How a Beatle Could Have Gone to Jail

By Redgrave, Corin | New Statesman (1996), March 6, 2000 | Go to article overview

How a Beatle Could Have Gone to Jail


Redgrave, Corin, New Statesman (1996)


A new bill would make it illegal even to speak up for the IRA.

I do not know the name of the M15 agent who reported that John Lennon gave money to the Workers Revolutionary Party. It is said that Ml5 gave information from its files on Lennon to the FBI in the early 1970s, when the Nixon administration was trying to have him deported. But the US Freedom of Information Act, though considerably less restrictive than Jack Straw intends its British counterpart to be (it will not permit any access to the files kept by the security services), does not allow the names of agents and informers to be revealed.

What I do know, as one who was then a leading member of the WRP, is that John Lennon never gave us a penny. I am also certain that he never gave money to the IRA. Yoko Ono has said that he did not. But neither her denial normine are likely to be widely reported. The lie, as is so often the case, has travelled three times around the world while the truth is still getting its boots on.

Does it matter that so many newspapers have repeated these allegations as facts, and will continue to do so despite our denials? Actually, it matters a very great deal, and not just for the obvious reason that truth should always be preferred to falsehood. The Prevention of Terrorism Bill, now going through parliament, would have made John Lennon a criminal, not only for those things he is alleged to have done, but for those things which he certainly did and which thousands of us do today and want to continue to be able to do.

In 1972, Lennon wrote a song "The Luck of the Irish", dedicated to the victims of Bloody Sunday. The song appeared on an album "Sometime in New York City" and the proceeds were donated to the Irish Civil Rights movement. Clause 14 of the terrorism bill makes it an offence to ask for money, give money, or receive money or any property if a person knows or has "reasonable cause to suspect" that it may be used for terrorist purposes.

Clause 18 makes it an offence not to inform the police if one "believes" or "suspects" that a person has asked or given or received money from a proscribed organisation. This clause contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 10, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression. It also offends against one of the principles of the convention, that a person is presumed innocent until found guilty. In Clause 18, as often elsewhere in the bill, the onus is on the person accused to prove his or her innocence. Subsection 3 says: "It is a defence for a person charged to prove that he had a reasonable excuse for not making the disclosure."

Earlier in the same year, 1972, at a rally in New York organised by the US Transport Workers Union, which was attended by members of the IRA, Lennon issued a statement saying that he was protesting "against the killing of Irish people in the Civil Rights movement". …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

How a Beatle Could Have Gone to Jail
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.