Obituary: Dennis Potter
Friday 08 July 1994
It was shortly after his adoption as Labour candidate for East Hertfordshire that Potter was struck by the illness that was to dog him for the rest of his life. But he never spoke of abandoning his candidature and the fight for Labour in this hopeless seat.
The electors were in for a treat. His election pamphlet was exquisitely written (it is the only one I have kept from more than 30 years of electioneering). His thoughtful speeches sparkled. They were made without notes and, though they lacked rhetorical flourish, caught his audience by their sheer honesty, language and wit. He gave no sign that a few minutes before he entered the hall, he had taken a trip round the back where he could ease the nausea and vomiting caused by his medication.
Potter urged me to watch his play. It was a shock. I knew that writers took much of real life in to their writing and many of the scenes in Vote Vote Vote had a basis in events during two years of campaigning. But I was shaken to see and hear a television character repeating episodes of my life which I must have discussed with Potter. If that were not enough, my sly asides, more joky than cynical, were repeated in the play as a heavy sardonic approach. John Bailey, who took the part of Jack Hay, the election agent, even used my gestures. But I understood that Potter, who had come to hate and dislike the process of seeking out votes, was trying to explain how those who strove for political ideals had somehow to protect themselves by developing a veneer against pain and hurt.
- 1 Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Howard 'Mr Nice' Marks reveals he has inoperable cancer: 'I've had an incredible life'
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...
£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our Client has been the leader ...