Bunhill: Making amends for sorry apology

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The Independent Online
DAVID JAMES has a problem. It is not Eagle Trust nor LEP Group nor one of the other companies like Dan-Air he has tried to rescue over the years, nor his elevation to the Council of Lloyd's that is causing him so much bother, but Tom Rubython, editor of Business Age magazine.

Rubython used to edit Management Week until he fell out with his backers and it closed. One of the reasons for the disagreement was the number of libel writs and complaints the magazine was attracting. One of the writs was from James's Dan-Air. The claim was settled but the magazine closed without paying the company's pounds 80,000 costs.

No sooner had Rubython started up again with Business Age than, said James, he also started attacking him again. Two articles about James led to letters from m'learned friends. One, in December 1992, claimed James, contained no less than 40 errors. An apology followed but it was not as fulsome as James demanded.

So the latest issue, out this week, contains a journalistic first: an apology for an apology. Thanks to further pressure from James's lawyers, it will say: 'Regrettably, the apology was not in terms previously agreed with Mr James. We would like to apologise to Mr James for this error.'

But if James thinks that is the last he has heard of Rubython, he should think again. A man who gives his occupation at Companies House as 'car dealer', has had a house repossessed by the building society, has seen two magazines go into receivership and recently made the astonishing revelation that Paul Raymond was Britain's richest man is used to bouncing back. Will he write about James again? 'We consider we're even. I suppose not.' Somehow, I doubt it.

(Photograph omitted)