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Larry O'Hara's latest smears show he's lost his grip on reality

I first met Larry O'Hara when he and John Murray of Open Eye manipulated a third party into arranging to meet me in a pub, and then turned up to 'confront' me about a satirical piece I'd written on conspiracy theorists in the first and only issue of Non Obedio. O'Hara attempted to play the 'tough cop,' Murray was more successful in fulfilling the role of the 'soft cop.' This incident left me with a rather low opinion of O'Hara, a self-styled spook buster and 'independent anti-fascist investigator.' Some months later, I ran into Brian Mosley of Phoenix Press who'd just published O'Hara's book Turning Up The Heat. I told Brian Mosley the book was silly because O'Hara offered no proof that the journalists he implied were spooks, did in fact work for the security services. I mentioned that I knew Jon Harlow of the Sunday Times (who I was friendly with in the early eighties but who I've only seen once, and then by accident, in the past seven years), and that it was absurd to imply that the transport correspondent of a national newspaper would simultaneously work for Special Branch (particularly on the sole basis of one article he'd written).

Sometime later, a highly distorted version of this conversation was run as part of the editorial to Green Anarchist 37, where it was reported as something I'd said to the Independent newspaper. I have, in fact, only ever had one conversation with anyone at the Independent, when Helen Birch phoned me to commission a piece about anarchism after she'd obtained my number from a third party. I have never been inside the Independent offices and I don't know anyone who is on their staff. Since Larry O'Hara was close to Green Anarchist and is published by Brian Mosley, I presumed he'd been the conduit for the tiny amount of genuine information used in a smear that implied I was simultaneously working for Special Branch and Searchlight, and had sado-masochistic sex with the Nazi bonehead Ian Stuart (who I am very glad I never had any contact with).* When I spoke to Brian Mosley about this, he offered to circulate a letter clarifying the fact that the conversation I was alleged to have had with the Independent was actually a highly distorted account of something I'd said to him. Although, as far as I am aware, he never actually did this. Brian Mosley later told me he'd spoken to O'Hara, who I was told was 'only passing on information' and was in no way responsible for the Green Anarchist smear.

It is strange indeed, then, that in Green Anarchist 38 under the headline Encounters With The Insignificant, there is an article by-lined to Larry O'Hara which talks about my '(presumably good friends) John (sic) Harlow (Sunday Times) and David Rose (Observer).' I do not know David Rose and I have never had any contact with him. This is clearly a continuation of the smear run in the Green Anarchist editorial which Mosley informed me O'Hara denied was anything to do with him (I was linked to both Rose and Harlow in this editorial). O'Hara also states in Green Anarchist 38 that my 'written work seems to consist of nothing more than the advocacy of violence,' another smear albeit one made with a qualification that would be unusual in the many unsigned pieces run by Green Anarchist.

I am known as a satirist and my fiction clearly uses humour to deconstruct various forms of discourse, including the very complex set of associations built up around the term violence. A theoretical precedent for this type of prose fiction can be found in Hegel's Aesthetics. Likewise, most of my 'non-fiction' is also satirical or at least humorous. O'Hara is not noted for his sense of humour and I assume that it is his inability to understand that my writing is satirical that leads him to smear me by suggesting I advocate violence. My own views on social transformation are not dissimilar to those of the Situationist Alexander Trocchi, who wrote in his manifesto Invisible Insurrection Of A Million Minds: 'We are concerned not with the coup-d'état of Trotsky and Lenin, but with the coup-du-mond, a transition of necessity more complex, more diffuse than the other, and so more gradual, less spectacular.'

However, it is not O'Hara's smears but the story that is constructed around them which indicate their author has lost touch with reality. I am supposed to have drawn my myself to the attention of O'Hara in a bookshop, and then run away from him; an unlikely scenario, since if I had done one of these things, I would not have done the other. O'Hara wants people to believe that he was not threatening me, but I was nevertheless scared out of my wits by him; another unlikely scenario since human beings are not subject to fright when they are not being threatened. I did accidentally meet O'Hara in a London bookshop in May, but quickly decided he wasn't worth talking to, particularly as he was mumbling something incomprehensible about the secret state. The only threats he made were that he was going to write about me in a pamphlet and that he would see me in a police station.

The building where we accidentally met contains two separate bookshops, and I went down to the basement to talk to one of my former employers after O'Hara had been told to stop following me around the shop by a member of staff. O'Hara, I am told by the assistant working in the bookshop upstairs, spent some time standing outside the door, but he wasn't there when I left the basement. Writing in Green Anarchist, O'Hara claims to have been hiding in a pub doorway, and to have taken a short cut so that he could cut me off before I reached the nearby British Rail station. Since I wandered in the opposite direction, it is hardly surprising that in O'Hara's words I had 'disappeared from the face of the Earth.' The assistant in the upstairs bookshop told me a few weeks later that O'Hara followed him into a local bar after he left work, all the while whispering in his ear that he had something important he wanted to tell him. Upon realising that the said shop assistant was being greeted by some of the more colourful 'low-life' characters who reside in the area, I am told O'Hara turned on his heels and fled.

O'Hara has been accused of being a spook, and while I do not think there is any truth in this accusation, I can see why his behaviour might lead some people to such a conclusion, despite the fact that there is clearly no evidence for it. After all, what is one to make of a grown man who writes accounts of concealing himself in pub doorways? To me, O'Hara appears to be acting out childish counter-espionage fantasies. There is a long tradition of accepting the simplest explanation for any given phenomena as being the true one, in O'Hara's case, this must simply be that he is mad.

*Among other things, the Green Anarchist 37 editorial claimed my article Organised Chaos in The Independent of 25/10/94 insinuated that they were still associated with Richard Hunt, when I actually stressed the desire of the current membership to distance themselves from their founder and ideological architect. For more details about the Green Anarchist smear see the letters from Richard Essex and Luther Blissett in Freedom of 10/6/95 and the undated Open Letter To Student Outlook issued as a leaflet by the London Psychogeographical Association.

Stewart Home. First published as a leaflet August 1995, shortly afterwards reprinted in documents section of Green Apocalypse.

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