In a blog post on their website, dated 21 October, the Independent Police Complaints Commission has written the following entry that has subsequently been picked up by much of the national media:
Most of you will be aware that former SYP officer Sir Norman Bettison is writing a book about his involvement in policing the aftermath of Hillsborough.
As these events fall within the remit of the IPCC investigation, I have written to the publisher to request a copy of the book before it is published.
Its contents will be assessed in consultation with the CPS and together we will consider what impact, if any, it has on the criminal investigation and what action can be taken.
A spokesperson for Biteback Publishing has replied:
‘Whilst it is true we have been corresponding with the IPCC about the possibility of showing them Mr Bettison’s book prior to publication, I think it is unfortunate and unseemly that they should choose to publicise our private correspondence. We will be making no further comment on it.’
Outside, Inside, Diaries: Volume 5, 2003–2005
By Alastair Campbell
In the fifth volume of his explosive Diaries, Alastair Campbell, former Director of Communications and Strategy for Tony Blair, picks up in 2003 on the day after he ‘left’ Downing Street. As Lord Hutton prepares to publish his report and the Blair–Brown relationship becomes increasingly fractured, we soon learn that Campbell’s involvement in politics and strategy for the Labour government has barely abated.
While providing a fascinating and truly unique point of view of recent political history, Campbell also writes frankly about his continuing battle with mental health issues and trying to achieve a balance between work and family as he is pulled in multiple directions.
The King Who Had To Go
By Adrian Phillips
The actions taken by King Edward VIII are scrutinised in this behind-the-scenes exposé of his intimate relationship with American socialite Mrs Wallis Simpson. Outraged at the prospect of Simpson’s possible accession to the throne, the government orchestrated a plot to keep the King focused on the job at hand.
Despite their efforts, the royal abdication crisis of 1936 became one of the biggest scandals to face Britain in the past century. Adrian Phillips follows the slow decline and subsequent abdication of the King during a phase of erratic ideas and unreliable behaviour, despite desperate intervention from those in positions of power.
The Brexit Club
By Owen Bennett
On 23 June 2016, the people of Britain exercised their democratic right and voted to leave the European Union. With his behind-the-scenes access, Owen Bennett brings the reader into the Vote Leave camp, and into the inner circle of politicians who were keen to change Britain for what they thought was the greater good.
The book reveals the feuds between the Tory ‘posh boys’ and the toxic hardliners, as well as the civil war within Nigel Farage’s UKIP. You won’t want to miss this scoop on the most topical talking point in British politics this year.
Power and Glory: France’s Secret Wars with Britain and America, 1945–2016
By Roger Howard
In Power and Glory, Roger Howard investigates the tension between France, Britain and America over the past half-century.
Using archive material and quotes from interviews with authoritative diplomatic sources, secret missions by the French are revealed, including conducting a counter-espionage exercise in Madagascar, providing assistance to the Argentines during the Falklands War and fighting a proxy war with Britain in Nigeria. These anecdotes highlight and explain the tensions and relationships between France and the two fellow world powers to date.
The New Philistines
By Sohrab Ahmari
Holding up a mirror to the Western world, Sohrab Ahmari demonstrates his qualms with the contemporary art world through invigorating and thought-provoking prose. He argues that where there was once a focus on promoting truth and freedom, contemporary art has now become obsessed with the identity politics of race, gender, privilege, power and sexuality.
Bringing to light the issue of politicisation of the arts, this latest addition to the Provocations series will make you delve deeper into your philosophical thoughts next time you find yourself in a gallery, theatre or museum.
By Iqbal Wahhab
‘Charity sucks because business does it better.’
A society evolving into a post-philanthropy era is touted as a new dawn for social entrepreneurs to discover new ways to solve problems. Iqbal Wahhab slams the myth that taxes produce a welfare state to fix problems. Instead, the way businesses expand through success provides a more sustainable and effective framework that charities should replicate in order to provide hope and faith for the people who need them most.
The War on the Old
By John Sutherland
It seems the principle to ‘respect your elders’ has been overlooked in recent years. John Sutherland, now 77 years old, breaks the taboo over talking about the neglectful and indifferent attitudes to the elderly.
It is estimated that by 2020, one in five Britons will be pensioners and living a longer retirement than ever before. John Sutherland spells out why this may not necessarily be a good thing for them, with the elderly now considered a problem to solve rather than a benefit to British society.
The Bad Boys of Brexit
By Arron Banks
Shocked at the status quo of Westminster politics, Arron Banks invested £8 million of his own money into Leave.EU in an attempt to appeal to the ordinary people of Britain.
Brexit was the topic everyone wanted to talk about and Banks’s anti-establishment attitude was clearly a refreshing change for those who wanted Britain to leave the European Union. Arron Banks was able to ruffle the feathers of Posh Spice, NASA and Nigel Farage and meet Donald Trump and the Queen along the way. The Bad Boys of Brexit is his unique perspective on the referendum campaign.
By Harry Mount
The three chilling weeks following Britain’s exit from the European Union devastated the political landscape as we knew it. The Brexit vote shook the Tories and Labour and divided the country.
Harry Mount reveals how the biggest democratic exercise in the history of modern Britain resulted in Brexit being named a ‘mass murderer’ which ‘kills everything it touches’. With key appearances from Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, Summer Madness leaves no stone unturned in an attempt to understand the aftershocks of 23 June 2016.
After so many years publishing and editing other people’s books, Jeremy Robson, whose imprint The Robson Press has been part of Biteback Publishing since 2011, has decided to step back from his full-time role as publisher of the list to spend more time on his own writing. He leaves full-time employment at Biteback at the end of the month but will retain an interest in commissioning books for the company as a Consultant Editor.
Jeremy Robson said: “I felt this was the moment to take a break from the daily publishing routine. I have a new book of poems coming from Smokestack in April, which I will be promoting at various festivals. But I have also been encouraged to write an account of the changing publishing scene since I first cut my teeth as a young editor, and of the many colourful people I have worked with along the way – twinning this with memories of my other world, the exciting poetry reading scene of the 1960s, ‘70s and later, which I was very much a part of, a time when we filled the Festival Hall and gave hundreds of concerts around the country, often with jazz. So the cast will range widely. I can’t wait to get started, but also look forward to commencing my new arrangement with Biteback as Consultant Editor.”
Iain Dale, Biteback MD, commented: “Jeremy published my first book, back in 1998, and I have long enjoyed working with him, first as my publisher and then latterly as publisher of The Robson Press at Biteback. In his long and illustrious career, he must have published well over 2,000 books, many of which he has turned into bestsellers. I totally understand his desire to spend more time writing his award-winning poetry and I shall look forward to flicking through the index of his memoirs in the hope of a brief mention. Jeremy is an iconic figure in the publishing industry of the last half a century and many authors have reason to thank him. We will all miss him greatly on a day-to-day basis in the Biteback office, but we wish him all the best in his writing.”
Editor’s Note: The Robson Press list will now be incorporated into Biteback Publishing.
For further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7091 1260
Westminster Tower, 3 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7SP
Iain Dale, MD of Biteback Publishing, has acquired world rights to Hillsborough Untold by the former Chief Constable of both Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police, Sir Norman Bettison.
On 15 April 1989, ninety-six spectators lost their lives at Sheffield’s Hillsborough stadium as they gathered for an FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. The events that day sparked a controversy that continues to reverberate through British football and policing.
Norman Bettison was a Chief Inspector in the South Yorkshire Police at the time of the Hillsborough disaster, and witnessed the tragedy as a spectator at the match. Bettison has since found himself one of the focal points of outrage over the actions of the police. Not in respect of the day of the disaster but in its aftermath. Comments he made in the wake of the Hillsborough Independent Panel in 2012 stoked further criticism in the press and in Parliament, and in October 2012, he resigned from his job as Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police.
This personal account describes how the Hillsborough disaster unfolded; provides an insight into what was happening at South Yorkshire Police headquarters in the aftermath; and gives an objective and compassionate account of the bereaved families’ long struggle for justice. The author is clear that the Hillsborough families have deserved answers as to why and how the ninety-six died. This book seeks respectfully to explain, however, why he feels he has been unfairly scapegoated in Parliament and through print, broadcast and, significantly, social media, and why that may have distracted from the inquiry’s aims.
This book will add to the knowledge about Hillsborough, addressing current narratives about the disaster and its aftermath.
Norman Bettison said: ‘I wrote this account because I did not want my forty-year professional career to be defined by false accusations. The book should appeal to anyone with an open mind who remains curious about one of the UK’s most tragic, and controversial, peacetime disasters.’
Iain Dale said: ‘Hillsborough was one of the most devastating tragedies in recent British history, causing untold grief and anger to the families and friends of those who died, and spawning hundreds of individual stories. One of those stories belongs to Sir Norman Bettison, a former senior policeman who was there on the day as a football supporter, and later found himself caught up in accusations of a police conspiracy to push the blame for Hillsborough onto the fans. His is a story that has never been heard in its entirety. At Biteback, while we deeply respect the rawness of emotions surrounding Hillsborough, we hope Sir Norman’s voice can only add to the ongoing narrative and maybe shed some new light into what happened on the day and why the aftermath was handled so disastrously, and callously, by the police, politicians and football authorities.’
The author will be donating his proceeds from sales of the book to charity.
Hillsborough Untold will be published in November 2016.
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UK only. Closes Sunday 14th August 2016. Winner will be chosen at random and informed by email. Good luck!