The Unknown Maggie

In the more than seven hours set aside for parliamentary tributes to Margaret Thatcher in April this year, only one member of the House of Commons dared to speak unabashedly ill of the just dead. Glenda Jackson, the actress who won two Oscars and then traded Hollywood for the lesser theater of Westminster, delivered a scorching attack on the Conservative former prime minister who had led Britain from 1979 to 1990. This anti-eulogy, more memorable than any other act in Jackson’s less than stellar political career, culminated in her response to Labour colleagues who had felt they ought to pay tribute to Thatcher’s achievement in becoming Britain’s first woman prime minister. “A woman? Not on my terms.”

Published by: The New York Review of Books

Rabin, Arafat and a handshake of hope

It was twenty years ago today. On September 13 1993, in bright sunshine and nudged together by Bill Clinton – younger than the others, but playing the father figure – Yitzhak Rabin extended a reluctant hand to a smiling Yasser Arafat before an audience on the White House lawn.

Published by: The Jewish Chronicle