Roy Jenkins: A Well-Rounded Life

Roy Jenkins A Well Rounded Life Roy Jenkins was probably the best Prime Minister Britain never had But though he never reached Downing Street he left a enduring mark on British society than most of those who did His career spans

  • Title: Roy Jenkins: A Well-Rounded Life
  • Author: John Campbell
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 212
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Roy Jenkins was probably the best Prime Minister Britain never had But though he never reached 10 Downing Street, he left a enduring mark on British society than most of those who did His career spans the full half century from Attlee to Tony Blair during which he helped transform almost every area of national life and politics.First, as a radical Home Secretary inRoy Jenkins was probably the best Prime Minister Britain never had But though he never reached 10 Downing Street, he left a enduring mark on British society than most of those who did His career spans the full half century from Attlee to Tony Blair during which he helped transform almost every area of national life and politics.First, as a radical Home Secretary in the 1960s he drove through the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the legalisation of abortion, abolished theatre censorship and introduced the first legislation to outlaw discrimination on grounds of both race and gender Attacked by conservatives as the godfather of the permissive society, he was a pioneering champion of gay rights, racial equality and feminism He also reformed the police and criminal trials and introduced the independent police complaints commission.Second, he was an early and consistent advocate of European unity who played a decisive role in achieving British membership first of the Common Market and then of the European Union From 1977 to 1980 he served as the first and so far only British president of the European Commission Public opinion today is swinging against Europe but for the past forty years participation in Europe was seen by all parties as an unquestioned benefit, and no one had influence than Jenkins in that historic redirection of British policy.Third, in 1981, when both the Conservative and Labour parties had moved sharply to the right and left respectively he founded the centrist Social Democratic Party SDP which failed in its immediate ambition of breaking the mould of British politics largely because the Falklands war transformed Mrs Thatcher s popularity but merged with the Liberals to form the Liberal Democrats and paved the way for Tony Blair s creation of New Labour.On top of all this, Jenkins was a compulsive writer whose twenty three books included best selling biographies of Asquith, Gladstone and Churchill As Chancellor of Oxford University he was the embodiment of the liberal establishment with a genius for friendship who knew and cultivated everyone who mattered in the overlapping worlds of politics, literature, diplomacy and academia he also had many close women friends and enjoyed an unconventional private life His biography is the story of an exceptionally well filled and well rounded life.

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      Published :2018-06-17T03:11:46+00:00

    One thought on “Roy Jenkins: A Well-Rounded Life”

    1. This is a very good biography of an important figure in UK politics. He was at the heart of two of the fundamental changes in the country's political life - entry to the EU and the founding of the SDP with the gang of four. He was arguably one of the best Home Secretaries in memory; a great Chancellor of the Exchequer; a good President of the EU and throughout a good constituency MP and politician. He has a number of very good and readable biographies to his credit as well as a plethora of other [...]

    2. An affectionate portraitRoy Jenkins was one of the most influential British Labour politicians of the second half of the twentieth century. The son of a miner, he was however far from working-class. His father had risen to become a successful Member of Parliament and made sure his son was given an advantageous education culminating in an Oxford degree. His socialism therefore was always of an intellectual kind rather than being rooted in the unions as his father’s had been. And like many socia [...]

    3. 'What are you going to do about that sap, Jenkins?' my belligerent maiden aunt asked me in the 1960s. A student at the time, there was not much I could, or wanted, to do about probably the most liberal Home Secretary Britain has ever had. It was a measure of his success that he enabled many civilising changes to take effect and enraged my aunt by so doing. As possibly the best prime minister we never had, his achievements are documented in this book, but I was left doubting the far-sightedness o [...]

    4. An excellent book worthy of it's subject. It's also astonishing how many of the issues that sparked Roy's interest remain current, and where previous speeches and articles have accurately projected where we are at present.Whilst not being uncritical, the book also explodes many of the myths about Jenkins, particularly about his supposed laziness and the alleged attempt to distance himself from the mining heritage that he was brought up in.It's ultimately to his great credit that he never attempt [...]

    5. A very good book, but more than that, a very interesting and inspiring subject - much more so than I realised.Two things in particular: first he was someone whose politics were remarkably similar to my own; and second he had the concept of living life to the full, "a life well lived", which is something I never quite worked out for myself, but would like to aspire to.I remember Roy Jenkins from my own childhood. Not very well, but I knew who he was. I clearly remember the SDP and thought he was [...]

    6. Loistava elämänkerta, ja riittävän pitkä. Ainoa britti EU-komission pj:nä. Sisä- ja valtiovarainministeri, erityisesti sisäministeri kausi 60-l lopulla ilmeisen tärkeä lainsäädännön höllentämisen takia. Myöhemmin labourin änkyrävasemmiston ja ay-liikkeen jyräämiseen kyllästymänä oli luomassa SDP:n 80-luvulla, joka myöhemmin sulautui liberaalien kanssa nykyiseksi lib demiksi. Pelastiko tämä SDP labourin vai pidensikö Thatcherismiä, lienee eri mielipiteitä herättäv [...]

    7. This is an exceptional biography, which is one of few political biographies I've read that justifies its length. Campbell is particularly good at chronicling Jenkins' pre-ministerial career - while I expected this to be of relatively limited interest, he makes strong use of Jenkins' letters to track his relationship with his wife and university colleagues (many of whom, obviously, ended up going into politics). This was written before the EU referendum and so it's particularly striking to see ho [...]

    8. A monster of a biography which took me 7 weeks to read. But every minute spent on it was well worth it. The breadth of knowledge the author shows is matched by the style he uses which draws the reader in. But most of all, it's the way he brings his subject to life that is most impressive. I'm old enough to remember the 1974 elections and the tractations which followed as well as Jenkins' fight with the Labour Party over the EEC, as well as his breaking away from the Labour Party to form the SDP. [...]

    9. One of the best political biographies I've read in a long time. It is written by an admirer of Jenkins, which I mostly am not, but no matter. It is full of fascinating detail about a terrific period in English (I say advisedly) political life in the 1960s, and later on the debates on Europe - some of which will surprise those who only know these debates in a present-day context. Anyone interested in British political history should read this. Whatever their politics.

    10. The term 'magisterial' is often overused when describing biographies of substantial political figures. However in this case it is entirely appropriate. Campbell meets the challenge of Roy Jenkins' "well-lived life" with a fully commensurate exploration of Jenkins' successes, failures and many interests.

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