fund fraud. So I read the chapter twice before deciding that I do not believe Donoughue culpable of any crime. Indeed, as he has always maintained, it was his opposition to Maxwell’s use of pension funds that led to him to quit months before the old villain died. In answer to those who suggest he should have blown the whistle on Maxwell, he claims that Maxwell had not, in his view, broken the law. He also implies that he did not, as has been alleged, take hush money. Again, I accept what he says. Where I would take issue is over his reticence about how much money he earned from his time with Maxwell and the size of his payoff. It is noticeable that he mentions the modest wages he received in previous
jobs but omits to tell us the amount of his whopping salary from Maxwell. That aside, I have come to the conclusion that too many people have been tarred with the Maxwell brush. Everyone connected in any way with his ﬁnancial dealings has been accused of either weakness or villainy. But two Department of Trade and Industry inquiries and a prolonged court case against his sons (which cleared them of all charges) have served only to prove that the really guilty man was Maxwell himself. Donoughue, who went on to be a Labour minister under Blair before his retirement, may have fooled me, but I doubt it. From beginning to end, seen in context, the story of his life makes sense. I have lost a prejudice.
Roy Greenslade was editor of the Daily Mirror, 1990-91. He is now media commentator for The Guardian, Professor of Journalism at City University, London, and a member of the British Journalism Revieweditorial board.