Although this blog's name is inspired by Sauti Kubwa ("Big Voice"), the late lead singer of Rumba Japan, a band that played in Nairobi in the early years of this century, it won't focus unduly on Swahili nicknames, rumba music or indeed any other African issues.


Saturday, 4 September 2010

Cyril Smith

When I heard he'd died, I had that brief, disconcerting feeling you get when you learn such news of someone you hadn't thought had still been alive.

I think that's because he was a quintessentially 1970s figure (although he was an MP throughout the Thatcher years, not leaving the Commons until 1992).

He stood out as an authentic working-class Liberal.

He was also that other rare thing: a prominent politician with a Lancashire accent. Why aren't there more of them? (I mean genuine Lancastrian - not the subtly different Manchester.) The only other one I can think of was Rhodes Boyson.

Some odd conjunctions and non sequiturs in the BBC obituary:

despite being a Liberal, he... was firmly anti-establishment

while he was all for having a nuclear deterrent, he was strongly against unions having a closed-shop arrangement...

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