I see that the new leadership of the British Labour Party has agreed to pay hefty libel damages to BBC reporter John Ware and a group of former Labour Party workers who, in the course of a BBC-produced TV documentary, had made allegations of anti-semitism in the Corbyn-led Labour party.
As readers of this blog will be aware, John Ware and myself have crossed swords more than once, especially over the extent of official British knowledge of the activities of IRA double agent, Freddie Scappaticci.
But I was not aware how strongly he felt about me or my journalism until we found ourselves chasing the same story, to wit the Brian Nelson saga.
One day, myself, a long time journalist friend and John Ware found ourselves by chance in the company of Tommy Lyttle in the north of Belfast.
By this point Tommy had taken over leadership of the UDA from Andy Tyrie; he was the go-to source on all matters concerning Brian Nelson’s UDA history and everyone wanted to talk to him.
People who know me well enough are aware that I contracted polio as an infant and while I have been able to overcome the disability sufficiently to lead a more or less active and normal life, there is a limit to how fast I can muddle along.
That day I found myself lagging further and further behind the other three as they accelerated along the sidewalk until eventually I gave up and made my way home. In those days I was much fitter than I am now, but even so I could not keep pace.
Some time after that I had my own meeting with Tommy Lyttle and, somewhat shamefacedly, he apologised and told me what had happened. “Ware wants you off the story”, he said.
Tommy then told me that John Ware had come to him and asked that I be excluded from the Brian Nelson story. To Tommy’s credit he refused.