Paul Rose

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE - MAU­RICE SA­MUEL­SON


WH E N H A R O L D WI L S O N c a me to power in 1964 as Labour’s first Prime Min­is­ter for 13 years, his party’s vic­to­ri­ous MPs in­cluded a 29 year-old bar­ris­ter from Manch­ester called Paul Bernard Rose.

Born into a Com­mu­nist Jewish fam­ily (an un­cle was killed in the Span­ish Civil War) Rose was the youngest mem­ber of the House of Com­mons and served as MP for Manch­ester Black­ley for 15 years. He served briefly on the Gov­ern­ment front­ben­chasanaidetoTrans­portSec­re­tary Bar­bara Cas­tle and af­ter 1970 spoke for the Labour op­po­si­tion on in­dus­trial re­la­tions. He was also a lo­cal Manch­ester his­to­rian. Paul Rose’s par­ents were Arthur and Nora Rose; his older brother is the ar­chi­tect Edgar Rose.

Paul Rose was Ed­u­cated at Bury Gram­mar School and Manch­ester Univer­sity. Called to the bar in 1958 he later lec­tured at the Royal Col­lege of Ad­vanced Tech­nol­ogy, Sal­ford.

Pol­i­tic­sen­gaged­him­fro­may­oun­gage. He be­came chair­man of the Manch­ester Fed­er­a­tion of Young So­cial­ists, chair­man of theCam­paign­forDemoc­ra­cy­inUl­ster, and of the Labour Party Home Of­fice Group. As a pro-Euro­pean he was vicechairof theLabourCam­paign­forEurope, and a mem­ber of the Coun­cil of Europe. He was also on the Na­tional Coun­cil of Labour Friends of Is­rael.

Al­though he re­garded him­self as Jewish only in sec­u­lar terms, he was proud of his Jewish her­itage, which helped to in­spire his com­mit­ment to pro­gres­sive causes. At school, he briefly joined the so­cial­ist-Zion­ist group,

Paul Rose cel­e­brates his vic­tory in the Manch­ester Black­ley con­stituency in the Fe­bru­ary 1974 Gen­eral Elec­tion Hashomer Hatzair. In 1957, he mar­ried Eve Lapu a Hun­gar­ian Holo­caust sur­vivor whom he met at the age of 15 in Paris. Their mar­riage lasted 58 years and they had three chil­dren.

As a politi­cian, his in­de­pen­dent char­ac­ter was ev­i­dent in 1969, when he joined the 69 Labour Party rebels, led by Roy Jenk­ins, vot­ing for Ed­ward Heath’s terms for en­try into the Euro­pean Com­mon Mar­ket.

As a suc­cess­ful bar­ris­ter, and sea­soned Manch­ester politi­cian, he spe­cialised in Home Of­fice is­sues, but his dream of min­is­te­rial en­try into that Depart­ment was never re­alised. Af­ter a failed bid in the 1980s to re-en­ter par­lia­ment as a So­cial Demo­crat, he went back to the law, as a bar­ris­ter, deputy cir­cuit judge and part time im­mi­gra­tion and po­lit­i­cal asy­lum ad­ju­di­ca­tor be­fore be­ing ap­pointed coroner for Croy­don.

Be­fore leav­ing par­lia­ment in 1979, Rose had made his mark as a pow­er­ful and in­de­pen­dent-minded back-bencher, sup­port­ing and oc­ca­sion­ally ini­ti­at­ing left-wing and lib­er­tar­ian causes both in the UK and abroad.

On the do­mes­tic front, he fought against Colin Jor­dan’s Na­tional Front, and abroad he cas­ti­gated the Greek Colonels and Ian Smith’s white Rhode­sia gov­ern­ment, as well as the Amer­i­can in­volve­ment in Viet­nam.

Af­ter the 1967 Six-Day War, he joined the Labour Friends of Is­rael’s par­lia­men­tary group, along­side other left­ists such as Eric Hef­fer and Ray­mond Fletcher, with whom he co-au­thored a pro-Is­rael pam­phlet.

This was de­spite the fact that in 1956, when still at univer­sity, he had led the city-wide Manch­ester protests against the An­glo-French in­va­sion of Egypt. It was in that year, too, fol­low­ing Rus­sia’s in­va­sion of Hun­gary, that he shed his ad­mi­ra­tion for the Soviet Union.

North­ern Ire­land is the is­sue for which he will be best re­mem­bered. Through his con­tacts with Manch­ester’s Ir­ish com­mu­nity, he first learned of the depth of Ul­ster’s anti-Catholic dis­crim­i­na­tion and, five years be­fore the prov­ince fi­nally ex­ploded in violence, was ur­gently im­plor­ing the Wil­son gov­ern­ment to in­ter­vene. Down­ing Street re­fused to con­front Protes­tant and Union­ist wrath and Rose re­mained a voice in the wilder­ness un­til the storm broke in 1969.

Whether White­hall could have pre­vented the re­newed Ir­ish trou­bles at that time is open to de­bate. How­ever, Rose’s knowl­edge about Ir­ish griev­ances is be­yond ques­tion as is ev­i­dent in some of the six books which he wrote or co-edited, no­tably his History of the Fe­ni­ans in Eng­land and The Manch­ester Mar­tyrs.

His other big dis­ap­point­ment occurred as a re­sult of his re­search into gullible peo­ple drawn into pseu­dore­li­gious cults. He was a mem­ber and pa­tron of Bri­tish Hu­man­ist As­so­ci­a­tion and founder-chair­man of anti-cult or­gan­i­sa­tion Fam­ily Ac­tion In­for­ma­tion and Res­cue. He was suc­cess­fully sued by the Moonies — the pow­er­ful Uni­fi­ca­tion Church con­trolled by Dr Sun Myung Moon of South Korea — and com­plained ever af­ter about his lack of prac­ti­cal sup­port from his po­lit­i­cal friends.

Rose was a fa­nat­i­cal and life­long Manch­ester United sup­porter and chaired the North West Sports Coun­cil He is sur­vived by his wife Eve and their three chil­dren.


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