Glenda Jackson

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Person.png Glenda JacksonRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(actress, politician)
Glenda Jackson.jpeg
Born9 May 1936
Died15 June 2023 (Age 87)

Glenda May Jackson was an English actress and politician who died on 15 June 2023, aged 87.

Glenda Jackson was one of the few artists to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting, having won two Academy Awards, three Emmy Awards and a Tony Award. She was made a CBE by Queen Elizabeth II in 1978.[1]

Glenda Jackson took a hiatus from acting to take on a career in politics from 1992 to 2015, and was elected as the Labour Party MP for Hampstead and Highgate in the 1992 General Election. She was a junior transport minister from 1997 to 1999 during the government of Tony Blair, later becoming critical of Blair. After constituency boundary changes, she represented Hampstead and Kilburn from 2010. At the 2010 General Election, her majority of 42 votes, confirmed after a recount, was the narrowest of that parliament. Jackson stood down at the 2015 General Election and returned to acting.[2]

Political views

Angry at “There is no such thing as society”

On Thatcher

Glenda Jackson recalls meeting voters in her constituency who would say either, “I like your acting but don't like your politics,” or, “I like your politics, but don't like your acting.” She's entirely used to dividing opinion and expects to.

Jackson stoutly defends the presence of celebrities in politics:

“They have the right to vote. Why should they not be allowed to speak out about things? Anything I could have done to have gotten Margaret Thatcher and her government out and was legal, I was prepared to do.”

Jackson decided to become an MP having been enraged by Thatcher’s infamous quote that “There is no such thing as society,” that “I almost walked into a closed set of French windows.”

Glenda Jackson's speech in Parliament after Thatcher's death in 2013 remains one of her most memorable. And Speaker John Bercow's put down of Tory MP Tony Baldry (for complaining about Glenda Jackson's speech) was magnificent to behold![3]

On Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn and Glenda Jackson had neighbouring constituencies, and she could go to him “day and night at any hour” with any issues. He was “amazingly helpful, and spoke to and smiled at everybody. You always knew his position when he was on the backbenches, pounding away on whatever the human rights issue was on that day.”

When Jackson left Parliament, she sent Corbyn a letter saying that she regretted that she couldn’t nominate him for the leadership:

“I would never have voted for him as a leader, but always thought there should be someone from the left on the ballot paper. I never thought in a million years he would win.
Jeremy Corbyn is not a racist, and I don’t believe he is anti-Semitic. What he is is pro-Palestinian. That presumably is where the conflict comes from, and whatever has been misread and misinterpreted.”[4]

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