Father of the House of Commons Sir Gerald Kaufman, MP for Manchester Ardwick, later renamed Gorton, for as long as anyone can remember, died last week aged 86. His acerbic tongue could level his opponents, not all of whom were Tories and displayed a merriment in life through his wardrobe his demeanor frequently hid.
A prominent Jew, Sir Gerald was critical of Israel’s occupation of Palestine while supportive of and a participant in cultural Judaism and as a journalist in cultural life generally.
He honed a rapier wit scripting for TW3 as Ned Sherrin’s satirical review That was The Week That Was was known in the Sixties. And from 1970, his public life was based at Westminster. But above all, above even politics, he loved the silver screen and would regularly attend BFI Sunday night screenings of black and white classics, although his best loved picture was Singin’ in the Rain.
In an interview he gave my programme The Hollywood Ups and Downs Show sometime before the turn of the millenium, he freely admitted he’d have worked for a Nazi newspaper if it meant he could write about film.
Have a listen.