Discipline or Corruption, by Constantin Stanislavsky et al

Second paragraph of third chapter ("Easy Entertainment", by Karen Cooper):

To be ambitious and hopeful about your future is very commendable. The dreams and aspirations of each individual are the driving force towards the progress of each nation and towards the evolution of mankind.

I'm going to pull together material from a couple of earlier posts here, to give you the full picture.

On 22 January 1972, Edward Heath, the British Prime Minister, was spattered with ink on arriving at the Egmont palace in Brussels to sign the treaty admitting the UK to the European Communities. It's a striking moment and the press photographers were well placed:

heath Heath Ink

I have attended at least a dozen events in the Egmont Palace since moving to Brussels in 1999, so I know the scene of the event very well; and I now smirk every time I wander up to the foot of the grand staircase in the entrance hall.

The ink-thrower had registered as a photographer from a non-existent newspaper, the England-Sweden Times, which is how she managed to be in the press scrum, conveniently placed for both ink-throwing and photography. She gave the name Karen Cooper, but it turned out that her name was really Marie Louise Kwiatkowski, born in Murnau, Germany (presumably the Murnau near Oberammergau, just north of the Austrian border) on 8 January 1941, a registered resident of Sweden but living in London.

And her protest was not, in fact, an anti-European one. There were anti-European protesters outside the palace, led by Christopher Frere-Smith, who was arrested, but she was not one of them. Instead, and this is where it gets a bit weird – well, here's the Glasgow Herald's version:


So, she was protesting that the gummint had personally stolen her plans for the redevelopment of Covent Market into a conference centre – in other words, not actually a protest against government policy, but a gripe that the government had agreed with her preferred outcome without giving her credit. Here is the transcript of ITN's News at Ten coverage of her eventual conviction and sentence:


"Andrew" here is presumably Andrew Gardnerfuture author of Harry's GameMichael Palliser, or by Sir John Beith? Walter Scheel, the German foreign minster, quipped that all future German ambassadors should be chosen for their physical similarity to the foreign minister of the day, in case this should happen to him or his successors. (Scheel also suggested that they try and pass off the incident as honoring an ancient Norwegian custom of throwing ink at people to whom you wish the best of luck.)

See also the legal analysis (in French) here, pp, 321-323, which asserts that Kwiatkowski was not prosecuted under the 1852 law against attacking foreign heads of government because Heath himself did not wish to press charges, and not (as another bit of Belgian mythology has it) because the law applied only to Heads of State and Heath was not the Queen (it seems clear that the law would have applied to him as well).

As for Marie-Louise Kwiatkowski, here's a photograph from June 1972 found on eBay:


[eBay description] This is an original press photo. The Girl who threw ink over Mr.Heath is thrown out of Britain: German-born- Marie-Louise Kwiatkowski, 31, the girl who threw ink over Premier Edward Heath in Brussels five months ago, and was three times refused entry into Britain, sneaked back here at her fourth attempt wearing a dark wig to fool the immigration officials, Karen Cooper, the name she used, arrived back in this country aboard a passenger ship from Ansterdam and then hitched several lifts to London five days ago. Yesterday the Special Branch moved into the London hotel, where she was escorted to Heathrow Airport and put on a flight to Frankfurt. Photo shows Karen Cooper (real name Marie Louise Kwiatkowski) is pictured in these two photos at her London Hotel yesterday. On the left she is seen wearing the clothes and wig she wore to cover her long fair hair when she entered the country five days ago, and on right as she really is.

The taking of the photograph is the subject of a somewhat incomprehensible article in Der Spiegel, whose text has got mixed up with an entirely different story involving nude photography and the Norwegian artist Gerd Tinglum.

More coverage, in order, from the Times, 24 January 1972 (two days after it happened):


From the Guardian, 1 March:


From the Times, 26 April (my fifth birthday):


And from the Times Diary column, 24 June:


(Nora Nicholson has the leading guest role in a 1971 episode of Here Come The Double Deckers, "The Helping Hound".)

I hate linking to the Daily Mail, but for once they have the best roundup of all of the information on this in a piece published in 2016, a year after my original blog posts (but I think based on original research). Karen Cooper / Marie-Louise Kwiatkowski took her own live in a Swedish prison in 1976, having married George Martin but facing charges of theft and arson. George Martin, who appears to have escaped any punishment for helping her to forge her press pass (and I bet he bought the ink himself), is not this chap, not Basil Brush's scriptwriter, not the Beatles' manager, but in fact a Russian who had been born in Harbin, then in Manchuria, and grew up in Tianjin, a bit further south in China.

The book Discipline or Corruption, published in 1967, is basically the bible of George Martin's cult-like Institute for Personal Development, which combined a reverence for the works of Russian theatre director Konstantin Stanislavski with prejudice against gays and an obsession with transforming the world through the redevelopment of Covent Garden. Yes, really. To Slanislavski's essay on Ethics and Discipline, Martin and four of his women colleagues, including Karen Cooper, add their own personal accounts of develeopment and the need for us all to reject corruption and embrace Stanislavski. (And Covent Garden). It's earnest and a bit dull; the Sixties produced much more exciting stuff than this.

Now. As far as I can tell, there is almost no evidence that Heath – or indeed anyone in the 1970-74 Tory government – stole any plans for the Covent Garden redevelopment. The history is difficult to reconstruct at this distance, but as far as I can see from here (note future MEP Lord Dartmouth, Princess Diana's step-brother, hiding behind his mother in one of the photographs) and also here, the massive redevelopment plans for Covent Garden had been agreed in 1968, before the government came to office; but by early 1972, all concerned were preparing the ground for dignified retreat, paving the way for the creation of the streetscape that we know today. It would have made more sense (admittedly, only a little more) if Kwiatkowski had protested Heath's likely dumping of the plans rather than his supposed "theft" of them. However the Institute for Personal Development crowd were obsessed with Heath, and Karen Cooper actually published a book about him, making various unfounded allegations. This generated a brief flurry of interest more recently which has now died down.

George Martin and Susanne Harris, one of the other co-authors of Discipline or Corruption, bought the island of Stora Ekholmen in Stockholm harbour in 1965 for the Institute; but they do not seem to have got very far. Swedish sources suggest that at least one of them was still living there as recently as April 2019. Nothing much more, however, was heard from the Institute for Personal Development.

This was the non-fiction book that had lingered longest on my unread shelves. Next on that list is Exploding School to Pieces: Growing Up With Pop Culture In the 1970s, by Mick Deal.

book cover

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