Obituary: T. Dan Smith
Saturday 31 July 1993
After two years of debate and analysis, that perception changed. If Dan was so corrupt, why did he live in a high-rise flat which would not even accommodate his beloved piano? He had little interest in money; his real love was power. But not for its own sake. The remarkable thing about Dan was that he never lost his ideology or his vision of how things should be. Nobody who knew him well denied Smith's Trostkyist leanings (he helped organise the Tyneside Apprentices strike during the Second World War). The perception that he was gradually moving to the right is simplistic and inaccurate. He disliked and distrusted the right of the Labour Party. In an interview we did with him he said, 'Give me 10 men with a shared vision and I could take over the country.' When we repeated it to Jack Johnson, one of Smith's fellow Trotskyist travellers, he said, 'Six - there were only six of us.'
Smith was an old-fashioned leader who operated without consensus or democracy. He had a huge ego and was a poor listener. Yet he was fiercely loyal and defended John Poulson to the end: 'the best architect Britain ever produced'.
Smith was interested in the broad sweep which could change the political and physical landscape. It is dangerous for politicians to think they know the hearts and minds of those they represent. It Dan Smith to participate in the destruction of Newcastle, a city he genuinely loved.
For me, Smith's greatest flaw was his belief in experts, be they Le Corbusier or Wilf Burns, his chief planner. It was I believe, a classic case of a working-class man trusting in those better educated than himself. But T. Dan Smith remains a working-class hero none the less.
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Zayn Malik gives first interview since quitting One Direction: 'I've never felt more in control of my life'
Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...
£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...
£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...