One question has been cautiously whispered for some time now in Westminster: How Jewish is Ed Miliband? He’s always bringing it up when convenient for him, but then he goes and scoffs a bacon sarnie in front of the nation’s press.
But it’s not exactly like all Jews refrain from bacon – such is my experience of living in Hampstead Garden Suburb for the past three and a half years anyway. I’m told (by some of my pulled pork-loving Jewish friends) that Judaism is “like a buffet cart” that people often pick and choose from. If Miliband chooses the bacon sandwich, who are we to judge?
Well I’m certainly in no position, but actress Maureen Lipman seems to be, if her interview with the Times is anything to go by.
Lipman, who is famous for her forgiving grandmother act in a 1980s BT advert, wasn’t so forgiving with the Labour leader. She is described as being “intolerant of left-wing intellectuals who have left their Jewish faith behind” and is “even less forgiving of those who do not defend Israel”.
Lipman said: “In the case of some people it makes them look extremely clever if they don’t take what would be a natural Jewish standpoint… That’s your posh left wing.”
“I did invite Ed Miliband for Friday night dinner but it hasn’t happened yet.”
When told of Miliband’s “tussle” with a bacon sandwich during the recent election campaign, Lipman shot back: “Bacon sandwich! Silly bugger, if he thinks he’s coming here for dinner after that!”
“I’ve never had a bacon sandwich,” she continued. “Jack [her late husband] used to have one occasionally on the set and I’d tell him I wouldn’t kiss him if he did.”
So there you have it. Perhaps no questions answered about Miliband’s faith, but certainly one about where he’s having Shabbat dinner this Friday. Hint: Not at Maureen Lipman’s house.
Obviously he’s not getting a kiss either.