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4 November 1993
Ambushed: My Story 
by Judith Ward.
Vermilion, 177 pp., £9.99, September 1993, 0 09 177820 4
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... do all the time, protesting their innocence, I always start with the question: ‘Why were you arrested?’ The answer usually gives some sort of clue as to whether their claims can be justified. In JudithWard’s case the answer gives no clue at all. She was taken off the streets of Liverpool at half-past six one dark wet February morning in 1974. For several weeks she had been living the life of a ...

Short Cuts

Mary-Kay Wilmers: Remembering Paul Foot

19 August 2004
... the community. Nowhere can you find listed the firms’ peculiar skill in getting – and keeping – the elected government over a barrel’); about miscarriages of justice (Kincora, Colin Wallace, JudithWard); about ministerial sleaze and mendacity (Jonathan Aitken ‘was lying all right, but he was lying with such charm, verve and enthusiasm that he looked and sounded like a winner’); about the ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett

24 June 1993
... Court of Appeal accepted that such a conspiracy had occurred? What did this all mean – not just for the Guildford Four, but for the closely related cases of the Maguire family, the Birmingham Six, JudithWard? What did it mean for the system of justice in England? Some years earlier, in a judgment in the Birmingham Six case, Lord Denning, the Master of the Rolls, had summed up the broader ...

Keep your nose clean

John Upton: The ‘Criminal Justice’ White Paper

21 June 2001
Criminal Justice: The Way Ahead, CM 5704 
Stationery Office, 139 pp., £15.70, February 2001Show More
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... effectively reunite investigatory and prosecutorial functions. This, we’re told, will help to ‘increase the number of prosecutions and reduce the number of cases that fail’. The Guildford Four, JudithWard and the numerous other recipients of West Midlands Serious Crime Squad-style justice are among those who benefited from the attentions of an all-powerful police force able to bring prosecutions ...
4 November 1993
... since the Six were freed. The case of the Six, he said, has become a synonym for false confession. The case was much more than that. Like the cases of the Guildford Four, the Maguire Seven and JudithWard, it started in a blaze of publicity much more intense, hostile and pre-judicial than anything those policemen have encountered. No one, least of all the police and the trial judges, saw fit to ...

Feasting on Power

John Upton: David Blunkett’s Criminal Justice Bill

10 July 2003
... scientist that suggests that fibres found on a dead body do not match those taken from a defendant’s clothes. It was the failure to disclose such material which led to the wrongful conviction of JudithWard and the Birmingham Six, among others, and those scandals led to a liberalisation of the disclosure process. Governed at the time by the common law, the regime was altered in the early 1990s by ...

Self-Made Women

John Sutherland

11 July 1991
The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present 
edited by Virginia Blain, Isobel Grundy and Patricia Clements.
Batsford, 1231 pp., £35, August 1990, 0 7134 5848 8
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The Presence of the Present: Topics of the Day in the Victorian Novel 
by Richard Altick.
Ohio State, 854 pp., $45, March 1991, 0 8142 0518 6
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... is omitted from the Companion’s account of Harraden – not, I suspect, because the editors don’t know about it, but because they don’t want to read Harraden’s career that way. In its Mary Ward entry, the Companion studiously does not mention her setting up a Settlement in working-class London (it survives as the Mary Ward Centre), nor her pioneering play-centres for the children of working ...

Was it like this for the Irish?

Gareth Peirce: The War on British Muslims

10 April 2008
... to hang onto that are not entirely nebulous, unless they can prove, as those wrongly convicted in Birmingham or Guildford did, that their confessions had been brutally coerced? Or in the case of JudithWard, when it was proved that the prosecution had withheld for 18 years evidence that disproved her claimed fantasies, or that of Danny McNamee, in which the information that circuit boards identical ...

Choke Point

Patrick Cockburn: In Dover

7 November 2019
... has been part of the picture painted to illustrate the calamities that may flow from Brexit, but many in the town believe that they are already the victims of an ongoing, cumulative disaster. As Judith Lee, a social worker, puts it, ‘there is no money being invested here, no jobs and no industry.’ Her caseload includes more and more people with such desperate problems as eviction, homelessness ...

Institutional Hypocrisy

David Runciman: Selling the NHS

21 April 2005
Restoring Responsibility: Ethics in Government, Business and Healthcare 
by Dennis Thompson.
Cambridge, 349 pp., £16.99, November 2004, 0 521 54722 9
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NHS plc: The Privatisation of Our Healthcare 
by Allyson Pollock.
Verso, 271 pp., £15.99, September 2004, 1 84467 011 2
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Brown’s Britain 
by Robert Peston.
Short Books, 369 pp., £14.99, January 2005, 1 904095 67 4
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... what they preach, is itself absurd, and likely to breed cynicism and contempt. In an essay entitled ‘Hypocrisy and Democracy’ in his wonderfully measured new collection, Dennis Thompson quotes Judith Shklar, who described the politics of anti-hypocrisy as an ‘unending game of mutual unmasking’, in which everyone is bound to lose. Because democracy is a system of government that ...

A Double Destiny

Susan Sontag: Anna Banti’s Artemisia

25 September 2003
... of an author’s freedom to imagine, to re-create, to invent – traditional prerogatives which apply no less to the novels called ‘historical’, informed by documents – Artemisia has become the ward of a tormented, peremptory author, who claims the right to drag a re-created real person about, impose new feelings on her, even change her appearance. At one moment, Banti notes, Artemisia has ...

Still Superior

Mark Greif: Sex and Susan Sontag

12 February 2009
Reborn: Early Diaries, 1947-64 
by Susan Sontag, edited by David Rieff.
Hamish Hamilton, 318 pp., £16.99, January 2009, 978 0 241 14431 2
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... condescension or pity. In fact, the revelations don’t betray her. The notebooks are compact and distant, yet oddly warm because sincere. They are raw enough to be real, and composed enough to ward off the possibility of identification. We are not Susan Sontag; she is still superior. She is never unserious, ignorant or corrupt. The notebooks reveal two things it’s helpful to know. One is how ...

All That Gab

James Wolcott: The Upsides of Sontag’s Downsides

24 October 2019
Sontag: Her Life 
by Benjamin Moser.
Allen Lane, 832 pp., £30, September 2019, 978 0 241 00348 0
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... For a large portion of the 1960s and early 1970s the mass-market paperback of Against Interpretation, with Sontag’s face on the cover, was in every countercultural kit bag, a pocket bible to ward off vampires and philistines. In with the in-crowd, Sontag was spotted at Elaine’s, where celebrities went to slosh, became friends with Jacqueline Kennedy, and had flings with Robert Kennedy Jr ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan

7 June 2018
... the latest in a barrage of complaints going back to 2013. Some had to do with electrical power surges; others with service vans regularly blocking emergency vehicle access. They had the support of Judith Blakeman, one of the local councillors, in this (they later accused her of collusion with the TMO on other matters). ‘We are not in a position to accuse TMO officers of conniving to mislead the ...

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