Julie Burchill

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Born in Bristol in 1959, Julie Burchill joined the NME to write about punk at 17. She was founding editor of Modern Review, and has been a controversial journalist for 31 years. Her books include the novels Ambition (1989), and No Exit (1993) and a memoir, I Knew I Was Right (1998). Tim Fountain wrote a one-woman play about her, Julie Burchill is Away. Her teenage novel Sugar Rush (2003) was the basis of a Channel 4 televisation, which won an international Emmy.[1]

'Lobbying hard for war'

In February 2003, the Independent columnist Johann Hari (who has since apologised for his pro-war stance [2]) identified Burchill as one of a group of centre-left figures 'lobbying hard' for the US/UK invasion of Iraq:

A year ago, the proposals for a second Gulf War seemed very much the brainchild of the American right. The intellectual arguments backing the conflict emerged almost entirely from hard-right US think-tanks and senators. But then, a funny thing happened: a significant portion of the dissident left began to come out, in dribs and drabs, for overthrowing Saddam by force. There is now a considerable school of British centre-left thinkers and commentators who are lobbying hard for war, so that the Iraqi people can be freed: Christopher Hitchens, Nick Cohen, John Lloyd, Julie Burchill, Roger Alton and David Aaronovitch.[3]



  1. Julie Burchill: Where a wild thing went, by Nicolette Jones, The Independent, 5 October 2007.
  2. Johann Hari, After three years, after 150,000 dead, why I was wrong about Iraq, JohannHari.com, 18 March 2006
  3. Johann Hari, ‘Whose side are you on?’, Independent, 25 February 2003