Denis Healey, a huge presence on the UK political scene, has died at 98.
As the Telegraph obituary comments:-
Healey was, with Rab Butler, one of the tiny band who could count themselves unlucky not to have been Prime Minister. For two decades he was Labour’s most substantial figure after Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, in each of whose Cabinets he was a senior member. Yet two factors denied him the ultimate prize.
One was timing; Healey’s best opportunity to lead his party, if not the nation, came after Labour’s defeat by Margaret Thatcher which cast it into opposition for 18 years. The other was his refusal to suffer fools gladly, which earned him powerful enemies on his own side. He never concealed his contempt for Left-wing theorists and those he judged careerists, and over the years he bruised many egos.
It would be interesting to know what he thought of Corbyn.
A great man.
The House of Commons starts its proceedings with a prayer. The chaplain looks at the assembled members with their varied intelligence and then prays for the country.
The late, great George Melly with John Chilton and the Feetwarmers
My bucket’s got a hole in it, performed New Orleans style
A hauntingly beautiful tune