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Farewell Sovereignty

Stephen Sedley: The Case for the Regicides, 9 February 2006

The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold 
by Geoffrey Robertson.
Chatto, 429 pp., £20, October 2005, 0 7011 7602 4
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... from history, save by a handful of historians of the trial who have written him off as a hack. Geoffrey Robertson has set out to rescue him from the enormous disregard of posterity, and from the ignominy of his death in 1660 by hanging, drawing and quartering. Robertson is a practising barrister and has served as ...

The Thief and the Trousers

Owen Bennett-Jones: John Stonehouse disappears, 21 April 2022

Stonehouse: Cabinet Minister, Fraudster, Spy 
by Julian Hayes.
Robinson, 384 pp., £25, July 2021, 978 1 4721 4654 0
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John Stonehouse, My Father: The True Story of the Runaway MP 
by Julia Stonehouse.
Icon, 384 pp., £10.99, May, 978 1 78578 819 2
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... he was extradited back to the UK, where he recruited a barrister to represent him, the young Geoffrey Robertson. Robertson later recalled that Stonehouse had by this point ‘lost faith in socialism, he’d lost faith in himself, he’d lost faith in the political process … and there was suddenly a loss of ...

Dear Mohamed

Paul Foot, 20 February 1997

Sleaze: The Corruption of Parliament 
by David Leigh and Ed Vulliamy.
Fourth Estate, 263 pp., £9.99, January 1997, 1 85702 694 2
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... rang.’ Oh dear. There follow three excruciating pages describing how the handsome barrister Geoffrey Robertson and his lovely wife and his debonair host John Mortimer and his lovely wife and other famous guests like Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair and their lovely wives just happened to be in Tuscany when ...

Alleged War Criminals

Michael Byers: Saddam, Milosevic and Sharon, 22 July 2004

... up of national and international judges. Earlier this year, the tribunal ruled that its president, Geoffrey Robertson QC, could not participate in cases concerning the rebels because of condemnations he had published prior to becoming a judge. It is difficult to imagine the Iraqi special tribunal taking similar steps to ensure the reality and appearance ...

Woof, woof

Rosemary Hill: Auberon Waugh, 7 November 2019

A Scribbler in Soho: A Celebration of Auberon Waugh 
edited by Naim Attallah.
Quartet, 341 pp., £20, January 2019, 978 0 7043 7457 7
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... described Jesus having sex with a variety of men, including Pontius Pilate. John Mortimer and Geoffrey Robertson appeared for the defence, but lost. Gay News was fined and its publisher given a suspended prison sentence. ‘I have an open mind about queer-bashing,’ Waugh’s diary reflected, ‘from one point of view it seems rather cruel … I ...

No More Victors’ Justice?

Stephen Sedley: On Trying War Crimes, 2 January 2003

... by Article 5 but its operation is deferred until the Statute is reviewed in 2009. In this way, as Geoffrey Robertson remarks in Crimes against Humanity,* a great opportunity was missed to outlaw war as an instrument of national policy. It is saddening that what I – and many others – nevertheless believe to be the greatest single advance ever made in ...

Things Keep Happening

Geoffrey Hawthorn: Histories of Histories, 20 November 2008

A History of Histories: Epics, Chronicles, Romances and Inquiries from Herodotus and Thucydides to the 20th Century 
by John Burrow.
Allen Lane, 553 pp., £25, December 2007, 978 0 7139 9337 0
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What Was History? The Art of History in Early Modern Europe 
by Anthony Grafton.
Cambridge, 319 pp., £13.99, March 2007, 978 0 521 69714 9
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The Theft of History 
by Jack Goody.
Cambridge, 342 pp., £14.99, January 2007, 978 0 521 69105 5
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Thucydides and the Philosophical Origins of History 
by Darien Shanske.
Cambridge, 268 pp., £54, January 2007, 978 0 521 86411 4
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... and 16th, of what has come to be called ‘humanist history’. It is an entertaining section: Geoffrey of Monmouth on the achievements of the probably inexistent Arthur (and his spear, called Ron), an account, Burrow observes, which seems so convincing, yet does not convince; the scurrilities of Matthew Paris, not least about Matthew’s own abbey at St ...

Short Cuts

Peter Geoghegan: Brexit and the SNP, 3 November 2016

... succeeded Ted Heath, Scotland’s industrial base would have been saved from Thatcherism; had Geoffrey Crowther, chair of the Royal Commission on the Constitution, not died of a heart attack at Heathrow in 1972, the commission would never have recommended setting up a Scottish parliament. For a fervent anti-devolutionist like Dalyell, the establishment of ...


Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange, 6 March 2014

... I had come in with the Assange party. ‘Rumoured ghostwriter. Rumour confirmed?’ she wrote. Geoffrey Robertson, for Assange, argued that the person in Sweden who issued the warrant, Marianne Ny, was not, as she described herself, the ‘chief prosecutor’, but a minor prosecutor not qualified to do what she did. This seemed weak to me. I also ...

Benson’s Pleasure

Noël Annan, 4 March 1982

Edwardian Excursions: From the Diaries of A.C. Benson 1898-1904 
edited by A.C. Benson and David Newsome.
Murray, 200 pp., £12.50, April 1981, 9780719537691
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Geoffrey Madan’s Notebooks 
edited by John Gere and John Sparrow.
Oxford, 144 pp., £7.95, October 1981, 0 19 215870 8
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... less flamboyantly, at Trinity were Winstanley, Gow, Broad, Lapsley and at a later date Dennis Robertson and the egregious Simpson. Secateurs in hand, they moved in summer from snipping off the buds in the gardens in the morning to contemplating the lads in the town bathing place in the afternoon. This interest in good looks was hardly surprising. From the ...

Marvellous Boys

Mark Ford, 9 September 1993

The Ern Malley Affair 
by Michael Heyward.
Faber, 278 pp., £15, August 1993, 0 571 16781 0
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... There have been five separate editions of the poems, and a sixth is promised from Angus and Robertson this year. In a radio programme made in 1960 a librarian recorded Malley’s oeuvre as being among the most popular on the poetry shelves, though many borrowers had no doubt gone to it in pursuit of a snigger. At the other end of the spectrum Malley has ...

Delivering the Leadership

Nick Cohen: Get Mandy, 4 March 1999

Mandy: The Authorised Biography of Peter Mandelson 
by Paul Routledge.
Simon and Schuster, 302 pp., £17.99, January 1999, 9780684851754
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... was living on £46,000 a year, Mandelson borrowed £373,000 (eight times his MP’s salary) from Geoffrey Robinson, an industrialist Blair put in the Treasury after New Labour’s victory. Robinson’s fortune had been inflated by dealings with Robert Maxwell, the Channel Island tax havens and a legacy from a satirically named Madame Bourgeois, a Belgian ...

Light Entertainment

Andrew O’Hagan: Our Paedophile Culture, 8 November 2012

... and some of the others. Yet people knew. The Times obituary of McCulloch was written by the poet Geoffrey Dearmer. ‘Children of all ages were always comfortable in his unseen company,’ Dearmer wrote. ‘There was something of Larry the Lamb in him, and Larry could get away with murder.’ One of the qualities that made the journey from radio to ...

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