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(en) Freedom 6402 25 Jan, 2003 - His late Lordship

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 5 Feb 2003 13:30:49 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

A remarkable number of obituaries for Lord
Jenkins of Hillhead have announced that his
lordship, who died on 5th January aged 82, was a
great libertarian. One gathers that he
single-handedly led campaigns for better prison
conditions, for an end to hanging and
discrimination against gays, for civil liberties
and against racism. The funny thing is, during
the 1950s and 1960s, when Jenkins was a Labour
Home Secretary, I was in the National Council
for Civil Liberties, in successive campaigns
against capital punishment, in the Howard
League for Penal Reform and the Prison Reform
Trust. I worked with various anti-racists in
Notting Hill after Kelso Cochrane was
I don't recall ever seeing Woy (as he was
commonly known on account of a speech
impairment), whether in a leading role or any
other, in any of these campaigns. The politicians
I can remember are people like Sydney
Silverman (who finally saw through the abolition
of hanging in 1964), Leslie Hale and Emrys
I could have sworn that I did read reports in the
Guardian and Observer of Jenkins denouncing
all these campaigns for being communist fronts,
and those of us who worked in them as being
woolly-minded fellow travellers. Funny! Memory
must play tricks! Of course, since he followed a
succession of Tory Home Secretaries and was
himself succeeded at the Home Office in 1967 by
James Callaghan, he seemed a lot more liberal
than them. But, short of Adolph Hitler, who

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