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Tatchell’s Testament

Anne Sofer, 22 December 1983

The Battle for Bermondsey 
by Peter Tatchell.
Heretic Books, 170 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 0 946097 11 9
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... On the front cover of The Battle for Bermondsey there is a photograph of Peter Tatchell as, I imagine, he would like to be seen: a steady innocent gaze, a determined tilt to the chin, a youthful crusading air. He looks fragile but brave. In the background, slightly out of focus, is an older comrade looking decidedly askance, not to say horrified ...

Saturday Night in Darlington

D.A.N. Jones, 1 April 1983

... ruin and general beastliness, not sure why good old Bob Mellish was being so rude to nice young Peter Tatchell. The vicious graffiti about Tatchell were gleefully reported: not so the more libellous graffiti about Mellish. None of this applies to Darlington. Here the Labour Movement, left and right, finds it quite ...

Carpetbagging in Bermondsey

Nicholas Murray, 19 August 1982

... considered complete without a reference to its controversial prospective Parliamentary candidate, Peter Tatchell. The extraordinary renunciation of Tatchell by Michael Foot on the floor of the House of Commons last November was one of the most striking episodes in the recent progress of the Labour Party. Foot’s late ...

Short Cuts

Chris Mullin: Michael Foot, 25 March 2010

... enthusiasm. The lowest point was reached in December 1981 when he publicly condemned the choice of Peter Tatchell as the Labour candidate for Bermondsey, thereby ensuring the loss of one of Labour’s safest seats. Then came the Falklands War, when he managed to get himself into the impossible position of supporting the sending of the fleet, but not its ...

Newspapers of the Consensus

Neal Ascherson, 21 February 1985

The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain. Vol. II: The 20th Century 
by Stephen Koss.
Hamish Hamilton, 718 pp., £25, March 1984, 0 241 11181 1
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Lies, Damned Lies and Some Exclusives 
by Henry Porter.
Chatto, 211 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 7011 2841 0
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Garvin of the ‘Observer’ 
by David Ayerst.
Croom Helm, 314 pp., £25, January 1985, 0 7099 0560 2
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The Beaverbrook I Knew 
edited by Logan Gourlay.
Quartet, 272 pp., £11.95, September 1984, 0 7043 2331 1
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... determined to tear up the weedy old turf. Scargill, Benn, Ken Livingstone, even the pathetic Peter Tatchell, are harassed and hounded with a venom and persistence which have no justification and no precedent. Well, perhaps one precedent. When the right-wing press launched the New Bullying some ten years ago by encouraging citizens to take private ...


Iain Sinclair: Ronnie Kray bows out, 8 June 1995

... of a century, a decent send-off. It’s a great turn-out for a notorious homosexual predator who Peter Tatchell, somehow, never got around to outing. George Cornell’s efforts in this direction (both sexist and weightist) having murderously backfired: ‘fat poof’ was an ad lib that was exposed in a dramatically public act of political ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 1998, 21 January 1999

... second time I saw him must have been a few years later at the Mermaid Theatre at a performance of Peter Luke’s play Hadrian VII with Alec McCowen. Then it was his characteristic walk that I noticed: he tripped down the aisle after the designer, Gladys Calthrop, his hands, fingers pressed together, half slipped into his trouser pockets ...

Mr and Mr and Mrs and Mrs

James Davidson: Why would a guy want to marry a guy?, 2 June 2005

The Friend 
by Alan Bray.
Chicago, 380 pp., £28, September 2003, 0 226 07180 4
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... an enduring (quasi-)Marxist current in British gay activism, represented by both Jeffrey Weeks and Peter Tatchell, has viewed ‘homosexuals’ as an oppressed class, like the proletariat, produced, along with housewives, by a historically contingent bourgeois sexual system which emerged alongside modern capitalism/consumerism in the 19th century. Its ...

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