Last week I posted my first blog, and the level of interest and quality of conversation took me by surprise and it made me feel a real sense of pride in this website. So thank you to all of you and the comments are really worth a read.
The Covid story rumbles on, bringing sadness and disruption but even with so much else going on I have had a number of people make contact to offer support or tell me their stories about the Christine they had met or knew.
I have even Heard from people who want to help me to clear her name, as one old friend of hers put it “It haunted her all her life”. So we shall see.
Of course there has been the odd person to reach out and let me know, how wrong I am, and how horrified they are that I am fighting for Christine and not fighting for Stephen Ward, who was after all the real victim. I understand the point, Stephen was indeed a victim, there were lots of victims, but sadly this argument tends to end with, “Well your mother did sleep around a lot”.
Christine once said to me, or I was in the room when she said it to a friend, how she hadn’t been with that many sexual partners up to that fateful trial in 1963, she had boyfriends and the odd lover, but back then I guess a lot of people could only see see women as either Mothers, Daughters, Nuns or Prostitutes.
When I was much younger, maybe 18, I found myself at a parents’ dinner party in Chelsea. I was asked by a middle aged sharp faced woman “I bet you think there is nothing wrong with prostitution” I was too young to understand that I was meant to be embarrassed, or that I was being insulted. Instead I said something along of the lines of: “As your birthday approaches do you have sex with your husband after to thank him for your present or before to get a better one.” Her husband nearly hit me. I’m glad I said it but I don’t really believe it, but it was something Christine had instilled in me. Sort of.
I grew up at a time where Stephen Ward was the victim, and his trial was a pack of lies, but Christine was a prostitute, that part of the worst miscarriage of British justice was probably okay. As time went on, when Christine wasn’t being called a prostitute as often, they used new phrases like “Call Girl” or “Good Time Girl”, and I still have no idea what a ‘Good Time Girl’ is.
This was Christine’s argument, “The truth is Seymour some men see ALL women as prostitutes, the Mothers, the Daughters, the Nuns”
I was just too young to really understand.
The BBC drama finished at the end of February in the UK, and there does seem to be a change in the way we talk about Christine, there is more sympathy for the young girl caught in history back in 1963. Then something more important happened as a pandemic rolled across the world.
For me I was given the time to think about my mothers passing and how she would feel if she was still living in this new world. I was maybe grateful that she wasn’t here for Covid as in the end she suffered with her breathing, she would have been very vulnerable and scared. I was also given more time to think about my mothers place in history and her unfair treatment. I started this website not just to talk about why I think she shouldn’t have gone to prison but also to celebrate her and how she has inspired art and music but most of this time was spent on her timeline, what happened when, and what if anything it meant.
I came across a Blog posted by a firm of solicitors in the North East of England it was about Christine and how the drama viewed her sentence for perjury as unfairly harsh, it was this solicitors view that her sentence was fair, Christine had lied and a prison sentence was to be expected.
I wrote a polite and long email, I talked about the long history of violence and rape she had suffered from Lucky Gordon, I talked about how in the court transcripts there was no dispute that the crime had taken place, the only dispute was who was there. I talked about how unfair it was that such a young woman was forced to take a plea deal because public opinion was so against her and she had everything to lose.
You may imagine a stuffy old solicitor writing this blog, about the importance of punishing those who commit perjury, but she wasn’t. A few months have past since my email and still no reply, this doesn’t mean I have won any argument, quite the opposite. I was taught, when people ignore you, its because they don’t care.
I plan on updating this as often as a I can, talking about some of the more unpleasant questions I have been asked but also some of the great support i have been given.
May you stay safe wherever you are, and all the best.