Chris Mullin

Chris Mullin, a former Labour MP, is the author of Error of Judgment: The Truth about the Birmingham Bombings and A Very British Coup, among other books.

Diary: In Court, Again

Chris Mullin, 7 April 2022

Friday,​ 25 February. To the Old Bailey, the Central Criminal Court, to respond to an application – under the Terrorism Act, no less – from the West Midlands Police. They are demanding that I hand over notes I made in the 1980s during my investigation into the Birmingham pub bombings, in the hope that these will help them to track down one of the two surviving bombers. A bit...

At DFID

Chris Mullin, 19 March 2020

Byfar the worst appointment made by Boris Johnson in his cabinet reshuffle last month was that of Anne-Marie Trevelyan as secretary of state for international development. An ardent Brexiteer, Trevelyan has no known interest in overseas development; just about her only previous public utterance on the subject was an observation that ‘charity begins at home.’ But then she is...

Short Cuts: Anonymous and Abuse

Chris Mullin, 21 November 2019

One​ Saturday some years ago, while cycling over Wearmouth Bridge in the centre of Sunderland, my young daughters and I got mixed up with the football crowd. ‘There’s that MP,’ someone sneered. ‘Gas him,’ someone else responded. Not ‘Kill him’ or ‘Throw him in the river,’ but ‘Gas him.’ I don’t mind admitting we speeded...

Terror Was Absolute: Vietnam

Chris Mullin, 18 July 2019

The Chinese​ occupied Vietnam for the best part of a thousand years, up to the tenth century. They attacked it again in 1979. The Mongols launched three invasions in the 13th century. The French colonised the country in the 1850s along with its neighbours Laos and Cambodia. Then the Japanese invaded in 1940, and allowed the French pro-Vichy colonial regime to remain. Roosevelt had been...

Diary: The Birmingham Bombers

Chris Mullin, 21 February 2019

He lived on a bleak housing estate and was in his early thirties. He had been involved in seven or eight other city-centre bombings before the pub bombings. He set out to give me a sanitised version of his career, but as we started discussing the night of 21 November his voice began to tremble and fade away. At first, he lied, saying he had been warned to stay at home that night because something big was going to happen. ‘I think you were in the pubs,’ I said to him. There was a long silence. We were sitting on the floor. He stared straight ahead, smoking. Then it all came tumbling out. This is what he told me.

Spookery, Skulduggery: Chris Mullin

David Runciman, 4 April 2019

Chris Mullin’s​ A Very British Coup was a nostalgic book that turned into a prophetic one. First published in 1982 and set towards the end of that decade, it nonetheless recalled...

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I’m on research leave in Finland, which, like any well-ordered social democracy, but unlike the UK, maintains an air of strenuously contained bedlam. Public notices in Finnish look as if...

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The Card-Players

Paul Foot, 18 September 1986

For several weeks after 21 November 1974 most Irish people in Birmingham took cover. Even the most respected and entrenched felt unsafe. Outrage and grief overwhelmed the city and spread far...

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A Good Girl in Africa

D.A.N. Jones, 16 September 1982

Buchi Emecheta’s novel is dedicated to her 1981 students at the University of Calabar. Double Yoke is a tale of student life at that university and evidently the teacher has learned a great...

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Post-Bourgeois Man

Peter Jenkins, 1 October 1981

He has come a long way. Born the Hon. Anthony Wedgwood Benn, he inevitably became by public-school nickname ‘Wedgie’ and later, by his own socialist deed-poll, plain ‘Tony...

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