Friday, May 20, 2011

Labour MPs: Pray you outlive Gerald Kaufman

Robert Litherland, who was Labour MP for Manchester Central from 1979 to 1997, died last week. The Guardian carried an obituary by Julia Langdon, to which Gerald Kaufman was invited to contribute a few paragraphs.

Here are a couple of them:
In parliament, Bob did not mince his words. He denounced Michael Howard, Conservative employment secretary from 1990 to 1992: "The right honourable and learned gentleman is Dr Goebbels incarnate. This is a squalid statement by a squalid minister."

He supported Michael Foot as Labour leader in the period up to the 1983 election. At the traditional rally at Trafford Park, he asked me: "Do you believe the opinion polls?" Those polls were terrible, and my one-word answer, "Yes", left him crestfallen.
So two anecdotes, both of which make Litherland look silly and one of which is intended to make us marvel at Kaufman's sagacity.

Clearly, he is not the sort of man you want allowed anywhere near your obituary.

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3 comments:

Dan Howells said...

Or your constituency.

Andrew Hickey said...

And of course there's the other story he tells, which seems designed to do two things - make the odious Graham Stringer look principled but stupid (when in fact he's very far from principled) and point out that Litherland wanted to raise council rents.

I have had three MPs in the last fourteen years - Stringer, Kaufman and John Leech. This may have something to do with why I'm a Lib Dem.

Paul Walter said...

Or wardrobe

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2001/jul/10/houseofcommons.politicalcolumnists