When we were young John Biffen was our local MP in Shropshire North, before Owen Paterson took over. He often came to lunch with us on Sunday as he was a friend of my mother’s first cousin, who’d been with him at Cambridge. He taught me to play cricket on our lawn when I was four. Later I stayed in his London flat for a few months in 1975 when his career was on an upwards trajectory. He wrote thank you notes which my mother, being a keeper of letters, has kept ever since.
I read one today dated 14th June 1993. He finished this one on a rather sad tone –
‘I am sorry I could not talk to you more about the political situation. I find it depressing but not altogether surprising – but now can only think of Ministers in the context of rose-tinted time – and all my heroes lived a generation ago!’
Satanic evil was taking over the world, and he knew it. There was little he could do except continue to live within his nostalgic view of the past, while living amongst a sea of lies and deception which clearly troubled him.
There were and no doubt still are good politicians.
Sadly his replacement Owen Paterson is not in their number.