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On hearing that Jackser, her childhood abuser, is seriously ill, Martha is elated, thinking that finally she will be able to watch him suffer. But in the hospital she sees a frightened, lonely old man and realises with a shock that he seems to regret his earlier actions.
During her vigil, she is joined by Charlie, her beloved little brother, then the ma and some of her other siblings. All of them have suffered greatly and it is clear that no one connected to Jackser has escaped unscathed.
But as she sits with him during his dying days, other memories of Jackser come back to Martha – fleeting moments of concern and kindness, and a sense of closeness as he recalled his own tormented past in one of Ireland’s industrial schools. It is a vicious cycle of cruelty and loss that has played out, from which only her own tenacity and wit has provided an escape.
Poignant, ribald, poetic and defiant, with its resolution of many unanswered questions about her life this is Martha at her best.
When Helen was 20, she met Garry Newlove at a local disco. They married in 1986 and had three daughters. On 10 August 2007, Garry was brutally beaten by a gang of youths outside the family home in Warrington. He died two days later. It was an act of violence that shocked the nation and would have a profound impact on the lives of Helen and her children.
After the ordeal of a ten-week trial and the murder conviction of three youths, Helen held a press conference, giving a speech that attracted national media attention and propelled her into the role of a campaigner for victims’ rights and against the lawlessness that blights so many of our towns and cities.
In 2010, Helen was appointed a seat in the House of Lords among some of the most powerful and influential people in the country. Today, she is Baroness Newlove of Warrington, a tireless campaigner against antisocial behaviour and for the rights of victims and witnesses.
In this engaging memoir, Helen recounts how her family was shattered by Garry’s murder and how good unexpectedly came out of evil. Her remarkable story is not one of politics and committees; it is about real people and the impact that crime has on us all.
'A woman is like a teabag - only when in hot water do you realise how strong she is' - Nancy Reagan
Women are never at a loss to express themselves, and smart women will have something to say for every occasion.
Wise Women is a hilarious, ribald and revealing collection of observations and inspirational quotations reflecting the wit and intelligence of women across the ages. Those quoted range from Dorothy Parker to Joan Rivers, Mae West to Joan Collins, Queen Victoria to Princess Diana, Joanna Lumley to Pamela Stephenson, Beyoncé to Adele, and Cheryl Cole to Lady Gaga.
The famous and infamous of theatre, film, politics, philosophy and literature are featured, waxing lyrical on numerous topics from affairs, ageing, men and motherhood to sex, work and what women want!
This is the definitive, unique account of the disaster in which 96 men, women and children were killed, hundreds injured and thousands traumatised. It details the appalling treatment endured by the bereaved and survivors in the immediate aftermath, the inhumanity of the identification process and the vilification of fans in the national and international media.
In 2012, Phil Scraton was primary author of the ground-breaking report published by the Hillsborough Independent Panel following its new research into thousands of documents disclosed by all agencies involved. Against a backdrop of almost three decades of persistent struggle by bereaved families and survivors, in this new edition he reflects on the Panel’s in-depth work, its revelatory findings and their unprecedented impact – an unreserved apology from the Prime Minister; new criminal investigations; the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s largest-ever inquiry; the quashing of 96 inquest verdicts; a review of all health and pathology policies. Paving the way for truth recovery and institutional accountability in other controversial cases, he details the process and considers the impact of the longest ever inquests, from the preliminary hearings to their comprehensive, devastating verdicts.
Powerful, disturbing and harrowing, Hillsborough: The Truth exposes the institutional complacency that led to the unlawful killing of the 96, revealing how the interests of ordinary people are marginalised when those in authority sacrifice truth and accountability to protect their reputations.
‘Women should be obscene and not heard’ – John Lennon
‘The only unnatural act is that which you cannot perform' – Alfred Kinsey
‘Fat people are brilliant in bed: if I’m sitting on top of you, who’s going to argue?' – Jo Brand
‘What most women want is not a man who ties you to the bed but one who unstacks the dishes while you watch The Great British Bake Off’ – Harriet Harman
Throughout the centuries, talk of sex has proved irresistible, producing wide-ranging responses, contradictory remarks, denouncements and appraisals; something seen as harmless by one is often condemned as damnable by another.
Whatever your sexual preferences, Talking Dirty is a hugely entertaining treasury of wit on this endlessly entertaining and controversial topic.
Hoolifan is the story of one man, Martin King, and his experiences spanning three decades with the country's foremost soccer gang. Chelsea have always been at the cutting edge of football violence, and King himself was at the heart of the evolving Chelsea mob for some 30 years. From his first visit to a football ground in the early 1960s, he charts his development from a rattle-waving child through to a fully fledged member of the notorious Chelsea Shed in the 1970s and finally to his exploits as a key player in the most feared football gang of the 1980s and 1990s - the so-called Chelsea Headhunters.
King describes the leading characters of the various eras, not just from Chelsea but from across the country. He also records every clash, ambush and act of revenge in vivid detail, as well as the camaraderie and style of this most infamous soccer gang.
This is not just another book on the well-trodden subject of football hooliganism, as, unlike so many authors, Martin King makes no attempt to distance himself from the violence and leaves readers to draw their own conclusions.
At times provocative, often humorous and always honest, Hoolifan places the phenomenon of football hooliganism in its true social context.
In her bestselling memoir As I Lay Me Down to Sleep, Eileen Munro vividly documented the abuse she experienced at the hands of her adoptive parents and, later, within the care system. The birth of Eileen's son, Craig, and her escape from the authorities' clutches should have seen her turn a corner, but she remains haunted by the spectre of her past.
In If I Should Die Before I Wake, Eileen chronicles her search for her real parents and her battle for an education for both Craig and herself. She faces exploitation, suffers further sexual and physical abuse, and endures periods of homelessness and bad health. Still she perseveres, clinging to her hopes for the future, until she eventually finds the sense of belonging that has previously eluded her.
In this harrowing but ultimately inspirational second volume of memoir, Eileen Munro proves that, against all the odds, happiness does sometimes come to those who never give up hope.
Britain's prettiest village pub is told to take down its hanging baskets because the council deems them dangerous . . . primary schoolchildren in Wales have to start their day with a head massage . . . Blackpool Council has given donkeys Fridays off and a guaranteed lunchbreak . . .
A barrage of these orders is issued almost daily from an army of equality officers, social inclusion workers and health and safety executives. They are laying down a moral code that no one asked for and no one voted for but which is encroaching upon every area of our lives. It is given the general title of political correctness.
It started with a few nips and tucks to the language in the name of equality. Now we are entering an age in which we are excoriated for using the word 'lady' or allowing our children to climb trees. Death is upon us unless nanny is on hand to tell us to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day or wear a hat in the sunshine.
Strictly No! explains how a new all-powerful 'meddling class' is taking over the world. We are threatened by a tyranny led not by a man with a moustache but a battalion of social workers armed with social exclusion orders. Welcome to a world gone mad.
Published: 5 Oct 2006
Ireland 1973: a very different world. But a tiny village in County Dublin was about to lose its innocence for ever.
On a bright and sunny June afternoon, a seven-year-old boy was left in the care of his teenage neighbour. No one knew, or would even have dreamed of suspecting, that the teenager was a Satanist. The two went out to the fields to look for rabbits. The child was never seen alive again.
For the first time, in The Boy in the Attic, David Malone reveals the exact events of that summer day: how the youngster was lured to his death, how the teenager came to delve so deeply into the occult and the nightmarish scene awaiting police when they entered the attic.
But there is another disturbing question - how is it that this murder, which was easily one of the most shocking and horrific in living memory, was barely reported upon at all? Why have you never heard of the boy in the attic until now?
The island of Atlantis is an enigma around which ancient legends, myths, speculation and controversy gather. In An A to Z of Atlantis, Simon Cox and Mark Foster outline all the latest facts and theories concerning this perennially intriguing subject in a concise and easy-to-navigate format. Many fascinating questions are answered, including:
• Where was the fabled island of Atlantis?
• Is there really evidence of a lost civilisation?
• Did a cataclysmic event cause the island to sink beneath the waves?
• Were the advanced civilisations of the Maya and the Ancient Egyptians founded by survivors of the destruction of Atlantis?
• What did Plato and the Ancient Greeks know about the island and its people?
Containing photographs which allow the reader to visualise the subject matter, An A to Z of Atlantis is an essential reference source.
Published: 3 Apr 2008
Tens of millions of people worldwide learned of Scotland's Rossyln Chapel in Dan Brown's blockbuster novel The Da Vinci Code. Now, after 500 years shrouded in mystery and legend, the secrets of the chapel, the castle, King Arthur and the quest for the Holy Grail are about to be revealed.
The astonishing story of Rosslyn brings together a host of famous figures from history and legend, including Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, Alexander the Great, William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, Joan of Arc, Sir Gawain and Merlin the Wizard.
No one has come close to unravelling the truth about Rosslyn. Until now.
* Does the fabled Holy Grail lie buried beneath Rosslyn Chapel?
* Did the Knights Templar hide their treasure in Rosslyn's secret crypt?
* Can the thousands of carvings within Rosslyn Chapel be decoded?
After more than a decade of research, two Scottish historians have finally uncovered the real story of Rosslyn and the Grail.
Irshad Manji calls herself a Muslim refusenik. 'That doesn't mean I refuse to be a Muslim,' she writes, 'it simply means I refuse to join an army of automatons in the name of Allah.' These automatons, Manji argues, include many so-called moderate Muslims in the West. In blunt, provocative and deeply personal terms, she unearths the troubling cornerstones of Islam as it is widely practised today: tribal insularity, deep-seated anti-Semitism and an uncritical acceptance of the Quran as the final, and therefore superior, manifesto of God.
In this open letter to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Manji breaks the conspicuous silence that surrounds mainstream Islam with a series of pointed questions: 'Why are we all being held hostage by what's happening between the Palestinians and the Israelis? Who is the real coloniser of Muslims - America or Arabia? How can we read the Quran literally when it's so contradictory and ambiguous? Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of God's creation?' Not one to be satisfied with merely criticising, Manji offers a practical vision of how Islam can undergo a reformation that empowers women, promotes respect for religious minorities and fosters a competition of ideas. Her vision revives Islam's lost tradition of independent thought.
The recipient of death threats as well as heartfelt support from her co-religionists, Manji travels throughout the world with her challenge for both Muslims and non-Muslims: dare to ask questions - out loud.
What does being British actually mean today? Depending on your age, it can conjure up imagery of the Battle of Waterloo, Queen Victoria's Empire, the British Lions rugby team or that famous Union Jack dress Geri Halliwell wore at the Brit Awards. In the twenty-first century, Britain - like many Western countries - enjoys a diverse racial mix. Therefore, as with the USA, we need to explore the values and cultural reference points around us to fully understand what it now means to be a British citizen.
Twenty contributions written by well-known individuals representing a cross section of Britain's cultural landscape attempt to offer an insight into, or snapshot of, how Britons today see themselves and their place in the world. Their thoughts will highlight just how divergent our society is and where its strengths and weaknesses lie.
All these views are championed by two unlikely collaborators - Spectator editor Matthew d'Ancona and Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Often politically opposed, they share a passionate interest in exploring what is meant by being British. This unique book will enlighten, inspire and stir up many debates but ultimately it will provide a path for any reader wanting to understand just what it is to be British in the new millennium.
Published: 7 May 2009
From running with the infamous Calton Tongs to running Calton Athletic, David Bryce's life story is a remarkable account of crime, violence, alcoholism and drug addiction in Glasgow's gangland.
A respected 'hard man', Bryce worked his way through most of HM's prisons in Scotland before an epiphany in 1977 made him realise that he was a hopeless alcoholic who needed help. A five-year battle followed, during which he sank into the abyss of heroin addiction before finally getting clean.
In 1985, in an effort to help others who were struggling against substance abuse, Bryce set up Calton Athletic, a football team and social group made up solely of recovering drug addicts. Reformed gangster Jimmy Boyle was one of the first to have faith in Bryce and Calton Athletic, but the club eventually won widespread respect. Gordon Brown, then a young MP, was so impressed that he wrote an article for The Observer which led to a TV film starring Lenny Henry and Robbie Coltrane. In the '90s, Ewan McGregor, Irvine Welsh and the Trainspotting crew sought Bryce's advice and friendship during the making of the internationally acclaimed cult film, while Robbie Williams begged to switch nationality and play for Calton Atheltic in an 'England v. Scotland' celebrity charity match.
Bryce's uncompromising belief that the only way to come off drugs is to go cold turkey and stay completely clean saw him clash with government agencies over the 'harm-reduction' policy of recent years. The club's statutory funding was withdrawn in 1998, but today Calton Athletic are still providing an invaluable lifeline while the 'official' drugs policy has become increasingly discredited.
Alive and Kicking is an inspirational tale of survival and success against the odds.
Published: 5 Feb 2003
Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace is the ultimate Big Brother survivor, and in Aisleyne: Surviving Guns, Gangs and Glamour, she reveals a shocking life story that surpasses any reality-show plotline.
Her childhood journey began in a crazy punk household, where Siouxsie Sioux and Boy George were regular visitors. It shattered for the first time with the nightmare of seeing her half-naked dad dragged bleeding from the bathroom by police after a suicide attempt, and it ended when she saw her mum start a strict new life as a devout Jehovah's Witness.
Hospitalised after an extreme bullying incident at school, Aisleyne left home at 16, having been cut off by her mother and let down by her father. Alone in London, Aisleyne's lifeline was a place in a hostel, where she shared the roof over her head with the frightened women and predatory men of the city's gang culture. While some of her friends were lost to drugs, knives and gun crime, Aisleyne vowed to pick herself up and get out of there.
Aisleyne threw herself into a new career as a promotions girl and glamour model. Slowly making a name for herself, Aisleyne's big break came when she was selected to compete on Big Brother in 2006, and she was voted the most popular female housemate that year.
Three years on, Aisleyne is living proof that it is possible to escape the streets and make good. She's become a successful businesswoman, fashion designer and established media celebrity. This is her remarkable story.