During the interviews that I have conducted for my whips study, one phrase kept recurring - "the legendary Walter Harrison". He was Labour's Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Commons during the time it had a small, then non-existent majority in the 1970s - and his hard work kept the government going, despite incredible challenges.
Of all the individuals I have researched, he is the most interesting. There are some great stories told about him. Only last week some colleagues at Westminster urged me to try to get an interview with him. Sadly that will not be possible, as he passed away on Friday. As yet, only one of the newspapers (The Daily Telegraph) has published an obituary. I will be looking out for others - they will be worth reading. There is a play currently on at the National Theatre called the House, which centres on his life. It has completely sold out - though there are rumours it may return in another theatre. It has been on my wish list since I first heard about it.
On my twitter (jdm_progressive) and Facebook (jdavidmorgan) morning, I have posted links to a couple of videos that tell something of Walter Harrison's time and activities as a whip. You are cordially invited to view them. You'll understand why, in my office, there is just one photograph on my wall of a whip - Walter Harrison. RIP.
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1 week ago