The day I told Michael Foot to get out and vote

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Sad to hear about Michael Foot’s death – for me was a bit of a hero and certainly a formative influence on the development of my political views.

I discovered the 1983 Labour Manifesto a few months after the election (I’d been a Liberal until then) and it changed my world. It might have become known as the longest suicide note in history but for me it completely encapsulated my world view. I couldn’t believe that the UK rejected it in favour of that bonkers woman. I was a tad naive.

I did have the privilege of meeting Michael Foot in 1993. During that year’s election I was working for Hamsptead’s Labour party trying to get the Tories out and Glenda Jackson in.

At about 7.30pm on election day I was sent out with a list of Labour supporters who we thought hadn’t yet turned out to vote. One was a Mr M Foot. I thought nothing of it and blithely banged on the door ready to give my ‘we desperately need your vote’ speech.

The door was anwsered by Michael Foot who saw my Labour party badge and gave me a big smile. He told me had just voted and gave me a whack on the back. ‘We are going to win tonight he told me’ with a huge grin.

And he was kind of right. We won the battle in Hampstead and Highgate but lost the war to John Major.

He had an amazing life – he was mates with George Orwell, was a superb journalist and editor and according to the older folks of the Hampstead Labour party a thoroughly decent bloke too.

He really deserves a one minute virtual applause.

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