not in a court of law at any rate. And as I have said to my colleague Mark Taha and indeed to Orme himself on more than one occasion, genius is 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration. It was me who had made up the bundles for the trial, and for all the interlocutory hearings, and together, Morris and I had prepared the case extremely thoroughly and with a critical eye that more than compensated for our lack of legal training.

Orme had no right to stitch up his client like this against his instructions. (77) In a criminal case where a defendant is convicted this can be grounds for appeal. In this case I felt it was grounds for Orme being disbarred, and if the jury had not found for Morris I would have pressed him to take such action. It was only after the trial had started that it occurred to me that prior to Ley’s opening speech I could have passed a note to the judge pointing out that Orme had stitched his client up and pointing out the relevance of some of my evidence. I didn’t, so the trial started, round one to Gable.

My book Liars Ought To Have Good Memories was also ruled inadmissible as was all mention of Hill’s antecedents. It hadn’t occurred to me that spent convictions couldn’t be referred to in a civil trial, but Ley said they can’t be brought up without leave of the court; he said he would try to do something about this anyway, but never did. As things happened, Hudson didn’t raise my antecedents either, so probably no harm was done. The preliminaries over, the jury was sworn in, and off we went. I noted that there were a couple of non-white faces on the jury, which wouldn’t have done Hill any favours if we could have got in some of the more damning stuff about him. Unfortunately, it was me, not Morris, who was Hill’s biographer. I literally hated Orme at this point.

In his opening speech Ley referred to Gable as the Plaintiff at one point, obviously Orme wasn’t the only one who was suffering from nerves. Ley also hadn’t done a lot of preparation, but this was clearly Orme’s fault; he had been brought in at the last moment, and in view of this he did an excellent job.

In the morning session when things were still being sorted out, Goodman sent me to phone Sandy Leung, the owner of Janus, which I did. He was told that his presence was wanted that afternoon; he wasn’t happy but agreed to come. Later, that afternoon, I was a bit worried when he didn’t show so went out to phone him again. It transpired that he had turned up but was told that he wasn’t needed until 2pm Monday!

At one point, Orme had a bit of a barney with the judge about the admissibility or otherwise of some of the press reviews of the Philby book. Ironically I’d warned him about this weeks or months before but he wouldn’t have any of it. Eventually the judge agreed that they could be referred to but not put before the jury. Orme told me later that the judge was against us and that he was an arsehole - on this point at least - although he didn’t use such language. I disagreed profoudly; Mr Robert Walker QC was amiable, firm and fair throughout, and if ever I stand trial for murder I would have no qualms about him trying the case. (78) The judge was quite right; the reviews were hardly an exception to the hearsay rule; you can’t just bung in any document or printed source as evidence, something Gable has tried on more than once. (79) At one point he made it clear that he would decide what evidence was admissible and what was not, and said that no document, whatever its provenance or whoeveradduced it, would go before the jury without his express permission.

I went up to Court 73 at one point to have a butcher’s at Irving v Lipstadt; I couldn’t get in because it was full, but the session had ended and I saw Irving near the door, and he saw me. I left a copy of my exposé of this scumbag, The Churchill Papers, outside the court.

When Morris had phoned me on Sunday night he’d said that Orme would be going for a strike out (of Gable’s defence); I didn’t think he’d get it, although from Ley’s opening speech it seemed as though the defence had switched from justification and fair comment to purely justification. Morris said too that Ley got a bollocking off the judge for failing to use the latest edition of Gatley. (80)

The Trial - Day 2

When he examined Morris, Orme didn’t stress the importance of the reference to Larry O’Hara, ie the relevance of him being as “potty” as O’Hara. Morris said he was paid £50 to join NTS (81) during his work for Gable; he’d also received £100 from Searchlight and a couple of lunches and a snack. He said he had been a Searchlight subscriber. [He still was, but that wouldn’t have gone down well with the jury, and fortunately it was never mentioned!] Hudson began his cross-examination at 12.20.

The judge was further upset at 12.30 when some pages were not handed to the jury; this was Goodman’s mistake, not mine. There were six bundles for the jurors, and these were put on the table at the front of the court. As each document was approved by the judge, they were handed to the jurors - one between two - and subsequently they went into lever arch files. Goodman was managing the documents. Then Morris went to the bog. Hill left the court too and I thought for one moment that he had followed Morris into the bog, but he just went outside to smoke a fag.

At 12.40 there was a five minute recess; I had arranged to meet Taha at the court; he was to bring some (unrelated) documents for me. Conveniently, he turned up during the interval and soon left.

At 12.47 there was another problem with the bundles. The judge was not impressed. The South African press left, presumably for lunch.

When the court broke up for the morning session, Morris approached Orme and was warned by the judge not to break his prohibition on discussing the case with anyone. (82) When Morris said he couldn’t hear what he’d said, Walker literally bellowed his instructions at him. I thought this boded ill for us but he was obviously unhappy with Hudson too, and gave him a warning about document presentation.

Morris left me in the pub to finish my lunch, and I arrived back at the court around ten past two. He wasn’t bad under cross-examination at a couple of points. He said the first publisher of the Philby book became ill after receiving threats. After three or four days? I didn’t think much of this.

In his book, Morris had named someone as an assassin. At one point, Hudson asked him in relation to this if it weren’t defamatory to accuse somebody of murder. Morris replied very firmly “Not when they’re dead!” (83)

A journalist named Patrick Seale had been responsible for the withdrawal from publication of the Philby book first time around. Morris said that he’d been offered publication by another publishing house but had turned this down, apparently because it churned out anti-Semitica. I thought he came across very well on this point.

Hudson accused Morris of spreading gossip; Morris didn’t pick up on the fact that he is interested in conspiracy theories and parapolitics, and that there is a distinction between discussing gossip and conspiracy theories and spreading them (with particular reference to Lobster).

Coming up to 3pm, Hudson showed Morris a letter that Lord Sudeley had written to Mark Taha, and asked him if it was Taha’s handwriting that appeared on the letter and didn’t he forward it to Gable? Morris interrupted very firmly “No I did not!” and that was the end of that.

The handwriting is Taha’s, as anyone familiar with it will recognise instantly. (84) This letter, dated 11 July 1992, most likely came into Gable’s possession through his bent copper friend Nemeth. When this piece of Filth raided Mark after he arrested me in November 1996, he planted a stolen credit card in Mark’s flat, and I know for certain that he passed on information to Gable about both myself and Morris. It is most likely that he stole this letter too (and perhaps others) while going through Mark’s papers.

The problem was not so much that Morris looked bad giving evidence but that Hudson was able to adduce all sorts of superficially damaging facts and twist them out of context. Just as there are lies, damned lies and statistics, so are there facts, and facts in and out of context. For example, fact: Mr X speaks highly of a convicted thief. Context: Mr X is a barrister defending a man of previously impeccable character who has succumbed to temptation for the first time in his thirty years as a bank clerk. It was this sort of tactic that Hudson adopted when referring to some of my publications.

A couple of examples will suffice: I had at one point referred to a spoof on the gas chambers - yes, those gas chambers. And another piece of correspondence had begun “Morris, Shalom and Oy Vay m’ Boy!!!” Now, superficially this is very damaging, not so much it is true for the recipient, but it still gives a bad impression. In fact the spoof was indeed that, it was a leaflet I had put out concerning something one of Gable’s minions had written in one of their publications. (85) The reference to Shalom and Oy Vay, m’ Boy was an “in-joke” (see below). Indeed, it still is. The phrase “Oy Vay” has become Yours Truly’s standard way of greeting some people over the telephone; I think it stems partly from the fact that some people on the far right believed (and undoubtedly still do believe) me to be some sort of maverick Jew, and partly from my numerous exposés of Gable’s lie machine. The jury weren’t to know this, of course, and Hudson never gave Morris a chance to explain it.

Another point Hudson made was that Morris had become enjoined in a conspiracy with Alexander Baron to hoax Searchlight. Isn’t that right? Yes, agreed Morris. I mentioned this to Orme afterwards and he said that Morris could have given him a different answer, which to be frank, is a perfectly valid point. On the third day - the Monday - Morris tried to correct this by defining the word conspiracy, but Hudson shut him up. He wouldn’t have got away with this sort of soundbite cross-examination against me, and he damn well knew it.

After the second day’s performance, I told Orme, Ley and Goodman that the only chance they had now of winning the case was to put me in the box and let me give evidence to repair the damage done by Morris under cross-examination, even if I only made one or two brief comments the jury would at least know I was both at court and in Riley’s corner. You wouldn’t have thought so the way Hudson had been going on.

Afterwards Orme and particularly Ley said that if I gave evidence the chances are that the judge would rule a mistrial, costs thrown away against Morris. Might that not be preferable? (I thought at the time). At least we would have had a second bite at the cherry, provided Morris could have borne the costs. Which he probably couldn’t have!

When I spoke to Morris that night he said - not for the first time - that Orme and company hadn’t shown him Hudson’s skeleton argument until it was too late, and my evidence had been totally excluded. He was firmly of the opinion that Orme and Hudson came to an agreement that I should be ruled out. Still, it was no use crying over spilt milk.

The South African press agency were present again. Morris told me at some point that he had written some articles under the name Richard Shaw.

The Trial - Day 3

Over the weekend, Morris drafted a lengthy submission to the judge which initially I agreed with, but on consulting with Orme I decided it wouldn’t be such a good idea, and persuaded him to pull it. I was vindicated when the judge rebuked him during the morning session for trying to make a submission there and then; he told him he had two barristers representing him.

Goodman turned up at 10.30. Previously the defendants had said they’d only pursue Morris for 75% of their costs if he dropped the case. Ley put that to his client, who dismissed it as a joke. In fact the offer was meaningless; if they’d successfully defended the case they could have put in a bill for anything they liked, because Morris had made contingency plans, and after all, he was an accountant!

Goodman sent me out to do some heavy photocopying and I was absent until 10.55. Hudson was continuing his cross-examination.

At 5 past 11, after some document sorting, Hudson drew the jury’s attention to my being in the courtroom. He referred to “the non-existent rabbi” mentioned in some of our correspondence. In fact this “non-existent rabbi” was very real, as Gable himself well knew, so this was yet another attempt to wilfully mislead the jury. Two of my early publications on the Jewish Question were written in collaboration with rabbis; the second with Rabbi Yosef Goldstein, PR man for the Neturei Karta; the first with “Rabbi Cohen” who is now an ex-rabbi. (86)

The judge spent some time sorting through the bundle of documents Morris had in front of him. I noted that juries are likely to object to their time being wasted over something like this. Orme said previously - on the Thursday if I recall - that this was an Old Bailey jury. They might well have been hearing a murder case rather than this. Walker seemed to take ages with the bundle. I noted that “This bodes ill for Morris!”

At 11.25, the judge sent the jury out and bollocked both sides, especially ours, re the preparation of documents. He said he would reduce solicitors’ costs accordingly. (87) There were definitely problems with the bundles, but this was not my fault, contrary to Orme’s assertions. Goodman too said I’d cocked it up. In fact, any bundling errors on my part were minor; Goodman and company had done the rest. How much of this was down to Hudson remains to be seen, but a lot of the stuff that was excluded was down to him, so errors could have crept in when they were being reassembled. And as Goodman was in charge of the bundles...

If I recall, in one or two of the bundles there may have been a couple of documents out of order, but the main problem was caused by Goodman’s handling of them. He is not the most competent of men and often loses or misplaces documents out of court, but to be fair he had a difficult task. Anyway, these purely technical problems were minor in comparison with the cross-examination Morris was enduring.

Hudson dragged in a lot of stuff that would otherwise have been inadmissible. I noted that this could be bad for Gable...if he elected to give evidence.

Four women came into the court earlier and were sitting up at the back but I think they were just tourists or something. The woman from the South African press was here again and so was a bloke with a beard who had been before. He wasn’t the only one sporting a beard; I was too. I’d adopted this tactic before; it makes me look a bit like a rabbi. Oy vay!

At 11.35, the jury came back. Hudson was trying to give the impression that Morris didn’t want to call me as a witness. Talk about chutzpah. At 11.40 the women left the public gallery. Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, it did! Just before 12 the judge retired briefly, making some comments to the jury about us being in the age of information technology. Morris got in a document that he wanted though. For all the good it will do, I noted.

Around 12.30 I noted that some of the stuff coming out here was not very complimentary, either about Morris or about me, although it was a bit of a laugh. Some ten minutes later, Ley raised the question of post-defamation justification re correspondence that had been put to Morris in cross-examination. Then the judge sent the jury out for lunch.

I was back in the courtroom at ten to two. Everyone else was there except Morris and the jury. Sandy Leung turned up early with two of his staff. (88) Ley was reciting case law. I recalled how earlier the judge had upbraided him for using an out of date Gatley, but he said nothing like that now. Five minutes later Morris arrived.

Now it was Leung’s turn to give evidence; he wasn’t very happy about waiting around outside and I had to watch him in case he did the unthinkable and tried to escape. Goodman said that after Leung was out of the way and Morris had been re-examined we were going to have a conference.

At twenty past two the judge made a ruling about Mr Riley’s “Pink Panther letters” to Gable. No, don’t ask! At any rate, he ruled against us; they were admissible. At twenty-five to three the usher was sent to fetch the jury, and Hudson was to finish his cross-examination. Leung didn’t like this.

I was in the courtroom at ten to three and noted that Morris was coming over so badly that I couldn’t believe it. I had a difficult job; I had to take notes and keep flitting backwards and forwards to make sure that Leung didn’t take a powder.

At twenty-five past three, Hudson was going over correspondence between Morris and the credit reference agency CCN. I told Goodman and Orme that we should keep this out because without a full explanation - which Hudson wouldn’t ask for, and which Morris wouldn’t give - it would make a bad impression on the jury.

Fifteen minutes later, Morris was bringing up a letter of August 23, 1993 to Gable, re a certain Pat Jordan, signed with lots of love from my Alsatian doggie. (89) Again, mentioning something like that without knowing the context is damaging. Or at least silly! The plaintiff’s case was that this was an “in-joke”, meaning in-house, ie a private joke between Morris and his one-time friend Gable.

At 15.47, after perhaps the most damaging cross-examination in British legal history, Sandy Leung was sworn in. Orme asked him about the other Janus; this raised a laugh when he replied it was a porn magazine. He said they’d stolen his firm’s logo too.

Late that evening I had a long telephone conversation with Orme; he said he was going to re-examine Morris, make a submission about accepting the payment into court (90) then - if Morris insists - call me to give evidence about the Special Branch Searchlight Report. (91) This document had not been adduced in evidence, but Hudson had disingenuously referred to it throughout, twisting selective quotes out of context.

The Trial - Day 4

At 10.30 the following morning we were in court after I’d had acrimonious words with Orme. Ley had tried to explain something in legalese about how calling me would make matters worse - in his humble opinion, that is. They both said they were not going to re-examine Morris further - or minimally - as the case may be, then ask for an adjournment and take instructions about my giving evidence.

As soon as we were before the court, Orme told the judge there was to be no re-examination, then Ley was on his feet. Walker asked if there had been a letter before action, then Hudson said there would be a submission at the end of the plaintiff’s case. That sounded ominous, but not as bad as “the defence rests”, which was what I was expecting him to say.

Shortly after that the girl from the South African news agency arrived, and just before eleven we were outside having a conference about my taking the stand. This time Morris heeded the three wise monkeys, and I wasn’t called. I told him Gable will stand pat; Ley and Goodman insisted he would give evidence. (92)

At five past eleven we were back in the courtroom; the jury returned and Judge Walker asked Morris about The Gulf magazine. Earlier, in the absence of the jury, he had asked about the circulation of Searchlight.

Then Hudson made a submission of no case to answer re Hill. The claimant hasn’t adduced any evidence at all against Hill, he said. He argued that the article itself could not be used as evidence of his authorship. This can’t be true, owing to content, although he made the point that anyone can write an article and attribute it to someone else.

Hudson also suggested that we should have gone for discovery. Of course, if we had, the defence could have produced any documents they wanted. There is no doubt in my mind that Gable and his gang have been responsible for many forgeries and fabricated documents over the years. (93) A point Morris had mentioned to me earlier was that Ley had intended to question Hill about any indemnification offered by Gable/Searchlight Magazine Limited should he be sued by anyone over the Hill Street News column.

Fortunately, the judge was not with Hudson; he said Hill’s defence should have been “appropriately particularised”, and stressed that this was a question of the balance probabilities. If I’d thought we were going to win the case I’d have heaved a sigh of relief at this point. Again, I must stress that only I could have given evidence to the effect that Hill actually wrote the column, and if Walker had sided with Hudson - as he may well have done - Hill would have been out of the frame. And, doubtless, Orme would have blamed me for talking Morris out of the walkaway agreement, instead of himself for stitching up his client.

When Hudson had finished his submission, Ley stood up or made to stand up, but Judge Walker interrupted: “I won’t trouble you, Mr Ley.” And at 11.20 he ruled in short order against the defence submission of no case to answer.

Then Hudson said what I knew he would say; the defence was adducing no evidence. Ley was fuming, but as the man said: I told you so. The jury filed back in at 11.25.

Just for a moment I thought Hudson might call Gable, but that would have been suicidal. There was absolutely no way the defence case could have been strengthened; I have cross-examined Gable myself, albeit in criminal proceedings, and very briefly at that, but he was not a good witness then, and he would not have been a good witness in his own defence.

When I spoke to Ley later he said the defence resting was the best thing that could have happened. I thought my arse, but the die was cast, and all we could do now was pray. (94)

We were back in the courtroom by 2pm, waiting for the judge. Ley would make the closing speech for the plaintiff. I made a couple of suggestions with regard to this, one of which he incorporated. This was that in the first instance Gable had accused Morris of working for British Intelligence, yet in the courtroom Hudson had sought to portray him as a fantasist. They can’t have it both ways. (95) There were a couple more people in the courtroom, one of whom I thought could have been from the Jewish Chronicle.

Before the jury was recalled there was some argument over the quantum of damages. Argument which I for one and Orme for another thought was purely academic. Just before twenty past two the jury was recalled, and Ley began speaking. The questions to the jury were printed and handed to them.

Again, considering the little time he’d had to prepare for this case, and granted that he’d been greatly assisted by Orme, Ley did very well. He drew attention to Hill’s failure to give evidence repeatedly. What had he to hide? Then he went on to Gable, firstly justification, then fair comment.

If one point is untrue, the action succeeds. Fair comment must be based on facts in existence at the time of the libel. Ley said the article was all fact [sic!]. Fair comment must fail. There were, he said, seven distinct allegations, and he kept on hammering away at Gable’s as well as Hill’s declining to give evidence. He stressed that Morris had had many articles published and echoed what Morris had said under oath, that he had never had one rejected!

Coming on to the claim that Morris was “potty”, he stressed again that Gable had not gone into the witness box, and mentioned the in-joke about the Alsatian doggie and the Pink Panther. He stressed that Morris had qualified as an accountant in 1977 and there had been no complaints against him.

At twenty to three (96) I noted that Ley was having a bit of trouble with his notes. Coming onto the third matter - that Riley’s writings were so libellous that no lawyer would pass them (ie with particular reference to the Philby book), he said that Hudson had referred to two pages from the book. Ley stressed that this could not be used to support the assertion that “Most of the material he wrote was so libellous...”

In the cafeteria earlier, Ley had said that he would keep his closing speech to an hour at most. I thought he was doing a splendid job of making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but I couldn’t see it swaying the jury. Any jury.

Just after ten to three, four people entered the public gallery, two of them boys. They appeared to be from the same family and were probably more tourists. I thought the point could have been made in evidence that Searchlight is (supposedly) an investigative magazine, which would have accounted for the “mole” activities Morris performed on Gable’s behalf, but it was too late to bring that up now. As Hudson had clearly twisted much of the correspondence between Morris and myself out of context, Ley made the point that I was in court and that Gable could have called me as a witness. I thought: Oy vay!

Stressing again that the defence had not called one witness, Ley pointed out that nobody has been called to give evidence that Morris had broken confidences. Coming to the credit search Morris tried to make on Gable, he said this was because he was suing Gable for libel.

Returning to the defamatory article, Ley made my point that on the one hand Morris had been portrayed as a fantasist, and on the other he was said to be an SIS agent.

Was Morris a misfit? Would the British Army have tolerated a misfit for twelve years? Ley thought not. (97) The defence had adduced no evidence to prove that Morris was a misfit. A free lunch always in the forefront of his mind? Ley thought not; no evidence had been adduced of Mr Riley’s alleged sponging, least of all off Gable. Next he referred to Gable opening Mr Riley’s briefcase and copying his notes. (98) He stressed again that Gable didn’t give evidence as to his alleged sponging. Nor was any evidence adduced that Morris was loose-tongued.

When it came to the quantum of damages, Ley didn’t stress the point I had wanted to make about “the small man”, but he did suggest a figure of £15,000 to £20,000. Asking for modest damages would make the jury think well of Morris, and in any case he had not embarked on this action for money any more than I had mine. Again he stressed Mr Riley’s reputation as both accountant and author. Searchlight’s circulation was said to be six thousand.

After Ley had finished his closing speech, Hudson made a submission that he had gone too far. In particular that he had made misleading assertions. There was a limitation as to what could be put in a libel trial. Ley had attempted to give evidence of the intentions of publishers. When dealing with the question of defamatory libel in the first edition re an accusation of murder, he had made an irrelevant assumption.

In replying to Hudson, it sounded to me as though Judge Walker suggested that I could have given evidence. Hudson said Ley had attempted to introduce the issue of malice - which Orme hadn’t pleaded. He objected too to the claim that the defence must prove every single point. Also, Ley had said that the same people who read Searchlight would read the Philby book. There was no evidence of this. And of course it’s not true, Ley was simply ad libbing with typical barrister’s incompetence and disregard for the facts of a case, but in view of his own performance, Hudson was the last person to complain about gilding the lily.

Finally, Hudson said that a reference Ley had made to a recent case in Newcastle (re quantum) was unacceptable.

At half past three the judge said he had some sympathy with Hudson but would not make any corrections. Hudson could do that himself and he, Judge Walker, would make any necessary corrections in his summing up.

At twenty to four, the associate confirmed something that I had wondered: everything in this courtroom was recorded. A minute later the jury returned, and Hudson began his closing speech. He tried to keep it low key, however bad Morris may have sounded under cross-examination he had been a career soldier who had been discharged with an exemplary record, and (as far as the jury was concerned) he was a man of good character, and an accountant.

Hudson said Morris referred to meetings he had attended as ultra-clandestine. He is a man who finds a spoof on “the gas chambers” funny. Again, the context was lost. He must think the Holocaust amusing. He admits to being part of a conspiracy against Searchlight with his friend Baron, who has a pathological hatred of Gerry Gable “and Jewish people generally”.

I really did curse Orme. If Hudson had attacked me as an anti-Semite I could have pointed out that two of my publications had been written in collaboration with Orthodox Rabbis, and also that one of Mr Riley’s barristers, Ley, is himself Jewish. That would have left Hudson with egg on his face, as would all the other stuff he had raised and twisted out of context, but none of this could be done now, and all thanks to Orme.

Hudson said that Morris was a foolish, gullible gossip whose one attempt to have a book published had ended in failure. He said the term failed author was not defamatory. The magazine’s description of him as “potty” did not mean that he was mad, it was almost an affectionate word. I doubt this impressed the jury much but he may have been afraid of alienating them by attacking Morris too vociferously. He made no mention in his closing speech of Larry O’Hara.

Morris had written a handful of articles for obscure journals in the 1980s. From 1990-96 he had been unemployed; (99) he had come to court simply because of his ego and his vanity. Not only that but he lived in a fantasy world.

He had suggested that he had been burgled and had tracked down the burglar, the inference being that this was part of his fantasy. (100) Hudson then suggested that Morris had decided not to call me as a witness; talk about dishonest. He referred again to the gas chamber spoof. In reference to the inquiries Morris had made regarding Gable’s finances, he alluded to a letter written by Sonia Gable, and said that she was not a party to these proceedings.

Hudson said the defendants do not have to prove every single allegation - and that Ley was wrong. As indeed he was; this is what is known as proving the sting of the libel.

After saying the jury wouldn’t get to fair comment he came to damages. He said the article had done Morris no damage at all and that if they did award damages then one penny would be sufficient. In fact, although Hudson may have believed this - unlike the rest of his case - this is not true. When I first heard from Morris he was clearly upset that Gable - whom he had once regarded as a friend - had published such an article about him. Leaving that aside, libel does not require proof of damage, or any damage.

Hudson referred to the gas chambers yet again - plural - and said that Yours Truly could only be described as “odious”. He reiterated the claim that the case was so trivial that it merited no more than a penny damages. After he had finished, the judge asked the jury if they could get here for 10am. They all indicated that they could.

The thing I noticed most about Hudson’s closing speech was that it was made in moderate terms. He didn’t go to town against Morris and didn’t take the piss out of him as he might have done. He was probably afraid of alienating the jury by “over-prosecuting”. (101) Ironically he probably went too far the other way; he tried to portray the defamatory article almost as friendly banter, as though Hill (or whoever wrote it) did so half in jest and that there was no intention either to cause offence or to put Morris down. Describing him as “potty”, well that was the way one might refer to a dear friend, an eccentric professor perhaps. He didn’t actually use these words, but that was his tone, and clearly this was not the spirit in which the article had been written.

When I got home that night I made a prediction. Morris will lose, or alternatively he will win and be awarded a penny damages, that is if the jury blamed this on me, which was what Orme had sought to do, and/or if they took the view that Gable was a scumbag and should have published a retraction. I decided too that I couldn’t let Orme continue to represent me after that either but I changed my mind due to the way he conducted himself subsequently. Be that as it may, I was determined not to be bitten by the same snake twice, and would watch him like a hawk from then on. (102)

The Trial - Day 5

I arrived just before twenty past ten; Ley wasn’t present, nor did the South African news agency turn up. This latter was not unexpected, they had sat patiently through this trial hoping to hear something scurrilous about Ray Hill and to see him take the stand, and they had been rewarded with Hudson’s attacks on Morris and myself.

Mine and Orme’s suggestion of accepting the payment into court had of course been scuppered by Hudson’s trial strategy, so now we were in the hands of fate. The judge spent some time explaining the concept of defamation to the jury. Coming on to justification, he said the defendants must prove that what they published was substantially true. He said he’d ruled that Mr Riley’s publishing activities related to public interest, but with regard to fair comment, they could only rely on the facts in existence at the time of publication. The issue for the jury was however primarily that of justification.

Coming to damages, he instructed them on quantum, then he went onto the defamatory article itself.

In his summing up, Mr Robert Walker QC acted as he had throughout the trial, in a good mannered nature with equanimity and fairness. Even so it seemed to me that he still managed to make Morris sound like a raving nutter, and usually I am an extreme optimist. My heart sank. In retrospect though there were, or must have been, points in the plaintiff’s favour.

With regard to my correspondence, he said that I had given Morris permission to pass these on to Gable as part of a complex hoax I was playing against Searchlight. Now that doesn’t sound good, does it!? When Morris had first read the defamatory article he had thought it was a joke and had asked for a retraction.

It was this, I feel, and the fact Gable hadn’t published a retraction, and of course the fact neither of the defendants had taken the stand, that together pushed the jury over the line. In criminal cases it always looks bad if the defendant doesn’t give evidence and subject himself to cross-examination. No matter how strongly a judge may warn against the jury drawing any adverse conclusions from this, there must always be a nagging doubt: what does this bloke have to hide? In civil cases, counsel for the plaintiff is entitled to ask the jury to draw adverse inferences from a defendant’s failure to testify, and Ley had done a good job of this.

The judge went on; the jury should also bear in mind that it had taken Morris nearly three years to issue the writ. Orme could have covered this, but he hadn’t.

Next, he asked the jury to keep a sense of proportion due to the small circulation of Searchlight and suggested that the damages - if any - be very modest; £15,000 he said was way over the top. But that’s for you, not me, to decide!

Morris went outside to smoke a cigar as Walker gave the jury technical instructions. He asked for a unanimous verdict; they had to answer three questions. He told them they could have as long as they needed. My guess was ten minutes. If they took any longer that would be to humour the judge. If in the unlikely event they found for Morris they would award him a penny damages. Then the associate was sworn in as jury bailiff.

After lunch we were back in court with the associate just before ten past two. He said the jury were making a lot of noise, and that no verdict was expected before 3pm. Later it was said they were laughing. I nipped out to look in on Irving v Lipstadt; the court was packed and I had to flash my press pass to get in. I left four copies of my book The Churchill Papers in the courtroom together with copies of a short leaflet I’d produced just to let him know I’d been there! He had his back to the public gallery. Gable reported my presence there in the April 2000 issue of his hate sheet wherein he referred to me as “the arch conspiracy theorist Alexander Baron” and commented that “It seems that all the flies have been drawn towards the stench in court 73.” Curiously he didn’t report my, Mr Riley’s, or even his own presence in Court 35. Or maybe not so curiously!

At three o’clock the court phone rang: the verdict. Goodman, Morris and myself were present; typically, Goodman wanted to answer it! At five past three the jury filed back in; the foreman was a young bloke. Three questions were put to him:

Have you reached a verdict on which you are all agreed, to which he answered: “Yes”.

Do you find for the claimant or for the defendant(s).

He answered: “The claimant”, and you could have knocked me down with a feather.

He must have asked if they found Hill liable as well as Gable but I didn’t make a note of this. The third question was what sum do you award the claimant, to which he replied “Five thousand pounds.”

Hudson then made a submission regarding the payment into court by Russell Press, and there was talk between the judge, Hudson and Ley re costs. The judge also explained this to the jury, who had not of course been told about any pre-trial offers or settlements. Hill looked over to me and smiled; clearly he couldn’t believe the verdicts either.

Goodman went to phone his office to find out the date of the Russell Press pay-in. The order was dated February 8, although it had only been finalised on the morning of the trial by Walker himself. Hudson argued that the payment in date - December 16, 1999 - should be the relevant date, but Walker would have none of it, saying that it was so late in the day. (103)

Ley argued in return that costs should not be claimed at all, or perhaps from February 4 onwards. His submission was that Morris should have the entire costs of the action; alternatively that he should have the cost of the action up until the date Gable, Searchlight and Hill paid into court. The judge was sympathetic, and eventually decided that Morris should have his costs up until February 10, 2000, and that he should pay all costs after that date.

He referred to Order 82 Rule 4 (1). On the face of it he said, Hudson was right, unless the court “That’s me” decides otherwise. It was reasonable for Morris to continue he said, and would be liable for the defendants’ costs from February 11 onwards “allowing a little time for reflection”.

He thanked the jury, and after explaining to them the niceties of payment into court, they were dismissed at 3.47pm. I can’t recall if they were present during the legal argument over costs, which may have come later.

After the case, Hill appeared to be waiting for us and literally followed us out of the building. We - Morris, Goodman and myself - waited for Orme at the top of the stairs in the main building, but when we got outside, Hill was talking to a wigless Hudson. Morris took all four of us for tea and cakes at the Howard Hotel. The bill came to ninety quid!

Goodman had pointed out earlier that I would have some difficulty in suing for libel should a magazine claim that a free lunch was always in the front of my mind! (104)

Morris was naturally bubbly about the win; it was only a pity that the jury hadn’t awarded him six thousand, when the defence would have been liable for all costs. The thing that most amazed me about Morris was that he had never even considered the possibility that he might lose the case, but two of the late Mr Riley’s outstanding personal qualities were his easy going nature and his confidence. Morris was in fact the most laid back, confident person that I have ever met. Nothing seemed to bother him, and he took everything in his stride. Even so I couldn’t help but observe half-jokingly that he must have bribed the jury to get the verdict after the way he had performed at times, and the way Hudson had twisted the evidence out of context so as to portray him to the jury as a nutter, among other things.

Goodman was of the same opinion, and I have already mentioned Orme’s view, but Morris said simply that there was something we had all lost sight of, and that was that at the end of the day the article was libellous. And indeed it was.

This was the second time that I had seen Morris give evidence under oath; the first was at my trial at Southwark Crown Court in April 1997 when his evidence had nearly cooked my goose, although through no fault of his. (105) Together his performance there and here emphasised to me that a bad witness was not necessarily an untruthful witness, and that conversely a good witness was not necessarily a truthful one. On both occasions Morris had been totally truthful, and at one point, his sincerity had shone through. This was when he was being examined by Orme, and was asked what he had felt when he had read the defamatory article. His voice fell almost to a hush and he sounded genuinely hurt, as he was, because for some strange reason he still liked Gable, even knowing what he is.

Aftermath

Immediately after the trial, I sent out an electronic press release, and Morris of course did his own share of trumpet blowing, as he was surely entitled to. One of the first people he informed was Steve Dorril, he of Lobster fame, (106). He told me that Dorril was amazed that Gable had elected not to give evidence. Naturally the far right loved it.

In its March 2000 issue, the BNP’s newspaper The Voice of Freedom reported that Searchlight was fined £5,000 by a judge for libel, and that Gable was a convicted burglar. The magazine was not fined, of course, and Gable’s conviction - which was way back in 1964 - relates not to burglary but to what would nowadays be called burglary artifice. And to the theft of a GPO pass, but these convictions are long spent. (107)

In the Summer 2000 issue of Lobster, Robin Ramsay reported briefly that Gerry Gable loses another libel case. (108)

Issue 15 of the Searchlight-watching magazine New TARGET which appeared around the beginning of July, was devoted largely to the case, although it was not entirely accurate, due to carelessness rather than malice. (The malice was there anyway!) A couple of months earlier, Final Conflict had published an in-depth and frank interview with the ever frank Morris. (109)

To the best of my knowledge, the only “left wing” magazine to have even commented on Riley v Gable to date is Searchlight itself. In his News from the sewers (110) column in the September 2001 issue, Gable writes: “Strangely, Jones seems to think that Searchlight paid out £9,000 to somebody over a libel action. That’s news to me, but I am only the publisher. Perhaps he is getting confused over a case brought by a character called Morris Riley, which ended up with him several thousand pounds worse off and dropping dead from a heart attack a few months later”.

This comment reminds me of the man who was asked by his wife if he had been drinking, to which he replied that he had not been anywhere near The Queen’s Head, failing to mention of course that he had been in The Dog And Duck. Regardless of the fact that the extreme left and Organised Jewry still take most of his nonsense at face value, the truth about Gable is slowly getting around, thanks largely to the Internet. (111)

Morris Riley R.I.P.

At 8.55am on July 17, 2001 my phone rang. “Good morning, Morris,” I said as I picked it up. Who else would phone me at that hour on a Sunday morning? Unfortunately it wasn’t Morris Riley, but Margaret Riley. Morris had suffered a massive heart attack last night, she said, and was dead. (112) I was surprised but not shocked. I knew Morris had suffered from heart problems for some time. On two, perhaps three occasions when I’d met him in London, he’d had difficulty walking. (113) One time when I met him off his train at St Pancras he could hardly walk at all, but made light of it. He was en route to the West Country where he had a client. I begged him to see a doctor at his hotel before he left. He promised me he would, but I don’t know if he did.

It turned out that I probably knew more about his health problems than his wife. When I spoke to Mrs Riley immediately after his death she attributed her husband’s demise to smoking and drinking; she appeared to know little or nothing about this aspect of his health.

Morris was an only child; according to Mrs Riley, his father, who had died many years ago, had been a miner for 47 years. His closest relative, his elderly mother, was killed in a freak accident in September 2000. He died without issue.

My Imperfect Friend

At this point I must dispel the suggestion that Morris was a lush. On one occasion Orme said that straight, and feared that he would turn up at court drunk. Morris did have a drink problem, but it was not one that had spiralled out of control, indeed towards the end of his life he had brought it well under control. He assured me - and I believe him - that the second time he ended up in clink, was a purely technical offence. He was found to be in charge of a vehicle while under the influence, but had not been driving it nor had he intended to drive it; it was sufficient that he’d had his car keys on his person. (115)

When I spoke to his widow she said that being an accountant (and visiting clients in their own homes) he would often be plied with drink. At Christmas, people would literally bring drink to the door. There was though a medical reason that some people may have at times considered Morris to have been drunk when he was not: he took Beta blockers for his heart condition. (116)

Although I can’t recall the date there was one occasion I met him in London, fairly early in the day, when his eyes were literally bulging and his speech was slurred. When I pointed this out to him he replied that it was his medication that was causing his appearance. From his other mannerisms it was evident that he was stone cold sober, and very shortly the effects began to wear off. Morris did though at times mix his medication with drink, and this could not have done him any good. Although he looked somewhat older than he really was, he had a rough, craggy, almost weatherbeaten complexion, and at times looked shifty. Not the sort of person you would care to meet down a dark alleyway. Unless you knew him, that is. He had though none of the physical characteristics one associates with either alcoholics or regular heavy drinkers, such as a reddened face or trembling hands. And he possessed all his faculties. Like me, but for different reasons, Morris often kept irregular hours; he was a film buff, had a large collection, and often stayed up into the small hours watching them, or reading from his even more impressive library. As far as I know, drink was his only weakness, and he had many other personal qualities that more than compensated for that.

An Unfortunate Afterword

On his death I informed a number of mutual contacts, Robin Ramsay of Lobster for one, and also people on the “far right”. My obituary of my most faithful friend was published in Final Conflict, issue 27. (117) One of the first people I informed was Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party. He was shocked, and asked me to write a short obituary for the party magazine. I did, and when this did not appear in the following issue I chased him up about it. This obituary was published in the October 2001 issue, (118) or at least an obituary was. On occasion in my none too successful freelancing career, I’ve had my prose edited to house style, and have no problem with that, but I was displeased, to put it mildly, to read that Morris had joined the BNP in 2000 and had engaged in a one-man leafleting drive in his home town prior to his death.

I phoned editor Tony Lecomber about this, and pointed out that I had not written any such thing. Rather than admit that he had simply made this up, Lecomber claimed that Morris had indeed joined the BNP. Following this I phoned Griffin himself; I know that Griffin and Lecomber are thick as thieves, but I hadn’t expected Griffin to endorse such a blatant lie, not to me.

I wrote a strongly worded letter to Griffin on November 5, the sort of letter one might write to a friend who has let one down. In this letter I asked him for documented proof that Morris had indeed joined the BNP, in particular his application, a copy of his subscription cheque, or anything of that nature. I ended my letter “If you are unable or unwilling to do that, please publish a retraction of this claim in the next issue of Identity and I will say no more about it. If you are unable or unwilling to do that too, then please do not contact me ever again.”

Griffin replied November 23, in an E-mail to the effect that Morris had indeed joined, but that “There is no possibility of producing his cheque for membership, because these are paid in to our bank and not returned. It will have been destroyed by them a long time ago. In any case, it is quite possible that he paid his membership with Postal Orders, which might account for his wive apparently not knowing that he was a member.” (119)

Postal orders, bollocks. Morris did indeed subscribe to Spearhead and to a number of other fringe political journals, so it is not inconceivable that he could have joined the BNP simply to read its internal publications. He had after all by his own admission done such things during the 80s on behalf of Gable. The BNP had also stocked his book, so he might have felt under some obligation to them, but the giveaway is the gratuitous lie about the leafleting campaign. I will believe Morris Riley joined the British National Party when I hear it from his own lips.

Although we lived miles apart and saw each other in the flesh only occasionally, I knew Morris as well as any of his political contacts, and if he had joined the BNP he would have told me, and told me why. In fact I knew exactly where he stood with them because he told me. He regarded them as nationalists rather than Nazis, racists or any of the other nonsense that is peddled by an at times hysterical media.

Like most white Britons, Morris was opposed to large scale immigration. He regarded homosexuality as a perversion, and in general scorned political correctness, but he was very much a mainstream person; in the words of the late Lady Birdwood, “Conservative with a small c”. He knew quite a lot about the Jewish Question and about Holocaust Revisionism (the latter I am proud to say mostly from my own writings) but he was extremely knowledgeable about world affairs in general and did not subscribe to simplistic conspiracy theories, especially in relation to the Middle East.

I was not so much angered as hurt by what I considered to be Griffin’s betrayal of my friend. I wasn’t pleased with Tony Lecomber either as in spite of his media image as a racist psychopath he was very good to me. On one occasion when I made a speech to a BNP branch he took me back to his home and introduced me to his family. But one has to draw the line somewhere, (120) and to this day I have not - and will not - contact either man. (121)

Was Morris A Spy?

Gable’s claim that Morris was “in his own words, a Special Intelligence Service operator” is not true, at least according to Morris. He told me that he had never used that phrase. I have no doubt though that he did run the occasional errand for M.I.6. Consider the facts, he was an ex-serviceman who had served in the Middle East and had written on it extensively. He was well up on current affairs in general, and he made fairly frequent trips abroad. Then there was the INLA affair. This came to light during and after my 1997 Southwark trial.

Briefly, I called Morris as a character witness, but also to give evidence about a mysterious document the prosecution claimed I had manufactured. It contained Gerry Gable’s National Insurance Number. In his evidence, Morris said this was used as a Secret Service identifier, and when asked how he knew about this he replied that he had once helped put several Irish terrorists behind bars. This part of his evidence was heard in camera.

Later, he explained to me what had happened. In the early eighties he had edited and published a short lived A5 publication called The Gulf. As a result of that he was contacted by a former serviceman who was trying to trace people he had served with in that part of the world. Morris smelt a rat and tipped off the authorities. The “former serviceman” was a man named Peter (Pete) Jordan; although he was indeed English, he was a retired schoolmaster who had been recruited as a spotter by the INLA. As a result of this, an INLA active service unit was taken out.

Morris felt sorry for Jordan, and kept in touch with him after his conviction; I had his phone number in my database but didn’t contact him until after my friend’s death. His assessment of Jordan was undoubtedly similar to my later assessment, ie that he is none too bright and what Lenin would have called a useful idiot. (122)

Jordan’s arrest in 1984 was reported in the mainstream media, although not very extensively. (123) When I spoke to him he told me his trial was in January and/or February of 1986. He was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. (124)

Over the phone, Jordan told me that he (and his co-conspirators) had been put in the dock by an informer, whom he named. This man may have been an informer in his own right, but I have no doubt that Morris was responsible as much as any man for bringing this cell to book, and undoubtedly saving lives. Unlike Gable and Hill and their phony Notting Hill Carnival bomb plot and all the other nonsense they have spewed out over the years, the self-effacing Morris never boasted about his genuinely heroic exploits to anyone.

According to Jordan, he was born in March 1924 and had been a Communist all his life, he regarded himself as a Maoist, and to that end he had always supported national liberation movements worldwide. Pillock, I thought. He had got to know an Irish communist in Dublin, a man named Danny Ryan, and had been drawn to the Irish Republican movement as a result of that.

Jordan was known to Gable; in the defamatory article, Hill (125) wrote that Jordan had written to Searchlight from prison recently, but that like the good patriots they were, they had ignored him. In typical Gable-esque fashion he was misnamed as Pat Jordan and referred to as “a spotter for IRA bombers”. Gable repeated this nonsense in his witness statement when he referred to the unnamed Jordan as “a naïve senior citizen [who received] a long prison sentence for plotting on behalf of the IRA.” Naïve Jordan may have been, but he entered into a conspiracy with the enemies of Britain to murder its citizens, he did so freely, and he paid the price.

The Legacy Of Morris Riley

Many books and articles have been written about the spy Kim Philby, but Philby: The Hidden Years is an important contribution to the literature, and will stand the test of time. Morris was also one of the very first to question the “anti-fascist” agenda of the Searchlight Organisation. In 1983, he co-authored (anonymously) a now famous article in an anarchist magazine, an article that is known to have hurt Gable. (126) Morris assisted me directly in my exposés of the Gable gang, and has undoubtedly influenced both myself and my colleague’s researches, and output, along with those of Larry O’Hara and his team. (127) He also had two further books in the pipeline which will not now see the light of day. Most of all, he was a genuinely nice guy. He will be sorely missed.


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