I first became aware of another Martin Bright with an interest in radical Islam a couple of years ago when a neighbour commented on remarks I had supposedly made on Any Answers. "Bit strong", he said. As I hadn’t called the programme, I just thought he was being a bit weird. Then he mentioned another appearance a few weeks later and I twigged I had a doppelganger.
This was very unsetting for a while, but then the other Martin Bright went away.
Now he has turned up again, commenting regularly on The Times website. I first found out when I received a call from an old friend and colleague working on the comment desk at the newspaper. He was a little shocked that I had started posting rather aggressive messages on the site.
The latest came in response to David Aaronovitch’s excellent piece on the Gita Sahgal/Amnesty International affair.
This led me to post the following:
"The Martin Bright who has already commented on this post is not me (i.e. the Political Editor of the Jewish Chronicle). This is deeply irritating for me (who is). I do not share the views of this other Martin Bright and don’t quite understand how The Times can allow two people to register to use the same name.
I am asking the people at The Times to sort this out. I had the same problem with someone with these views calling Any Answers on Radio 4. I assume this person is really called Martin Bright, but it is not me.
I suggest The Times be very careful about this because people are already posting derogatory comments about "Martin Bright" elsewhere."
I understand that this must seem a little self-obsessed. But just imagine how strange it would feel if it started happening to you.