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Thursday, December 28, 2006
Former Tory Minister Dies
Former Tory Minister John Butcher has died suddenly at the age of 60. He sat for Coventry South West between 1979 and 1997 and served as a Minister under Margaret Thatcher at the Departments of Education and Industry. He had a heart attack while out walking in the Lake District with his family over Christmas. After standing down from Parliament in 1997 Butcher built up a number of business interests and worked Institute of Directors. He was an active member of the Midlands Industrial Council and lived in Solihull. He leaves a wife, two daughters and a son.
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Sorry to hear anyone go so young.
But wasn't the MIC an (ahem) outfit involved in strange ways of funding of Conservative candidates?
I was on Register today and saw this, might be of interest Iain
Rest in peace.
What is it about obits that brings the smear merchants out of the woodwork?
How can it be a slur to state a fact - The Midlands Industrial Council fund the Conservative party.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with funding anything as long as you're up-front about it and don't do it with criminal money.
Not a bad era to be in parliament, 79-97.
Yep, you just cant shake off political excess, with a brisk walk anymore.
House of Parliament fell walking club anyone?
He wasn't up to much as a minister or MP, but at least he wasn't Dave Nellist. As a member of the Labour Party in 1980s Coventry, I know which member of parliament in the city I had more sympathy for - and it wasn't the one with a beard(who is still around as a councillor in Coventry - proof that there is a limit to the wisdom of the electorate).
I don't know much about the man, to be honest, but I do feel for his family. To lose someone is always terrible but to lose someone at Christmas is even worse. The season is never the same for you again.
I spent the afternoon of the Crosby By Election in 1981 driving around Maghull with John Butcher (who was then MP for SW Coventry).
The poor Tory candidate facing iminent defeat at the hands of Shirley Williams was also named John Butcher.
JB's "forthright" views about Shirley Williams and the SDP (delivered over the loud speaker) obviously caused offence to the people of Maghull and I understand the poor Agent received several phone calls from residents complaining about the "less than complimentary remarks" made by the candidate. This caused a great deal of consternation - as the other (candidate) John Butcher was 8 miles away in Formby at the time of the alleged incident.
Not a particularly enlightening story - but one of those vignettes that comes to mind at times like this.
Sixty. That's no age, is it.
He gave me a school prize once, when he was Education Minister. First time I'd shaken hands with a Tory, knowingly anyway. Not the last by a long chalk!
Lord Hussey of North Bradley died the other day.
I turned on the tv for the BBC news, not a word about this mans death, a man who had been its head for ten years.
Then again, I guess he was the one who took on the left at the Beeb in the late eighties.
Just goes to show (or not in this instance) that the reds are back in the beds at Auntie!
I don't remember much of Coventry in the 1980s as it was the decade I was born in, however as the son of a hardcore Socialist whom is also a big Nellist fan and was very active locally I admire that John Butcher was able to wind the Socialists up so much, my mother being one of them that particularly disliked him. Good on him!
John Butcher was one of the last few 'gentlemen' left in British society. He was very instrumental in Thatcher's hey-day, something that many found easy to forget once the tory's were out. At a time like this, people would do well to remember the contribution made by such a person and the fun - like suggesting that the m6 have jugglers and acrobats on the hard shoulder to entertain the motorists who were stuck in jams - and the great idea of having a tv and radio ban for a week in order to get families to converse with each other - perhaps society would have done well to listen to his wise words, hey, its never too late!
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