Magazine article The Spectator

Michael Foot, R.I.P

Magazine article The Spectator

Michael Foot, R.I.P

Article excerpt

Michael Foot, who died on Wednesday, aged 96, was a wonderful man. A major politician and an accomplished writer, he stood firmly in the great British tradition of literary radicals. There was something defiantly unmodern and unspun about him, but this was the point of Mr Foot: he was a leader who saw politics as a battle of ideas. The idea of spin was utterly alien to him. From his early days in journalism and the New Statesman, to Tribune magazine, which he edited after the war, to his last days, he maintained his intellectual integrity. This was what guided the radical Labour manifesto of 1983. It was, electorally, spectacularly unsuccessful.

But it was, nonetheless, a work of immense honesty.

Conservatives often remind themselves that, much as Foot's campaign was derided in 1983, he returned to parliament more MPs than now sit on Tory benches. …

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