Monday, December 28, 2015

The Observer's obituaries of 2015 - Ruth Rendell remembered by Valerie Amos

17 February 1930 – 2 May 2015
The writer’s colleague in the House of Lords remembers a loyal and generous friend, who was also a committed political campaigner

Read the Observer’s obituaries of 2015 in full here

Ruth Rendell
‘Ruth relished political gossip, and we sometimes spent hours discussing the ins and outs of Labour’: Ruth Rendell. Photograph: Felix Clay/Observer

Sunday 27 December 2015  The Observer

Ruth is best known for her writing, but for over 17 years she was a valued and committed member of the House of Lords. She used her considerable knowledge, talent and influence to draw attention to areas of social injustice as she abhorred any form of inequality, prejudice or discrimination and wasn’t afraid to say so.

I first met Ruth in 1997 when we were both made Labour peers after the election. We were an interesting group that included the largest number of women, at that time, to come in on one list. Most of us had not expected to be there and we found it strange at first. We constantly broke the rules because we didn’t know what they were and we didn’t take it well when we were told off! And we took delight in sharing information such as the fastest route to somewhere in the rabbit warren that is the parliamentary estate, finding hidden gems like the archives or something basic but crucial, like the location of the hairdressing salon. And in answer to the frequently asked question: “What is the collective noun for a group of baronesses?”, the answer “a beauty of baronesses” was coined. I can’t remember who first came up with it, but I like to think it was Ruth. It sounds like her.


No comments: