Obituary: Lord Willis
Saturday 09 January 1993
Ted had two unfulfilled ambitions: to have been Arts Minister in a Labour government; and to have been a Tottenham Hotspur FC director (though he was ever- ready to join me at Highbury to watch Arsenal, his team's great north London rivals). He would have been a decided asset in either role.
These were minor disappointments in a lifetime of achievement. He described himself as 'a first-class second-rate author' but his work gave pleasure to millions of ordinary people. That was his great satisfaction.
He was a lifelong socialist, though somewhat disillusioned in later years. He was a staunch and understanding friend when I left Labour for the SDP, perhaps in part because he recalled his own youthful and temporary defection from Labour to the Young Communists and recognised too, the painful political readjustment of others close to him. He would readily deliver a word-perfect recitation of Kipling's 'If'. Ted certainly filled 'the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds' worth of distance run'. If he was slowing down a little on the last lap, he nevertheless wrote busily to the end. He was a 'wordaholic', a craftsman and true professional who always met his deadlines.
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
How the language you speak changes your view of the world
General election live: Russell Brand endorses Labour (except in Scotland and Brighton)
Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...