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Duncan Campbell: Courthouse Hotel, 20 May 2021

... Fifteen​ years after its closure, Bow Street Magistrates’ Court, which over its 271-year history provided a stage for Oscar Wilde, Emmeline Pankhurst, Dr Crippen, ‘Lord Haw-Haw’, the Kray twins and General Pinochet, is about to reopen as a hotel called NoMad London. There will be luxury suites costing up to £2500 a night, a cocktail lounge called Common Decency ‘which will bring a little East London cool to Covent Garden’, and a ‘culinary perspective [that is] casually elegant with moments of whimsy ...


Duncan Campbell, 19 October 1995

The Autobiography of a Thief 
by Bruce Reynolds.
Bantam, 320 pp., £15.99, April 1995, 0 593 03779 0
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... A robber is a bandit, an outlaw, a desperado. A thief is a tea-leaf. A robber ends up at the Old Bailey – the London Palladium of the nation’s courts – and gets a ten stretch. A thief appears before the beak at Old Street magistrate’s court and gets three months. A robber takes the girlfriend off to Longchamp for the weekend. A thief goes home to the wife in Up-minster ...

Wayne on a Warm Day

Duncan Campbell, 20 June 1996

Bad Business 
by Dick Hobbs.
Oxford, 140 pp., £14.99, November 1995, 0 19 825848 8
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... The two men sitting in the front seats of the Range Rover in an Essex country lane one icy morning last December had no faces. They had been blown away by a hitman. They and their companion, who was lying in the back seat, had all been shot dead before they could even reach the car door handles. We got their names soon enough – Tony Tucker, Patrick Tate and Craig Rolfe – but who were they? They were businessmen ...

Rough, tough and glamorous

D.A.N. Jones, 24 May 1990

That was business, this is personal: The Changing Faces of Professional Crime 
by Duncan Campbell.
234 pp., £14.95, April 1990, 0 436 19990 4
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... diabolically nicknamed for his habit of wearing a long black cape. He is the subject of one of Duncan Campbell’s 23 interviews. The other subjects ‘on the right side of the law’ are a judge, a barrister and a solicitor; three policemen and a prison officer; an Indian victim of crime, a (female) ‘victim supporter’ and a ...

Operation Big Ear

Tam Dalyell, 3 May 1984

The Unsinkable Aircraft-Carrier: American Military Power in Britain 
by Duncan Campbell.
Joseph, 351 pp., £12.95, April 1984, 0 7181 2289 5
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... the United States presence.’ I doubt whether Government sources will be able to deny much that Campbell says, since as Field Marshal Lord Carver has put it, ‘Campbell does not rely on emotion or distortion.’ I have reservations about only one point of fact. At the beginning of his book, he says: In June/July ...

Under the Staircase

Robert Neild, 1 April 1983

War Plan UK: The Truth about Civil Defence in Britain 
by Duncan Campbell.
Burnett, 488 pp., £12.95, November 1982, 0 09 150670 0
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With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush and Nuclear War 
by Robert Scheer.
Secker, 279 pp., £8.95, February 1983, 0 436 44355 4
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... to their compulsive polemical approach to events and to their obsession with the Soviet threat.’ Duncan Campbell’s purpose is to expose and document the evolution of the British Government’s plans for civil defence. He has been at work for years taking the lid off those aspects of defence and intelligence where the Government uses secrecy to keep us ...


Julian Girdham: Mansergh v. Arnold, 21 June 1984

... you believe in one slogan or its antithesis. There’s nothing in between. Mansergh continues: ‘Duncan Campbell of the New Statesman, who critically exposes Britain’s nuclear policies and installations, was knocked off his bicycle and his papers ransacked.’ The paragraph spacing that follows this sentence leaves us a moment’s ...


Norman Buchan: Press Freedom v. the Home Office, 19 March 1987

... to the argument. Zircon. The BBC ban. The Speaker’s ban on the House of Commons screening of Duncan Campbell’s Zircon film. The invasion of the New Statesman. The raid on Duncan Campbell. And (almost as if pursuing me home) the occupation of the Scottish BBC just down the road from where I live. The heart ...

The Thing

Alan Ryan, 9 October 1986

Whitehall: Tragedy and Farce 
by Clive Ponting.
Hamish Hamilton, 256 pp., £9.95, March 1986, 0 241 11835 2
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On the Record. Surveillance, Computers and Privacy: The Inside Story 
by Duncan Campbell and Steve Connor.
Joseph, 347 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 0 7181 2575 4
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... Ponting assaults the entire political and administrative apparatus, retail and in gross, while Campbell and Connor go for the army of snoopers and data-gatherers. What they share is a thought which would have shocked a previous generation of political commentators – the thought that the British Civil Service is absolutely not to be trusted, that the ...


Colin Wallace, 8 October 1992

The Red Hand: Protestant Paramilitaries in Northern Ireland 
by Steve Bruce.
Oxford, 326 pp., £25, August 1992, 0 19 215961 5
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... allegations, Bruce also makes no mention of the extensive investigations carried out by Duncan Campbell of the New Statesman, or by Channel 4’s Diverse Reports. Writing in May 1984, Campbell said: ‘A very senior Garda source says that no Garda officer in the area had either the equipment or any official ...

Who Runs Britain?

Christopher Hitchens, 8 December 1994

The Enemy Within: MI5, Maxwell and the Scargill Affair 
by Seumas Milne.
Verso, 352 pp., £18.95, November 1994, 0 86091 461 5
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... in the bare-faced Special Branch framing of two of my journalist colleagues (Crispin Aubrey and Duncan Campbell – two of the then-celebrated ABC defendants) and had written several editorials about torture in Ulster when Roy Mason was Callaghan’s minister for the Province and a Yorkshire area-sponsored NUM Member of Parliament. Forgive me this ...

Secrets are like sex

Neal Ascherson, 2 April 2020

The State of Secrecy: Spies and the Media in Britain 
by Richard Norton-Taylor.
I.B. Tauris, 352 pp., £20, March 2019, 978 1 78831 218 9
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... to develop Britain’s own defence satellite – was cancelled only after the journalist Duncan Campbell got hold of the story in 1987. More recently, open discussion about Britain’s real defence needs might have spared the country the uncontrollably soaring costs of Trident renewal and two new £3 billion aircraft carriers. ‘Secrecy and ...
... delight in it now for its period flavour may find it so for different reasons. Not that rooms with Duncan Grant prints, curtains patterned in some variation of amoeba and dart or chevron and dot, and Isokon furniture, were very common: the section on photojournalism makes that clear. It sensibly concentrates on the work of a few photographers in ...

Thinking the unthinkable

John Naughton, 4 September 1980

... of a handful of journalists and activists like the so-called ‘spies for peace’ and Mr Duncan Campbell of the New Statesman, as well as leaks of various Home Office Memoranda, have shed some light on the size and scope of post-nuclear planning in Britain. The implications of such revelations are alarming. While ‘Protect and ...

Subduing the jury

E.P. Thompson, 4 December 1986

... details. There was never any question of the three defendants (the journalists, Crispin Aubrey and Duncan Campbell, and the former signals corporal, John Berry) meditating passing any information to ‘the enemy’ – except (an important qualification) insofar as the British Security Services have always regarded the British public as the enemy. The ABC ...

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