Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Roy Jenkins' excellent sense of priorities

Andrew Marr's Modern History of Britain is turning out to be a corker of a series. It is tending to be mainly a political history, but it is nonetheless brilliant for that.

His commentaries last night on Enoch Powell's "Rivers of Blood" speech and on Bloody Sunday were exceptionally good. I expect the great Marr will be climbing up some stairs to collect an award or twain for this series soon.

One little anecdote last night was priceless. Marr repeated that Roy Jenkins was the most liberal Home Secretary ever. To illustrate this, he recounted that when Jenkins arrived at his new office as Home Secretary, he was confronted with a board which contained all the names of those awaiting the death penalty in the UK. The names moved across the board as their death came nearer. One of Jenkins' first acts was to get rid of this board and replace it with a fridge. A fridge? - Pourquoi? - you might well ask. It was to store his wine! Capital!

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