– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Stand Against Injustice’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Group Tour.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by its author, but b
About the Author :
Mother of three, campaigner for justice and Committed Christian.
Michelle campaigned for eight years for the release of her disabled brother, Barry George, after he was wrongly convicted in 2001, for the high profile murder of BBC television presenter, Jill Dando. Mr George was acquitted in 2007 and sent for re-trial in 2008. He was found not guilty, by unanimous jury verdict on 1st August 2008.
Born in Fulham, London in 1955, Michelle lived in West London until 1973. She then moved to Cork, Ireland, where she lived until 2012, with her three adult children. Michelle’s first husband, Patrick, died unexpectedly in 2007 after a short illness, but, with God’s grace, she is now married again, to Peter, who supports her in her Miscarriage of Justice (MOJ) activities. They are both committed Christians, who worship at a Baptist church in Northamptonshire, taking on many responsibilities within the fellowship.
Retired now, Michelle always worked outside of the home in various industries, and at all levels from cleaner to management. Her ethos being: do the job to the best of your abilities, as a service to others, regardless of the task. She has trained as an Image Consultant and most recently, as a weight loss consultant.
Since her brother’s wrongful incarceration, she has become a public speaker at Miscarriage of Justice conferences across the UK, and has also been a guest speaker at the Spiritual Health Weekends for women, run by Nancy Goudie. Also a guest lecturer at University College Cork and Portsmouth University to Law students interested in Miscarriage of Justice. Also attending APPGs on miscarriage of justice in Parliament.
Michelle is still in touch with many families of the wrongly convicted, including those convicted under Joint Enterprise. She also has connections with various MOJ organisations, e.g. Mojo Scotland, The Innocence Project in UK Universities, and a variety of legal representatives and released victims of MOJ.
She is interested in the refusal of the Judiciary to pay compensation under section 133., ‘Not innocent enough’ or ‘A jury, properly directed, could have convicted’, both of which still affect her brother.
On April 26, 1999, BBC TV presenter Jill Dando was murdered outside her home in London. Barry George was convicted and imprisoned for the murder but was later acquitted after an appeal and retrial. Stand Against Injustice is the powerful memoir of the sister of Barry George. For the first time, Michelle Diskin Bates tells her story, the human side and truth behind one of recent history’s most high profile and damaging miscarriages of justice whose life is inextricably interwoven in the drama, the trauma, the conspiracy and the fight for justice. A self-confessed ‘ordinary housewife’, Michelle’s voice weaves the personal everyday struggles that bring depth, color, and passion into what is an extraordinary account. A troubled childhood weighted with overbearing responsibility, fear and insecurity, depression, and the challenges of marriage and adult relationships, Michelle’s life has never been easy. However, the one constant in her life – her faith in God – underpins and provides the foundation upon which she now stands – against injustice.
Guest Post :
No Reverse Gear
Truly, I believed the story I told myself. The anecdote, that as soon as my book was written, as soon as the public had access to the truth, I would hang up my virtual pen forever, relax into retirement and the relative comfort of anonymity again.
I’ve always been a reluctant speaker. Media interviews, being on stage, or a guest speaker was something dragged from me by necessity. I would do the job God had set me, write my book Stand Against Injustice, then I would walk off into the sunset with my lovely husband, Peter, and relative obscurity. I’d imagined us enjoying Orient Express inspired train journeys across continents. Or the breeze as we promenaded on the decks of a cruise boat.
Then the book was published, and my dreams of freedom and obscurity were shattered. Life is now a round of public speaking events – at miscarriage of justice conferences, writing clubs, community groups and legal students. Then there are trips to London to attend Parliament for All Party Parliamentary Groups, focusing on aspects of the justice system. I am still writing articles for magazines and being interviewed for TV and radio shows. Then there are more visits to Ireland to do the same.
The lure of looking forward to going back, of taking control of my life again was so strong. I could be me again, the person I was before all of this madness entered my life. But would I really want that? I’ve been changed forever…no going back. My life is so full. I’m meeting such amazing people, working with fractured but strong, determined families, would I really want to give that up?
No, when you invite God into the driving seat of your life, you’d best understand…there is no reverse gear!
The Magic of Wor(l)ds