The whipping boy



Who was Stephen Ward? And why does his fate matter today?

The Profumo affair, with its mixture of sex, politics, aristocracy, and espionage, has become the archetypal scandal.

In 1962, Jack Profumo was British Secretary of State for War (ministerial titles were more frank in those days). He had a brief affair with a beautiful young woman, Christine Keeler, who was introduced to him by Dr Stephen Ward, a society osteopath. There it might have ended but for the fact that she was also involved with a Soviet diplomat and spy . . .

In the May issue of Australian Book Review, I write about Geoffrey Robertson’s Stephen Ward is Innocent, OK.