Talk:Gerald Kaufman

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March 2006 comment[edit]

A note (for posterity) on "the longest suicide note in history": several web sites attribute this to Greg Knight (presumably the former Tory minister, now MP for East Yorks). None gives an attribution, and they may have got it from a common source. Several more reliable sites (Grauniad, Daily Telegraph, various speeches in the Commons) attribute it to Kaufman, but nobody seems to have a firm source for when and where he said or wrote it. Columbia World of Quotations [1] attributes it to Kaufman, citing Denis Healey's autobiography. Kaufman himself referred to it in a May 1997 speech to the Commons [2], when he said that "someone described the Labour election manifesto as the longest suicide note in history." The phrase has been applied to other documents, including Jeffrey Bernard's column in the Spectator, and (most recently) Iraq's dossier on its weapons of mass destruction. --rbrwr

It should be noted that Kaufman endorsed that "suicide note", and, indeed, was elected on it.

A common theory is that Kaufman's wing of the party sensed a big defeat and decided to let the manifesto go through in such a way so they would be able to shed many of the policies later. Also a manifesto is not written by every single member of the party - frequently in many parties it is brought to the meeting that has to formally approve it only a few hours before it is due to go the press.

I've just been listening to Christopher Lee's "This Sceptred Isle" (the Radio 4 series) - regarding the 1983 Labour manifesto, Robert Powell reads from a a book or memoir attributed to a Robert Blake (presumably Robert Blake, Baron Blake and "The Conservative Party from Peel to Major"). In this extract Blake attributes the quote to Peter Shore, but I've not found any evidence to support this suggestion. IVoteTurkey 13:12, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Butler and Kavanagh also attribute it to Shore [3].--Johnbull 02:07, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

labour party[edit]

The article claims "At one point the Labour party expelled a number of Muslim members. A later Labour party enquiry found that these disenfranchisements were unconstitutional. [1] " and gives a reference for this. I am an officer of the Labour Party in the area and have made some enquiries about this and I am afraid that despite what Kingsley Purdam writes it does not appear to be true that the expulsions of local members was found to be unconstitutional. What actually happened was that a wealthy person, hoping to influence the voting in the selection procedure, paid the membership subscriptions of various people from the Pakistani community. As far as can be ascertained most of these people (who command of the English Language was weak) did not know that they were party members although cards were issued to them. They did not object when they were "expelled" because as far as they were aware they had never joined.

Personal Life[edit]

The section that says he is unmarried, likes cats and wears colourful clothes is not referenced and might be trying to insinuate something. Possible vandalism? (talk) 23:57, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

As far as I know, all three points are accurate. Any insinuation is surely in the eye of the beholder. Widmerpool (talk) 06:41, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

POV Statements[edit]

I have removed the following it contravene wikipedia's neutral POV guidelines:

By giving this speach Kaufman chose to ignore the following facts: 1. Israeli defense forces are protecting Israeli civilians after eight years of continuous rocket firing at Israel. 2. Israeli defense forces are doing the best they can in order to avoid civilian casualties by means of telephone calls and fliers warning the civilian population to evacuate an area about to be bombed. 3. The vast majority of the fatalities in Gaza are terrorists and Hammas militants performaing acts of terror from civilian homes, schools, hospitals, etc.

What part of neutral POV did the above points violate? For example: 1. Are you suggesting that Israel is not protecting Israeli civilians? Have there not been 8 years of continuous rocket firing at Israel? 2. Are the IDF not doing the best they can to avoid civilian casualties? I look forward to your answers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aquamari (talkcontribs) 14:27, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Saluton (talk) 02:10, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

It actually is WP:original research since it might be allowable if written as a specific criticism of what Kaufman said by a WP:RS. But as some editors opinion, no! CarolMooreDC (talk) 14:12, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Have I Got News For You?[edit]

I have deleted the following, unsourced text from the article:

Kaufman appeared twice on the topical panel show Have I Got News For You, both of which were memorable. His first appearance, in 1993, saw him accusing – in jest – the studio crowd of being "a rigged Tory audience, just like it was a rigged Tory electorate" – after Ian Hislop asked the audience if they hated Jeremy Paxman, in response to Kaufman's claim that most people did. The response was muted to Hislop's question, allowing Hislop to accuse Kaufman and his party of being "completely out of touch!".
Kaufman's second appearance, almost exactly nine years later, was remarkable not for what he said, but for the fact that it was the last to feature Angus Deayton as host before sex and drugs revelations prompted his dismissal. Kaufman is therefore the last guest to have been introduced by Deayton.

It seems inappropriate to devote more text to two appearances on a TV panel show than to his entire shadow cabinet career. Further, the text does not discuss his opinions so surely does not belong in the section with that name. Dricherby (talk) 17:14, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

No problema! CarolMooreDC (talk) 21:40, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Full Transcript of the Speech on Gaza Strike 2009[edit]

Youtube video and full text of the speech
Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab): I was brought up as an orthodox Jew and a Zionist. On a shelf in our kitchen, there was a tin box for the Jewish National Fund, into which we put coins to help the pioneers building a Jewish presence in Palestine.
I first went to Israel in 1961 and I have been there since more times than I can count. I had family in Israel and have friends in Israel. One of them fought in the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973 and was wounded in two of them. The tie clip that I am wearing is made from a campaign decoration awarded to him, which he presented to me.
I have known most of the Prime Ministers of Israel, starting with the founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Golda Meir was my friend, as was Yigal Allon, Deputy Prime Minister, who, as a general, won the Negev for Israel in the 1948 war of independence.
My parents came to Britain as refugees from Poland. Most of their families were subsequently murdered by the Nazis in the holocaust. My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed.
My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The current Israeli Government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians. The implication is that Jewish lives are precious, but the lives of Palestinians do not count.
On Sky News a few days ago, the spokeswoman for the Israeli army, Major Leibovich, was asked about the Israeli killing of, at that time, 800 Palestinians—the total is now 1,000. She replied instantly that 500 of them were militants.
That was the reply of a Nazi. I suppose that the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.
The Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni asserts that her Government will have no dealings with Hamas, because they are terrorists. Tzipi Livnis father was Eitan Livni, chief operations officer of the terrorist Irgun Zvai Leumi, who organised the blowing-up of the King David hotel in Jerusalem, in which 91 victims were killed, including four Jews.
Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism. Jewish terrorists hanged two British sergeants and booby-trapped their corpses. Irgun, together with the terrorist Stern gang, massacred 254 Palestinians in 1948 in the village of Deir Yassin. Today, the current Israeli Government indicate that they would be willing, in circumstances acceptable to them, to negotiate with the Palestinian President Abbas of Fatah. It is too late for that. They could have negotiated with Fatahs previous leader, Yasser Arafat, who was a friend of mine. Instead, they besieged him in a bunker in Ramallah, where I visited him. Because of the failings of Fatah since Arafats death, Hamas won the Palestinian election in 2006. Hamas is a deeply nasty organisation, but it was democratically elected, and it is the only game in town. The boycotting of Hamas, including by our Government, has been a culpable error, from which dreadful consequences have followed.
The great Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, with whom I campaigned for peace on many platforms, said: You make peace by talking to your enemies.
However many Palestinians the Israelis murder in Gaza, they cannot solve this existential problem by military means. Whenever and however the fighting ends, there will still be 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza and 2.5 million more on the west bank. They are treated like dirt by the Israelis, with hundreds of road blocks and with the ghastly denizens of the illegal Jewish settlements harassing them as well. The time will come, not so long from now, when they will outnumber the Jewish population in Israel.
It is time for our Government to make clear to the Israeli Government that their conduct and policies are unacceptable, and to impose a total arms ban on Israel. It is time for peace, but real peace, not the solution by conquest which is the Israelis real goal but which it is impossible for them to achieve. They are not simply war criminals; they are fools. Source: House of Commons Hansard Debates for 15 Jan 2009[4] Youtube Video
Full transcript, Kaufman also criticizes and accuses Hamas, yet minimal as expected since the civilian death toll is 60-230 times in favor of the Israel currently. [If 4 Israeli civilian and 236-926 palestinian civilian are dead] Kasaalan (talk) 10:04, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't know why you are including full text here, but if link to text isn't in there, I'll put it in snce removing a space anyway. CarolMooreDC (talk) 13:24, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
The speech in the main article is a secondary source quote from a week reference and does not includes full speech, or full content, so main page quotes need revise. Kasaalan (talk) 16:21, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
OK. It's always best to find a secondary source to establish what's important and then have the link to original for people to read whole thing. I looked at this a while back and it seemed that there were a couple quotes in all sources. If you think sources weak, keep looking around for others, incuding in WP:RS you think are more reliable. CarolMooreDC (talk) 16:36, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Cross-party fury of MPs at Israel useful source. Kasaalan (talk) 14:10, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Minor correction[edit]

I removed the dates given for his attendance at Leeds Grammar School (1950-1953, which based on his date of birth would have made him 20-23). Looking at the reference, it seems these are the dates of his attendance at Oxford. I didn't move them to the correct part of the article since they didn't fit in easily with the prose at that point. Cosmo0 (talk) 15:54, 28 November 2009 (UTC)


He is categorised as an LGBT politician. While I have heard rumours about his sexuality, as far as I know he has never discussed it, and I have never seen it mentioned in an authoritative publication. Is this reference appropriate? AuntFlo (talk) 00:27, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Eldest MP, or eldest parliamentarian?[edit]

"He became Father of the House in 2015 and was the eldest sitting MP of the UK Parliament at the time of his death."

No quarrel with the first, but I wonder whether there isn't someone older in the House of Lords, and if so "UK Parliament" ought to be replaced by "House of Commons of the United Kingdom". Harfarhs (talk) 17:23, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

There aren't any MPs in the House of Lords! It's fine as is. Davidships (talk) 20:02, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Only if you enjoy having text in an article that will confuse people. Every statement in every encyclopaedia ought to be as precise and unconfusing as it can be, while remaining factual. Harfarhs (talk) 02:03, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
Leaving aside the mild insult, I would add only that four lines above, in the first line of the Lead (as I see it on my screen), is the link to Member of Parliament (UK) which states clearly apropos the House of Lords "...its members are referred to as peers, more formally as Lords of Parliament, not MPs.", in an article that begins "... In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this category includes specifically members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title." Davidships (talk) 15:47, 4 March 2017 (UTC)


Is it cowfman like in German, or kawfman Anglicised? (talk)

The second. Harfarhs (talk) 21:16, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Criticism of Israel[edit]

the Jewish Labour Movement, formerly Poale Zion, a socialist group with the Labour party in Britain

Unclear. Should 'with' be 'within'? Or was the relationship something else again?

Notreallydavid (talk) 16:43, 20 March 2017 (UTC)