Lord Jenkin served in the Thatcher Cabinet but was not ‘one of us’. Aged 86, he championed same-sex marriage in the Lords, before retiring and urging ‘extinct volcanoes’ among his colleagues to follow suit
Laughter entered religious life in Britain when Lionel Blue appeared upon the scene. Much of it was intentional on the part of this deeply spiritual rabbi who never forgot that his roots were in London’s East End and that his ancestors had lived in the shtetl of Eastern Europe. The millions of listeners who heard him regularly on the BBC came to know his mother, aunt, and dog as well as Lionel Blue. He always praised his mother’s honesty and her hatred of pretentiousness. Sharing her honesty, Blue always shared all aspects of himself with the public: his illness, diabetes, epilepsy, together with the personal challenges of his sexuality and his problems with organised religion. Everything was always tied up with a joke, with a reflection upon the divine comedy of human life. And so he was claimed as a personal possession by the millions who felt that they truly “owned” him.