Thursday, May 18, 2006

Eric Forth Has Died


I don't mind admitting I'm in tears as I type this, I have just learned that my friend Eric Forth died last night. I just cannot believe it. More later.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is terrible. I can hardly believe it. The man was truly one of my political heroes. I was only praising him to a friend last night. Terrible news. A real loss to the Tory Party and politics in general.

Nell said...

The Party has lost a true character. A terrible loss to all his friends.

Anonymous said...

Indeed - one of the House greats. Even more annoying is that you wont be on the canididates list for what is a sure banker! Damned A list - 3 weeks too early eh!

Unity said...

Speaking from the other side of the political fence, there was much to dislike about his politics, but you always knew where you stood with him, which is a positive virtue in an age where shallow hypocrisies are far too much the norm.

The epithet of being an homest politician is one that those who knew him personally are better placed to judge, but he always came across as a consistent one, which is no mean achievement.

It's never a good thing to lose a good parliamentarian, no matter which side of the political divide one comes from.

Unknown said...

He came to speak at a function in Lewisham, he was such a passionate speaker. He had a wicked sense of humour and was so willing to speak at length with everyone in the room.

His "declare an interest" call to Ming at PMQs will go down in history.

Anonymous said...

He was one of the those who inspired me and entertained. You always knew when the Speaker called his name, you should start listening! He'll be missed.

On a personal note Iain - sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

A terrible loss. RIP

Anonymous said...

I remember when Eric was put forwards for membership of the House of Commons Commission as one of the "late night" undebated motions.

I had enormous fun reading some of his comments on such "nominal" motions as I drafted notes for a speech against his nomination. I think he enjoyed the debate that followed too.

Nigel said...

What dreadfully sad news, and so unexpected. The House of Commons has lost a decent man who was one of its greatest defenders, and our Party has lost an honest straight-talking fighter. We all share your loss, Iain.

Sabretache said...

A real friend to hunting / farming / rural communities too with a nose for cant and hypocricy. A very sad loss

Andrew said...

I'm saddened and upset as someone, also from the other side of politics, who came to respect the honesty and love of Parliament of the man. He had a charm and sense of humour that told with a sparkle in his eye that belied the hard man image typified by the quote from Stephen Pound MP, "The man who put the Chisel in Chislehurst." We suspected, then it was confirmed by his colleagues, that he had a crush on my boss, when I worked for a Labour MP, and she said how he would come over bashful like a schoolboy if she played up to him. A sad loss.

Rigger Mortice said...

Furthermore,I am genuinely sorry to hear of his passing.he was what it said on the tin and that's too rare these days ref my previous comment.I hope they do his memory justice.

Iain Dale said...

Rigger, I deleted your previos posty I'm afraid. You will understand hopefully that it wasn't appropriate.

dizzy said...

bloody hell

Rigger Mortice said...

totally,iain,but sometimes you just say what you think without engaging the brain.For me there's not enough like him in politics and the House will be all the more empty for his not being there.

Agree with james,his put down on Ming was an all time classic.

Anonymous said...

The Guardian's profile rather shamefully has him as

"hard-headed, independent-minded, rogue parliamentarian and one of the least popular men in British politics"

(per Andrew Roth)

kingbongo said...

Eric's death is a real shock. I don't know him and never met him but would love to have done. There aren't enough parliamentarians like him and I think Bromley are going to have a tough job finding a replacement.

Anonymous said...

A truly great man. I had the pleasure of watching many of his speeches on Fridays and always enjoyed his ability to speak for hours using all the rules of the House so unknown to many - even most MPs. One of the many highlights was when he was instrumental in talking a Government Bill through the night and thus wiping out the next days business - a protest to the current Government's lack of respect for Parliament and its rafts of bad legislation. He was elected at every possible level in politics and even managed a stint at PMQs - a truly great Parliamentarian who will be sadly missed.

Anonymous said...

Iain

I know how you must feel. I did not really know him, although obviously I had met him from time to time. I admired his buoyant spirit and parliamentary skills. I wish I could remember more examples of his with. There was a demolition job on Ming which left the latter in stunned silence, but the detaisl have escaped my memory. A character fit to rank with the great parlaimentarians of the past and a man who will be sadly missed. I thought Michael was wrong to leave him off his front bench team, and recall his ministerial record at the DES with admiration. He would have made a good Secretary of State in my humble judgement.