Added: Jihan Spillman - Date: 09.05.2022 23:39 - Views: 46878 - Clicks: 4582
In the Labour MP faked his death and fled to Australia — now, the daughter he left behind raises a stubbornly spirited defence. Initially mistaken by police in Melbourne for Lord Lucan, who had disappeared after murdering his nanny two weeks earlier, he was eventually brought back to the UK to face trial on charges of fraud. Hounded by the press as a spy, traitor, embezzler and adulterer, he spent three years in prison and on his release survived for less than a decade before dying of heart problems at Now his daughter Julia has set out to rescue his reputation.
Paranoid, sleep-deprived and dosed up on a cocktail of Mogadon and Mandrax, her father had been behaving oddly for months before his disappearance. The companies he owned were going under and the dodgy contracts he struck to rescue them made things worse. Julia is even forgiving of him for the agony he put his family through during the five weeks when they thought he was dead.
A less understanding daughter might resent the pain Sheila caused Barbara, who later divorced John, leaving Sheila free to marry him and have his .
But Julia believed her father when he said he loved two women at once — and the manic period when both were in Australia caring for him seems to bear that out. The guilty parties named in the book are numerous — the Labour party for deserting Stonehouse, lawyers and judges for failing him, the cold war defector Josef Frolik for unjustly accusing him of being a Czech agent. Their most damaging charge was espionage, an accusation repeated by the historian Christopher Andrew in his book The Defence of the Realm.
Julia has examined the 1, file that the Czech secret service kept on her father. They claimed to have recruited him even before he became minister for aviation, when discussions took place about the sale of DC10 planes to a Czech airline.
But she finds no evidence that he fed them intelligence. Either the meetings never happened or the agents exaggerated his input in order to justify their existence. Just like the press, she concludes, they were only in it for the money — whereas Stonehouse had no need of petty cash payments and, as a rabid anti-communist, no ideological motive for handing over secrets.
Any father would want a daughter like Julia — stubbornly loyal, exhaustive in her research, tenacious in spotting errors, indignant in denouncing lies. She wants to serve her father and she does. But a book half as long would have served him better. Biography books. John Stonehouse and his wife at Sydney airport in He went to Australia under an assumed name having faked his death in Miami. Blake Morrison. Topics Biography books Politics books Labour features. Reuse this content.Want that Stonehouse
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