I have been an
activist, investigator, political poster artist and writer for most of my
adult life. My twelve books, essays and articles and a large number of posters
reflect an involvement in campaigns since the occupation of Hornsey College of
Art, where I was a student in 1968.
Those who want to read a more detailed history
of my campaigning and writing, should read my biographical essay, Perilous Journey.
Between writing and
investigating I have designed and printed posters mainly for political
community campaigns, worked for lawyers as an investigator and helped with the
defence of those wrongly arrested and imprisoned.
Apart from poster design I
have pursued my art training through ceramics, especially tile decoration and
photography. I am personally interested in dissent in different professional
fields, especially medicine and science and the complex decisions made by
individuals who leave orthodoxy to enter the world of alternatives. On a
broader level I am interested in how the growth of corporate power, capitalism
and technology erodes individuality, individual choice and democracy.
For the last twenty years my
writing and investigating has been confined almost entirely to the field of
corporate lobby groups involved in pharmaceutical marketing and the cover-up of
adverse reactions. For a more complete view of my campaign involvement you can
see parts of my CV.
Most recently between 2007 and
2011 I have reported, written essays and edited and published two books by
parents about the adverse reactions caused to children given the MMR vaccination.
I followed and wrote about the case of Dr Andrew Wakefield attending every day
of the bogus three year trial organised by the General Medical Council.
* * *
My three most serious
preoccupations over the last thirty years of my life have been political poster
design, investigating and writing. Only the body of work of two widely
different artists influenced my poster art, Alphonse Mucha and the Stenberg
brothers, Georgil and Vladimir. That is not to say, of course, that other
individual poster artists and their posters didn’t influence me, just that
these individual posters and artists don’t stand out in my mind. While I worked
at the Poster Collective, between 1974 and 1978, I had considerable admiration
for the work of Jonathan Miles who I still consider to be one of the great
political poster artists of the 20th Century. However, I wasn’t
influenced by him because our styles were radically different. Many of
Jonathan’s posters are didactic, with lots of text and very pragmatically black
and white, the message promoted by stark photographic images. Another poster artist I had admiration for was John
Philips who then was one half of Paddington Print Shop and is now director of
the London Print Studio on the Harrow Road. John’s work had the popular
character of the 18th and 19 century cartoon, but John didn’t
influence me either because I couldn’t get close to his organic satirical
style. My work stylistically fell squarely between Johnathan's
and John's, more 'cultural'’ and inclined towards colour than Johnathan's and
without the satirical fluidity of John's.
I have little idea of
how I was influenced in my desire or method of investigation. It seems to have
happened consequent upon the rise in the role of investigators working for
lawyers in the US and Britain. However, I think for me the desire to
investigate grew out of a simple intellectual preoccupation to research the truth
in a country which has been plagued with excessive secrecy, state dirty tricks
and in the seventies and eighties much police corruption. I have an interest in
the investigator in literature and film but this is something that has run
parallel with my own practice and has only influenced it when it touches on
simple techniques or lines of enquiry which are not over emphasised or
dramatic. Apart from Jeremy Brett’s Shelock Holmes, who is untouchable as a
master, the investigators I find most real are: Arthur Lyons’ Jacob Asch,
Raymond Chandlers’ Philip Marlowe, Howard Browns’ Paul Pine, Peter Graafs’ Joe
Dust, Jonathan Valins’ Harry Stoner, P.B. Yuills’ James Hazell (although
quickly outdated and now seriously sexist) Josephine Teys’ Inspector Grant (even
if he is a police officert), Michael Connellys’ Hyromimous Bosch (who is always
at odds with his surrounding police employers) possible a detective to equal
Holmes but with greater modern pragmatism. In
television there are a number of interesting investigators, including Rockford,
Public Eye and perhaps my most favourite, Archie Panjabis’ Kalinda Sharma in the Good Wife, an investigator
who gives the lie to the idea that to conduct a good investigation you have to
have a stable personality — technically she is brilliant.
In terms of my writing, from the early
seventies, after I drifted into writing with my first book about homeless youth
in the West End, I had a very fixed idea about being an ‘activist writer’. In
fact I always convinced myself that once I stopped being politically active I
would also stop writing. Now, in my sixties, while no longer so active but very
much in love with writing, I find that early promise to myself impossible to
Despite finding it hard work, I like writing but
think that we don´t pay enough attention to style in the kind of investigative
writing which I have always done. I wish there were investigative writers or
even reviewers who talked to each other about style. Usually this kind of
discussion is reserved for producers of ‘literature’.
I am interested in writing which links
sociological investigation with journalism and I am particularly attracted to
the North American muckrakers, who challenged powerful interests with good
investigative prose in the early part of the twentieth century.
In the 1990s, the number of good investigative
writers/ activists has proliferated considerably. It is now almost impossible
not to be stunned, impressed and influenced, by writers such as Sheldon Rampton
and John Stauber, the late Barbara Seaman and writers like Jonathan Harr.
Before this sudden blossoming of the form, I had
been most influenced by Janet Malcolm, to the point at which I could think of
no better writer, also, Paul Foot, Paul Brodeur and Rachel Carson. Modern
movements are particularly bad at giving credence to their history and their
participants; in relation to the Health Freedom movement, I think it is
important to be cogniscent of the writings of, Christopher Bird, Morris Bealle,
Hans Ruesch, Harris L. Coulter, Samuel Epstein, John Lauritsen, James Carter,
P. J. Lisa, Guylaine Lanctot and the greatest of them all, Ivan Illich. My
bibliography of the Health Freedom movement, tries to give a map of those whose
writing have advanced the cause of health freedom.
The corporately influenced world has from the
beginning paid little or no attention to my writing. My book ‘Frightened for my
life’, written with Geoff Coggan, about deaths in British prisons, was a
considerable hit before it was taken off the shelves (under threat of a libel
action), mainly because the government and the political class could see
clearly that it wasn’t good to have so many prisoners die from unnatural causes
in prison. However the demand for my other books, especially as I moved into
writing about the lack of ethics and murderous marketing strategies of
pharmaceutical companies have been completely ignored apart from a small cohort
of readers and in the case of my early books by ‘the left’.
If you want to send any books or papers to me, this is the address:
BM BOX 8314,
London WC1 3XX.
Books, Pamphlets and Essays
Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief: The story
of New Horizon. Sigwick and Jackson; 1972. London.
Identification Evidence: Practice and
Evidence to the Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure, with Bernadette Britain.
JAIL 1979. London.
George Davis: The Making of a One Man
Unpublished manuscript commissioned by Pluto Press; 1975. London.
Frightened For My Life: An account of
deaths in British prisons (with Geoff Coggan). Fontana; 1982.
State of Siege; Policing the miners’
strike 1984-85 (with Jim Coulter and Susan Miller),
Canary Press; 1984. London.
A Turn of the Screw: The miners in
Canary Press; 1985. London.
With Extreme Prejudice: An
investigation into police vigilantism in Manchester,
Canary Press; 1986. London.
Dirty Medicine: Science, big business
and the assault on natural health care, Slingshot Publications, 1993. London.
Ungovernable Servants: The Regulation
of hackney transport workers in London 1800-1995.
Unpublished MA dissertation. 1995. Warwick.
Loïc le Ribault's Resistance: The
creation of a treatment for arthritis and the persecution of its author
France's foremost forensic scientist. Slingshot Publications, London. 1998.
SKEWED: Psychiatric Hegemony and the
manufacture of mental illness in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Gulf War
Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic fatigue Syndrome.
Slingshot Publications, London. 2003.
Brave New World of Zero Risk: Covert
strategies in British science policy. Slingshot Publications, London. 2005.
HRT: Lincensed to Kill and Maim: The
unheard voices of women damaged by hormone replacement therapy.
Slingshot Publications, London. 2006.
Odd Man Out: Rees Evans’ Battle with
the Ministry of Health and the cancer establishment.
to be published with Alan Goldings’ film of the same name, some time in the future.
Fate of a Good Man: The investigation,
prosecution and trial of Jim Wright by the MHRA. Martin
J Walker. (PDF) Slingshot Publications, London. December 2007.
Cultural Dwarfs and Junk Journalism:
Ben Goldacre, Quackbusting and Corporate Science. (PDF) Martin J Walker. Slingshot
Publications, London. January 2008.
Silenced Witnesses: The Parents Story —
The denial of vaccine damage by government, corporations and the media.
Written by the parents. Edited and published by Martin Walker. Slingshot
Publications, London, 2008.
Silenced Witnesses Volume II — The
denial of vaccine damage by government, corporations and the media.
Written by the parents. Edited and published by Martin Walker. Slingshot
Publications, London 2009. Distributed with Alan Goldings brilliant hour long
CD, Selective Hearing, Brian Deer and the General Medical Council.
Overthrowing the Temple: Loic le
Ribault and his development of organic silica.
Martin J Walker. Slingshot Publications, 2011.
Dirty Medicine: the Handbook.
Martin J Walker. Slingshot Publications, 2011. London.
in The Hornsey Affair; An Education
in Prison; Workers in Prison; Political Prisoners. Journal of Law and Society,
Vol. 12. No.3. Winter 1985.
Trial: The case of Michael Morris; Causes
for Concern,(ed) Phil
Scraton and Paul Gordon. Pengiun. 1983. (using a pseudonym)
Spirits of the Past; Writing on the
British Miners' Strike 1984-1985, (a
German trade union backed teaching aid)
the Past: Toynby today. Settlements,
Social Change & Community Action,
(ed) Ruth Gilchrist,Tony Jeffs.Jessica Kingsley.2001.
ruolo del'industria nel mediare informazioni sulla salute occupazionale e
pubblica:verso una teoria generale. Scienza
e Democrazia, (ed)
Marco Mamone Capria. Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici. Italy
and conflicting interests: The European Convention on
Bioethics and Human Rights. Progresso
Scientifico, Etica, Tutela delle Risorse: Sfide
Professionali del Terzo Millennio.Vol.II, (ed)
S. Dumontet, E. Landi, F.Pastoni. Ordine Nationale dei biologi. 2002.
with Marco Mamone Capria, to Slaughter of
the Innocent, Hans
Ruesch. Slingshot Publications, 2003.
Papers and essays
Men: Sir Richard Doll, Death and Vinyl Chloride. Part I and II. Circulated
on the internet. 1993.
on the pharmaceutical industry published by What
Doctors Don't Tell You. 1995
Scare that wouldn’t go away; Salmonella, report published by What Doctors Don't Tell You.
Bibliography of the Health Freedom Movement. 2004
Ghost Lobby: New Labour and the pharmaceutical industry. 2004
L, Walker, M.J., Walhjalt, B., Friedman, L. S., and Richter, E.D., Secret Ties
to Industry and Conflicting Interests in Cancer Research. American Journal of
Industrial Medicine, 2006.
Science and Enemies of the People. Published in Medical Veritas, Volume 6 Issue
1. April 2009
Interest in Conflict? The Conflict of Interest policy of the General Medical
Council and the fitness to practice hearing of Dr Andrew Wakefield, Professor
Walker-Smith and Professor Simon Murch. Published in Medical Veritas, Volume 6
Issue 1. April 2009.
Complainant — Brian Deer, the ABPI, Medico-Legal Investigations and Dr Andrew
Wakefield. Published in Medical Veritas, Volume 6 Issue 1. April 2009
open letter to Brian Deer rebutting his article — ‘Families duped by a sad
smearmaster of MMR fabrication and hatred. Published in Medical Veritas, Volume
6 Issue 1. April 2009.
Damage Denial and the British Press. Published in Medical Veritas, Volume 6
Issue 1. April 2009.
Encourage the others. Published in Medical Veritas, Volume 6 Issue 1. April
Urabe Farrago — A recent historical example of corporations and governments
hiding vaccine damage for the greater good. Published in Medical Veritas,
Volume 6 Issue 1. April 2009.
The response to my political posters, has
followed a similar path, to that of my books although in this case, now, around
25 years after my last posters, there is a growing interest in them, and
interest which try as I might I could not drum up a couple of decades ago.
My political poster work is
referenced in a number of books and a couple of web sites:
Dawn Ades. Thames and Hudson. London 1976
The Power of the Poster. Margaret
Timmers (ed) V&A Publications. 1998.
Images of Aspiration, Huub
Saunders. International Institute of Social History. 2005. Amsterdam. Holland.
British Posters: Adverstising, Art and Activism. Catherine Flood.V & A
Publishing 2012. London.
British Design from 1948:
Innovation in the Modern Age. (ed) Christopher Breward & Ghislaine Wood. V
& A Publishing 2012. London.
Radical Alternatives to Prison Newsletter. Volume 4 No. 8, 1975.
A Guide to Women’s Posters.
Emma Holister’s Art
Margins, a small gallery of 20 posters, collages and woodcuts by Martin Walker
The Poster-Film Collective:
Collection of Posters in the
prints and Drawings Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Collection of Theatre Posters
in the University of London Theatre Museum.
Collection of Posters, prints
and drawings, in the International Institute of Social History. Amsterdam,
References to papers in collections:
Archives Hub: Martin Walker
Papers relating to the Miners’Strike.