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By 3 August 2018

I have been fortunate enough to have had an interesting life until now, travelling the world (some 95 countries) and living in ten, before finding paradise in Croatia at the tender age of 33, some 16 years ago. 

In addition to my alleged work for MI6, there have been many professional highlights. In terms of actually making a difference, an emergency aid worker in Rwanda two weeks after the 1994 genocide would be hard to beat. In terms of making money, the transport business in Moscow in 1995 was pretty fruity, and in terms of absurdity, choose between my 8 months as a male chambermaid in Munich or six months as a laser crystals technical rep in St. Petersburg in 1992. 

But for all the challenges, highs and lows and endless absurdities, nothing has been as much fun or diverse as running an English-language news portal in Croatia. The Beautiful Croatia is an insane place to live (GREAT for a vacation) and the deeper I get sucked in to the World of Uhljebistan, the more I become hooked. I generally could not return to the UK to live. 

And despite the fact that my chequered 'career' had no common thread, there was at least one truth from my first working day in Manchester in the stock room of a now-defunct computer company back in 1985 - I had never been sued. 

That all changed three nights ago when the Mayor of Jelsa, Niksa Peronja, announced at a public meeting that he had decided to sue me - you can see the moment in the video above. And for those interested in the reasons why, it has something to do with my reporting of alleged Carpe Diem interest in concessions in the Jelsa Municipality - more information here.  

Contribute to TCN Legal Defence Fund

Support Independent Media in Croatia

(Please note - although donations are coming in, some people have messaged saying they are having problems, so you can donate directly to addresses [email protected] and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

I have been genuinely humbled by the messages of support I have had in the last couple of days since the mayor made his announcement, and I thank people for that. People are very grateful that someone is standing up for what is right. While that is nice to hear, what saddens me more than a little is that 99.9% of those people voice that support in silence. Please don't associate my name with any of them, but you please carry on - great job! What is also fascinating is the new information and documentation that I am receiving from all angles about various aspects of life in Jelsa. You have to write about it, but please make sure my name is not mentioned. It could cause problems. 

The anonymous support and not-so-anonymous documentation has given me some heart, as well as some interesting points to discuss in public once the mayor's publicly announced lawsuit arrives. 

I intend, of course, to defend myself vigorously, something which will involve substantial costs, and so I thought it would be a nice opportunity for the hundreds and more who support me to do so (again anonymously) in a way that would be a little more helpful than kind words, so if you do not want to come forward (or even if you do) and want to support in a more practical way, we have opened a TCN donation account, where you can contribute as little (or as much) as you are able to spare. 

The idea of a donate button is something I have had on my list of things to do since I announced my change of direction of TCN almost 5 months ago, with my Voices from the Asylum article. Could we do a better public service by writing about the realities of The Beautiful Croatia, in the hope of effecting change? Obviously criticising official bodies which are a source of revenue is not the smartest business decision, even less smart when those official bodies start to sue you. Ah, jebiga. 

But what if, I mused naively on the train back from Belgrade in March, TCN could become a vehicle of positivity not for Croatian tourism per se, but the uhljeb-free Croatia, where businesses and individuals from both Croatia and diaspora could work with Croatia to build an exciting story in a Parallel Croatia? Apart from having money to support TCN, the story is exciting, corruption-free (at least I hope) and full of inspiring individuals. Let's give it a try, and adding that 'Donate' button joined the very long to-do list, but never made it quite to the top. 

Until now. Being sued concentrates even the longest to-do list. 

There is another aspect to this donation appeal. One of our recent additions to TCN is Joe Orovic, who also strings for The New York Times. He is like a real journalist, with training and a great eye for a story. He has already come to me with several assignment suggestions, which I would love to approve if the funding was more secure. A decently funded TCN with a mission to expand the Voices from the Asylum angle I truly believe would be a great addition to Croatia. 

So let's see - show us the colour of your money!

Contribute to TCN Legal Defence Fund

Support Independent Media in Croatia

(Please note - although donations are coming in, some people have messaged saying they are having problems, so you can donate directly to addresses [email protected] and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Perhaps will we get a million, perhaps 20 euro, if that, but it will be interesting to see how that massive passive support translates. 

To make it more interesting, I hereby commit to drinking one pint of Zuja for every 500 euro donated, as well as a Zuja and portion of blitva for every 1000. 

Whether you donate or not, thanks for your support overall. We are currently experiencing record traffic (and the World Cup factor is gone). It is genuinely appreciated.  

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