Glenda Jackson performance worthy of her third Oscar

Residents in her north London constituency have complained of her lack of activity in the House of Commons of late. But Glenda Jackson‘s speech in the Thatcher debate was rated by some to have all the acting panache and passion of one of her Oscar-winning acting performances.

Speaker John Bercow‘s intervention over an attempted point of order from Sir Tufton Bufton on the Tory benches was a classy put-down, too.

Wonder whether Croydon will have an MP capable of speaking for its residents with a fraction of the poise displayed by Jackson?

For probably the most effective summary of the Thatcher years as Prime Minister, it is worth going back more than 20 years, and to another speech in the House at the time of the “retirement of the old headmistress”, given by a former Second World War RAF pilot – though one who is unlikely to have the state pay for a funeral with full military honours as will occur next week.

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6 Responses to Glenda Jackson performance worthy of her third Oscar

  1. jonathanrose says:

    I’m under no illusion that a Bennite Britain would be a utopia (except for pipe-smokers), but that clip – which I’d never seen before – is incredible. Regardless of political ideology, we have become a country bereft of Statesmen who are compelling orators with grand ideals, strong character and ‘real world’ experience. More’s the pity.

    It’s a shame Glenda could only sees fit to ham it up like this once in a blue [rinse] moon.

  2. combyne says:

    I watched it live yesterday, and I thought it was a classy speech.
    Reminded me of Barbara Castle and for those of younger years, you can read here:,_Baroness_Castle_of_Blackburn

  3. mraemiller says:

    I love the way the Conservatives complain that more Labour MPs who really hated her had turned up the debate. If you speak your mind, it’s wrong, if you shut up, it’s wrong.

    Surely even the most devoted fan of the Iron Lady would be running thin on nice things to say after a mere 7.5 hours (a full working day) of honeyed words?

    The funniest bit of the video is where Speaker Berkow explains with the pedantry of Horace Rumpole that “nothing unParliamentary has occured”. And indeed it hadn’t. The farmyard is still the same.

  4. ndavies144 says:

    Let’s not forget that many of those Tories who lambast anyone who dares say a bad thing about the blessed Margaret are the same Tories who unceremoniously dumped her when they thought their majorities were on the line. And they would have been queuing up to point that out had the boot been on the other foot.

  5. Alan Page says:

    Thank you Glenda for telling some truth and not letting the media and the “opinion makers” wrap a phony flourish depiction of the Thatcher era. Thanks for keeping it very real… 1,000,000 hits in Youtube and growing.

  6. I understand Mr Speaker Bercow was ‘somewhat surprised’ to be asked to recall the House of Commons last Wednesday. His view, I’m told, was that tomorrow (Monday) would be a wholly suitable time for MPs to have their say about the passing of Lady Thatcher.

    I heard Labour’s Alan Johnson on Radio 4 say that he was talking to Glenda Jackson immediately prior to the debate and that she did not expect to be called.

    Do you suppose Mr Bercow called her as a way of redressing the political balance – a poke in the eye for a self-serving Prime Minister – or is that a conspiracy theory too far?

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