(21 April 1923 – 16 January 2009) was a British barrister
, dramatist, screenwriter
Mortimer was born in Hampstead
, the only child of Kathleen May (née
Smith) and Clifford Mortimer, a barrister
who became blind in 1936, when he banged his head on a tree branch, but still pursued his career. His father's loss of sight was not acknowledged openly by the family.
Mortimer was educated at the Dragon School
, and Harrow
, where he joined the Communist Party
forming a one member cell.
Do we want blanks, asterisks and exclamation marks which people can fill in with their own imaginations, or are we prepared and strong enough to tolerate, even if we do not approve, the strong Anglo-Saxon, realistic and vivid language?
I suppose that writers should, in a way, feel flattered by the censorship laws. They show a primitive fear and dread at the fearful magic of print.
People will go to endless trouble to divorce one person and then marry someone who is exactly the same, except probably a bit poorer and a bit nastier. I don't think anybody learns anything.
Beliefs about how you live your life, matters of private decision, views best kept for private enjoyment, prejudice or entertainment, can't be imposed by the operation of criminal law. Attempts to enforce such views can only make the government the subject of ridicule.
A barrister's job is to put the case for the defense as effectively and clearly as would his client if he had an advocate's skills. The barrister's belief or disbelief in the truth of the story is irrelevant: it's for the jury to decide this often difficult question.
And in spite of David and Jonathan, Hamlet and Horatio, Caesar and Antony, Bush and Blair, women have a greater gift, I think, for friendship.
The three towering geniuses of European culture, William Shakespeare|Shakespeare, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|Mozart and Leonardo da Vinci were not allowed to appear on the euro note as they might, in their separate ways, cause offense: Mozart because he was a "womanizer," Shakespeare because he wrote The Merchant of Venice, a play judged to be anti-Semitic, and Leonardo because he was reported to fancy boys. Now the euro note carries a picture of a rather dull bridge.
The anxiety has been greatly increased by this government's multiplication of exams and emphasis on starting training as a middle manager in a computer company from the age of six.
A "war against terrorism" is an impracticable conception if it means fighting terrorism with terrorism.