Saturday, 10 October 2015

And now its Geoffrey Howe

Former Conservative Chancellor Geoffrey Howe has died at his Warwickshire home at the age of 88: Geoffrey Howe

Denis Healey likened being criticised by him to being attacked by a dead sheep, but Mrs Thatcher's downfall began with his resignation speech.

Introduced to him at a dinner, he said 'Ah, one of those.' Make of that what you will.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Denis Healey

BBC2 ran an excellent Michael Cockerill programme on Denis Healey last night. Most people were probably watching the Great British Bake Off but it can be viewed on BBC I-player. Healey was referred to 'as the best prime minister Labour never had', but a central message was that he was too volatile and temperamental for the top job.

One of Healey's great merits was his belief in the concept of 'hinterland', that one needed a life beyond politics. With a double first in Classics, he was an erudite individual and was well complemented by his wife, Edna.

I remember once being at a function, I think in the 1980s. The wooden Edward Heath was there, but as usual had no small talk. I turned to Healey, who recited a poem he had recently written.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015