So Tony Benn has died.
I remember lying in bed in a flat on Rue Haute some twenty-five years ago listening to a programme on the BBC World Service. Someone was talking about the British State and the nature of political power - especially the way that politicians had ceased to see themselves as deriving their power from the people who had elected them. The clarity and intelligence of the speaker was a welcome surprise given the usual trundling out of cliches and sound bites. I wondered who it was and finally caught the name at the end. Tony Benn. Out of context and with poor reception I hadn't recognised the voice. Now it made sense.
I'm sad to know that yet another figure within my pantheon of Mavericks, Oddballs & Pieces of Grit in the Oyster of Life is no longer around to give flavour to these increasingly bland days.
Can you imagine someone like this emerging out of the current political scene?