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Corbyn is a child and welfare state imploded after Thatcher, says Joan Bakewell

Published 02/02/2016

Dame Joan Bakewell blames Margaret Thatcher for the welfare state 'imploding'
Dame Joan Bakewell blames Margaret Thatcher for the welfare state 'imploding'

Baroness Joan Bakewell has called Jeremy Corbyn "a child" and thinks the welfare state has been "aborted" since Margaret Thatcher.

Her comments were made in an interview with the Radio Times, in which the Labour peer discusses her new book: Stop the Clocks: Thoughts on What I Leave Behind.

Within her latest publication, the 82-year-old considers the issues of body, shame, politics and grief.

"I'm obviously going to die in the next 20 years, so what is my legacy?" she said. Aside from her large Primrose Hill home, she adds: "There are hundreds of books and loads of junk, but also ideas and attitudes."

Touching on other topics within the book, she refused to be pinned down on her thoughts about the current Labour Party.

But she joked that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is "a child" and added: "I didn't vote for him, but I don't have space in my head for nitty-gritty (party political) stuff."

The distinguished broadcaster and president of Birkbeck, University of London, also said her biggest regret is that the welfare state has been "completely aborted since Thatcher".

"I saw the difference it made to people's lives. Then it imploded because everybody got greedy," she said.

And addressing the subject of students trying to ban controversial speakers or politically contentious statues, she called it a "crisis of ideas".

"I am against hate speech, but banning things is dangerous, a step towards taking out the books and burning them," she added.

A member of the Fawcett Society, a campaign group pushing for equal rights for women, she also said she has seen huge political and social changes - notably in the roles of men and women.

And she called the attitude to those devoted to handing on an inheritance property as "anal," adding that she is in favour of an inheritance tax and levy on larger properties.

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