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03 March 2010
Michael Foot has died
I have just spoken to Neil Clark on the telephone to confirm our lunch in Oxford later today. Neil reports that Michael Foot had died earlier today at the ripe old age of 96. The BBC has an obituary and Neil is writing one for the First Post which should go up later today.

Brilliant orator, sparkling writer, and man of culture, allegations that could no more be made against Thatcher than against Blair.

Consistent enemy and sharp denigrator of Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin, in stark contrast to Churchill on all three counts.

Like Enoch Powell, an opponent of the ultimate violence, namely the splitting of the very atom to belligerent ends.

Successful obstructer of constitutional vandalism, again with Powell.

Valiant in the cause of national sovereignty, not least against Thatcher.

Deliverer of a full legislative programme without an overall majority.

Given the Leadership at the wrong time by the votes of cynical MPs who had already decided to set up the SDP and voted for him in order to give themselves an excuse.

Defender of the Falkland Islands when Thatcher had been astounded to find herself taken at her word by Argentina.

Leader whose manifesto did not contain much of what people think it did, but did contain numerous measures that have since been enacted, by no means only since 1997, so that the other lot were clearly just waiting for the Mad Woman to go back to her attic.

Leader whose vote combined with that of the premature and fatally flawed SDP was higher than that of Thatcher even in the post-Falklands days, as that of Labour and the SDP would also be in 1987.

And therefore identified by New Labour as part, or even as the very embodiment, of the problem.

No wonder that the seat from which he led the Labour Party is now held by an Old Labour patriot and social conservative who is therefore not a member of the Labour Party, but rather defeated its candidate at the polls.

3 March 2010 at 16:34  

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