Talk:Searchlight (magazine)

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Where does the name come from?[edit]

is it any relation to the band x-ray specs? ...germ free teenagers? are searchlight the people who burn people through the walls of their neighbours houses with xrays or micro-waves to "wind them up" and "bring out the racism to the surface"? Authouredbyanybody??? (talk) 13:32, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

could anyone who has any referenced material on the source of the name put it in the article, in the introduction i think, unless there is a lot of info.

does anybody have any information about the origin of the name??? apart from rumours?Authouredbyanybody??? (talk) 13:36, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

i really think that the origin of the name should be in the articleAuthouredbyanybody??? (talk) 13:40, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

obviously the people who started the magazine know why it was called that... but how to get something quotable? Authouredbyanybody??? (talk) 13:41, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Encouragement of Violent Attacks[edit]

User:Andy wilson wrote:

It encourages physical attacks on right-wing opponents.

What is the evidence for this assertion?

Art of War comments:

Searchlight has a habit of giving personal details including car numberplates, addresses, workplace details etc of members of groups like the BNP. These are often not necessary to the plotline so one does wonder why they are listed knowing that BNP members have been subjected to violent attack.

Do you have any evidence of this? I see it all over fascist website, but have never actually seen in the magazine. (talk) 15:25, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
There is no evidence of it because the magazine doesn't do it. This is an allegation constantly made by far-right groups and activists, but they never, ever provide any actual examples because they simply don't exist. It is a blatant lie used as a retrospective justification for terrorist websites like Redwatch which do print addresses, workplaces, home telephone numbers and photographs of political opponents, prominant members of ethnic minorities, trade unionists, journalists, mainstream politicans and peace protestors, accompanied with incitements to attack them. For examples of that, just take a quick look at their website. (talk) 13:37, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

When I asked Searchlight why they did not provide more information on fascist addresses etc. they said it was not their policy to do so since often the premises in question changed hands and subsequent occupiers could be mistakenly targetted. --Streona (talk) 20:53, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

I do not recall any such language in Searchlight, although I do remember obtaining a copy of "The Flag" when edited by Martin Wingfield, that used similar language. i think it was about "surgically removing his kidney" in reference to an Arab objecting to party members singing "nationalist songs" on a train. --Streona (talk) 05:14, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Lets get this NPOV[edit]

Justification for my latest edit:

  • Remove: 'what they percive to be' in sentence publishes material critical of what they percive to be far-right political parties
Groups like the BNP etc are far right, compare them with mainstream righties like the tories. In the same way groups like the swp are far-left. The term merly discribes position in the political spectrum.
There is a continuum. Searchlight has published material critical of UKIP, righ-wing toriy groups (the monday club, CDA, &c.), Right Now Magazine and so on. I don't think it's impartial to lump all these groups togather with the White Nationalist Party! Hence I shall replace this phrase. 80.255 11:47, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Remove: 'and is noted for its very left-wing stance on most issues'
Noted by whome?
The magazine can fairly be described as left wing. It's social policies, praise for immigration, and general philosophy reflect that of the left. Have you actually read Searchlight? You can't seriously be suggesting that it is a rightwing magazine?! I shan't reeplace this yet, but I think it's a fair comment. 80.255 11:47, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Argree oretation=left. (though libetrain righties might agree with some of it) but very left? + Ref's would be good.--JK the unwise 12:07, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Refs for what? I didn't think it was disputed that Searchlight is left wing!
How about:
"Searchlight magazine is a left wing monthly publication. Describing itself as an "international anti-Fascist magazine", it mainly publishes material critical of what it percives to be far-right political parties."
80.255 12:16, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Rv. Paragrapth on Left and right critism.
Anti-Fascist Action is a far-left group. Who else claims that they have links with the British security forces?
I believe Green Arachist also maintains this, as have a number of independent researchers.
Green Anrachist --> Far left. Please ref the independent researchers. Also why would you see it as a critism that it had links with British security forces if you were pollitcaly mainstream?--JK the unwise 12:07, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Rv. Links
First link is to the search light magazine. Its confusing to discribe it as pro searchlight as that implies that it is by a group other then searchlight. I think people can figger out that they are pro themselves! Also for some reason you took out the discription in this - Far right/facist critism of from "Final Conflict The Nationalist Fanzine", Why? That is were the material comes from.
  • +

I haven't edited this out but could you give references for it has been sued by a plethora of organisations on many occasions, often successfully. --JK the unwise 11:09, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Have a skim through the "final conflict" article mentioned above. Much as it is obviously biased against searchlight, it does contain a good deal of verifiable information on some of the legal actions the organisation has suffered. There are also other cases it hasn't mentioned; I'll see if I can find some references. 80.255 11:47, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

"Groups like the BNP etc are far right" - Rubbish. They're labbeled far right by the papers, but their policies are largely mixed, involving Nationalisation and more stringent leftist protectionsim and rightist views on immigration and law and order. After all it was Thatcher who said "The National Front is a Socalist Front" which is so very true.

Well the BNP are certainly far right by the mainstream usage of the term 'right-wing'. The notion that they're not is just minority POV-pushing, usually by folks of libertarian inclinations, and if this article was to call them left-wing, you'd confuse vast amounts of readers. --Aim Here 16:58, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Would you be happy calling Hitler far-right, or does his committment to vegetarianism indicate that he was just another hippy tree-hugger ? Any organisation which seeks to evict people from the UK on the basis of their race (even if this is only to be by "encouragement"- after all kristallnacht was encouragement) is going to be far right by any definition.--Streona (talk) 16:54, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Gerry Gable inconsistancy[edit]

This article claims, The magazine is edited by Gerry Gable, a former member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and militant 62 Group. Where as the Gerry Gable article claims He was a supporter of the British militant anti-fascist 62 Group and, though never a member himself. They can't both be right.--JK the unwise 10:14, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I didn't add this. The notion that Gable wasn't a member of this group has only recently been added to the 62 Group article.
The 'Final Conflict' article says that "Gable was involved with the criminal '62 Group' and the Limbo Club was managed by Harry Bidney." - it doesn't specifically say he was a member, although neither does it imply that he wasn't. Obviously it is trying to associate him with a violent group, so he may well not have been active in it, as such. He certainly did eulogise it it in articles, however, and wrote a very lauding obiturary of Bidney when he died.
Perhaps something saying that Gable had connections with the 62 Group, but not saying that he was specifically a member, would be better until this can be confirmed or disproven. 80.255 11:01, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Is anything going to be added regarding Gerry Gables convictions for Fraud and Theft?

See the article on Gerry Gable. They are of little relevance in this article. Warofdreams talk 23:57, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

This article says that the editor of Searchlight is Gerry Gable, but the article on Gerry Gable says that he was the editor of Searchlight until 1998 (which implies that he is no longer the editor and hasn't been for the last eight years). Which is right?

Adding different kinds of links[edit]

The revisions are getting repetitive. I think the sources for the article need to be broadened.

The anti-Searchlight website seems to be written by Alexander Baron. Following the 'home' link reveals that much, so the author is not unknown. Upon examination, its just unclear. Baron seems to claim authorship here: and characterizes himself as a "Holocaust revsionist" here:

I have no problem with adding links critical of Searchlight. However, some of the links at the bottom of the page duplicate charges without adding much. A Google search turns up lots of these critiques. The Alexander Baron pages alone air plenty of of anti-Searchlight articles, so maybe we can leave it at that. Adding the 'Green Anarchist' link does offer a different perspective.

I was just leaving when I found that link, so didn't have time to examine it thoroughly. I wrote 'author unknown' because none of the articles I skimmed through were clearly attributed to any person or organisation. They did seem to contain a lot of detail and references, however, so the site appeared worth adding. Looking at the links page and seeing links to the Nation of Islam, &c., gave me the impression that it might be more balanced than some searchlight enemies' sites. I'll have a detailed look at it later and see if any verifiable information can be extracted and incorporated in the article.
Secondly, I'm sure Anti-fascist Action has something to say about searchlight online, too. Certainly its humourous critique of the British far right contains the following:
The WNP is an openly fascist party, based in Yorkshire. [...] Should the WNP carry out their threat to stand against Nick Griffin in the European elections, they could well prevent the BNP from gaining a MEP in the north west. It must be costing Searchlight a small fortune! [1]
80.255 20:22, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The key to getting this NPOV will be contextualizing all this info. Attacks and research from the right should be labled as such. If any news articles from mass market magazines can be found, then these should be added.

I'm adding three new kinds of links:

Further Reading - for reference books published by and about Searchlight with complete publication info, for context

Public Statements - for reference to public testimony by and about Searchlight, with full reference to speaker and affiliation

See Also - for reference to groups that do similar work, like the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center do in the US. I imagine there are similar discussions about these pages, so everybody should be happy about this link. DJ Silverfish 14:34, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League pages do a much better job of explaining controversies in a NPOV way. This is in large part due to mass media references. A quick Google search does not turn up any such references references in the UK. Are there any? DJ Silverfish 17:12, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Page name[edit]

The official name of the publication is Searchlight Magazine, although people almost always refer to it as Searchlight. Should the article be at Searchlight (magazine) or Searchlight Magazine? Either way, the present title isn't correct. Warofdreams 16:55, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

April 6 additions[edit]

If the user could make a few external citations for the changes made on April 6, it would be appreciated. I think they are valuable and other wise may be reverted. In particular, the "solar left" reference is puzzling. DJ Silverfish02:48, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Solar left ref' is humours but hardly NPOV. I was about to revert but your right there is some info' in there which is usefull. needs NPOVing.--JK the unwise 09:12, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Edits by me:

  • searchlight has indeed been sued successfully many times. Someone has altered this fact to suggest that this isn't the case, while providing no proof. I'm changing it back.
  • As a magazine, it bases itself on the one of the prime journalistsic principles of not revealing its sources. Amongst those sources have been Ray Hill, Tim Hepple, Matthew Collins, Darren Wells and Andy Sykes. - isn't this rather contradictory!? Its sources obviously have been revealed, although I shall leave it in. "prime journalistsic principles", however, is rather too complimentary-sounding for a NPOV article.
  • Hepple has been discredited somewhat, but that is in no way a reflection on Searchlight's modus operandi. - no idea what's this is supposed to mean. It makes no sense without an explanation. I have therefore removed it - if whoever added want to reinsert and explain, fine.
  • few minor NPOV tweaks, along with a little reprasing for better flow, and grammatical corrections ("MP's", etc.). IT is still rather slangy in places, and this ought to be rewritten. 22:41, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Positive exposure of fascist activity[edit]

The article is heavily bias towards the critisms of Searchlight. This needs to be balanced with a catalogue of positive activity to expose members of the far right. Links with the state/security services maybe a given, but that does not mean that Searchlight does not serve a role in keeping BNP et al. activities exposed and in open discussion. It seems strange that the 'Far Left' sources quotes are not analyses to the same degree and taken defacto as correct with no alteria motives or wrong doing. 08:54, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Searchlight comes off as a remnant of the Marxist old left, feuding with the remnants of the fascist old right (plus some football hooligans) over at Combat 18/Redwatch. Are these outfits even big enough to be notable? The article could use some membership statistics. --John Nagle 02:38, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Searchlight is a magazine, not a membership organisation. Information and analysis from Searchlight is frequently the source of mainstream UK news stories on the far right, so it's notable on that score, if nothing else. --Aim Here 17:01, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Searchlight sees to oppose only far right racism, yet turns a blind eye to the rise in anti-semitism by the far-left. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:57, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

David Myatt[edit]

Yes, sorry about that Slim. I was going to add in a link but my school's filtering system (sensibly) blocks his site and those of a similar variety.

I shall try and find it when I get home and put it back up with a source arrow thing, once I learn how to do them that is...

NPOV (again?)[edit]

Tried reading the article to find out what Searchlight was, but got more muck-flinging than useful information. Actually explaining its history and what these 'infamous' events were in a bit more detail might help complete outsiders like myself... 20:53, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Removed text[edit]

An editor removed this text, requesting clearer citation.

Searchlight has been criticized by far-left organizations as well as those on the far right. The defunct group Anti-Fascist Action refused to work with it due to its alleged links with the British security forces, (Fighting Talk 19) and British anarchist groups generally take the same view (Anarchy 36).

Probably the most consistent and in-depth Left critic of the Searchlight organisation is the veteran anti-fascist/editor of Notes From the Borderland Dr Larry O'Hara. As well as his 1996 Searchlight for Beginners, he wrote two earlier pamphlets 'A Lie Too Far' & 'At War With the Truth' featuring in depth agent provocateur Tim Hepple (now Matthews) much of the evidence based on handwritten letters by Hepple. Notes From the Borderland (as well as many other unrelated stories) provides a running commentary on ongoing Searchlight operations: NFB issue 2 (1998) featured their murky involvement in West Yorkshire (p.34-43) and the highly dubious antecedents of staff writer & ex NF thug Matthew Collins (p.32-33). NFB issues 3 (2000) 5 (2003) and 6 (2004) indicted Searchlight for covering up (on behalf of MI5/Special Branch) the tracks left by 1999 Soho nail-bomb murderer David Copeland (p.14-38/p.16-19/p.43-47 respectively). NFB issue 4 (2001) outlined the role played by Searchlight in destabilising/smearing anti-EU groups (see especially p.11-13/18-19): NFB issue 5 (p.54-55) reproduced in full the relevant memo by Research Director Nick Lowles written to the European Movement. Notes From the Borderland issue 6 (p.11-39) carried a detailed deconstruction/demolition of the BBC 'Secret Agent' documentary on the BNP, with heavy Searchlight input.

Left groups have also accused Searchlight of spreading disinformation about their activities. An infamous instance where lies were spread about Leftists was the 1985-6 circulation of smears about Class War (International Times May 1986).

Searchlight says that there is no evidence to suggest that it works with the security services. Critics, however argue that links with MI5 are hardly in doubt. Publisher Gerry Gables leaked 1977 LWT Memo stated that he had "given names I have acquired to be checked out by British/French security services". First published in the New Statesman on 15th February 1980 this was reproduced in Lobster issue 24 December 1992. A 1987 profile referred to Gable's "wide range of contacts, including people in the secret services" (Jewish Chronicle 23/10/87).In particular, some on the left accuse it of sharing information with the police and with MI5. Militant Leftists view with suspicion the fact that Gerry Gable is vice chair of the Independent Advisory Group to the Diversity Directorate of the Metropolitan Police Service at Scotland Yard. Searchlight defence is that it has only cooperated with the state in a few cases, when laws were being broken (although specific examples have never been provided). [citation needed]

The British National Party has claimed that Searchlight has been funded by the government. [2]

The magazine has also been criticized for relying on sources connected to the far right, such as former British Movement member Ray Hill, former Combat 18 leader Darren Wells, BNP organizer Andy Sykes, Tim Hepple, and Matthew Collins, who has been the subject of two BBC documentaries: "Life Etc" and "Dead Man Walking."

This seems very well cited to me. What's wrong with it? It needs a bit of editing, but I think most of it should be in article. BobFromBrockley 10:48, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Searchlight Exposed[edit]

Instead of simply reverting, can people give reasons for and against the Searchlight Exposed link? I'm kind of agnostic. The website looks to me put up by fascists with (obviously) a strong axe to grind. Is that in itself a reason to delete the link? Any other reasons for and against? BobFromBrockley 18:06, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

We should really be looking for criticism which is either (a) impeccably sourced and can be used as a reference for the article, or (b) representative of a certain type. In particular, there's no need to have long lists of critical articles and sites. I've not checked the link, as I'm at work, but unless it does one of these things better than a link already in the article, I'd opt to leave it out. Warofdreams talk 19:15, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
The link was removed, and has reappeared. Is there an editors' consensus on its status? BobFromBrockley 11:17, 4 December 2007 (UTC)


I've removed a link to this open letter, which I believe to be a hoax: BobFromBrockley 11:18, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Searchlightlogo.gif[edit]

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If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 11:26, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

MI5 again[edit]

I recall that MI5 fell out with Gerry Gable and leaked his home address to the BNP who published a photo of it. I shall look for a reference.--Streona (talk) 05:23, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Lede, spilling error[edit]

"... a lifelong Communist and longstanding anti-racist and anti-fascist." Communist needs a small c. Not changed as i dont see an edit option for this section. (talk) 08:13, 25 October 2009 (UTC)


This section is inaccurate from start to finish: "The veracity of some of Searchlight’s claims has been called into question in court, occasionally resulting in legal damages, most notably in the cases involving libertarian writer Alexander Baron .[1][2]" In Baron's case, as the Independent citation makes clear, the settlements were out of court, i.e. never got to caught, as the victims of Baron's litigation were small independent bookshops that couldn't afford legal action. (Baron a libertarian? He is desribed in the cited article rather as "an assiduous publisher of right-wing literature", and is someone who uses the rather un-libertarian tool of court threats to suppress free speech!) If there is another case were Searchlight claims have been "called into question in court", please insert that, using more precise language. In the meantime, I'm deleting it.BobFromBrockley (talk) 15:19, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Recent report[edit]

The report talks about new "tribes" as follows:

  • 8% confident multi-culturalism
  • 16% mainstream liberals
  • 28% mostly ambilvilant
  • 24% culturally integrationists
  • 10% latent hostiles
  • 13% Active enmity

Interestingly as you go down the list educational levels drop. The report does a high level 25-50-25 split between liberal-mainstream-hostile. The report has a lot of material on identity and multi-culturalism and reports on attitudes to violence etc. It does not support the crude edit made by Ivor this morning hence my revert per WP:BRD --Snowded TALK 06:47, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Here's how The Guardian covered the report, highlighting the same areas I did: Ivor Stoughton (talk) 06:51, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

The New Statesman, same thing: Ivor Stoughton (talk) 06:55, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Rod Liddle, the same: Ivor Stoughton (talk) 06:58, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Sky News, same: Ivor Stoughton (talk) 07:02, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

And The Daily Express: Ivor Stoughton (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 07:04, 3 March 2011 (UTC).

The Mirror: Ivor Stoughton (talk) 07:06, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

To continue quotations. "70% of all respondents said they would support a group that wants to campaign against religious and racial extreamism and promote better relations between ethnic and religious groups in England". The survey is also confined to England not Britain as a whole. I could go on. The point is that the report overall does not support the edit you made and I can't find the right wing party support point If it is relevant to this article, then it needs to be more fully covered and linked to the use Seachlight intend to make of it. Interestingly the same edition has a lot of new material on the funding and origins of the EDL which may be relevant to that article. --Snowded TALK 07:00, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
It's pretty clear how the poll was reported, and it wasn't on the 70% who want to campaign against racial and religious extremism. Unfortunately, perhaps, but we musn't be Pollyannas here - or advocates for our personal preferences. Ivor Stoughton (talk) 07:10, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Ivor you can continue adding references my point is (i) is this relevant to the Searchight article and (ii) if it is then it needs to be balanced not sensationalized which require are more considered approach. I've given you a direct quote above, I can find the 60% one but not the right wing party support, the nearest is the the quote above. There is also other material there. So lets determine the relevance to this article first and then if it is relevant consider the wording. I'll be back tonight and happy to look at it again then, --Snowded TALK 07:12, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
(i) Searchlight commissioned the survey, in areas that are of central concern to it as a campaigning entity. (ii) Agree it should be balanced, but it should also reflect how the survey was widely reported. I'll wait until you're back before doing anything further. Ivor Stoughton (talk) 07:16, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think we are too far apart. I think it is relevant, but needs to give more detail on the survey referenced to Searchlight and also cover how it was reported. Will attempt a draft this evening if that is OK? Must dash for train now--Snowded TALK 07:31, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────OK how about this

In 2011 Searchlight commissioned a survey within England to "investigate the level of fear, hate and hope in society". The survey involved over 5000 respondents and reported a shift in the politics of immigration to a politics of "culture, identity and nation". It identified six "tribes": Confident multi-culturals (8%), Mainstream liberals (16%), Identity ambivilants (28%), Cultural integrationists (24%), Latent hostiles (10%) and Active enmity (13%). Social class and voting intention did not stand as proxies for these groups. The report identified a growing preference for English identity, over British with that preference being aligned with increasingly right wing views. There was a strong aversion to violence and "70% of all respondents said they would support a group that wants to campaign against religious and racial extreamism and promote better relations between ethnic and religious groups in England". At the same time 60% of the population felt that immigration had been a bad thing and there was evidence that there is a "large pool of voters who would support a respectable right wing party steeped in English nationalism, while holding anti-violence, anti-immegration, anti EU, non-fascist, anti-islamic extremist views. These latter two points were extensively covered in the press (references per above). Searchlight is launching the Together project to build on the 3:2 majority who looked to a "more positive community-orientated response to extremism.

Overall reference to the executive summary pp16-18 Searchlight March 2011. I think that summarises the report, I think its important enough to justify this length of entry and I think this is balanced. I have tried to use quotes where there is any possible ambiguity. I have to leave 0600 tomorrow for a long day of meetings so may not get a chance to clarify/comment until Friday evening --Snowded TALK 22:05, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

I think the balance within the proposed addition is right. But maybe the addition as a whole is a bit long, and might tend to unbalance the section of the article? Ivor Stoughton (talk) 23:27, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Good point, I wonder if its a new section or sub-section? --Snowded TALK 23:32, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
I'd say a new section. It's an important report, and merits it. Ivor Stoughton (talk) 23:48, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Agree, very interesting material. I can't do anything until tomorrow evening, if you want to have a go feel free! --Snowded TALK 23:50, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Unless anyone objects I will put the above into the campaigns section as it relates to that and the section is tagged for expansion anyway --Snowded TALK 07:12, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Alan Harvey[edit]

I've once again removed the reference to Alan Harvey in the "Informants" section. Since he's a redlink, I fail to see what value there is in including him. Before anyone asks yes I know what redlinks are for, but that isn't my point. Unless there's actually an article on him, exactly what value is there in just including a random name? None that I can see, so there is zero loss of context by the removal of it. 2 lines of K303 12:35, 31 August 2011 (UTC)


BulbBAn RfC: Which descriptor, if any, can be added in front of Southern Poverty Law Center when referenced in other articles? has been posted at the Southern Poverty Law Center talk page. Your participation is welcomed. – MrX 17:16, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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  1. ^ Alexander Baron: Alexander Baron v. Gerry Gable and Others: Summary of One of the Libel Actions of the Decade (and Related Legal Actions) ITMA, ISBN 1871473195 (1997)
  2. ^ The Independent 22 June 1996