OBITUARY:Michael Grieve

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The Independent Online
Michael Grieve was a prominent and popular member of the Scottish journalistic fraternity, versatile enough to have been able to work at different times for the tabloid press, the quality press and television.

As the son of the poet Hugh MacDiarmid (the pen name of Christopher Grieve), Mike Grieve inherited some of this father's feeling for words, as well as many of his sentiments and his political commitment; he was a good all-round reporter of Scottish affairs, including those taking place in the arts, which flourished in a new renaissance during his lifetime, and covered many Edinburgh Festivals as Arts Editor for Scottish Television as well as other events during the Scottish arts year. He was a good talker and bon viveur, but cancer caused the removal of his voice-box, so that in his last years he had to communicate in a whisper, often with the help of his wife, Deirdre.

Like his father a fervent Scottish nationalist, Mike Grieve stood twice for election as an SNP candidate, and, among other party offices, was Vice-Chairman of the Publicity committee during the party's most effective period of growth of nationalist feeling and increase in voting-power. But his nationalism was never fanatical or extreme and he had an all-round appreciation, necessary in a journalist, of the good and bad points of the other parties.

His "Voice of Scotland" column in the Glasgow Daily Record was deliberately provocative, enlightening and entertaining, aimed at helping Scots to be proud of their background, heritage and history.

He had an appreciation of both the higher and the popular arts that was broad and non-elitist. But his main literary efforts went towards preserving the work and reputation of his father, who died in 1978. He edited a Hugh MacDiarmid Anthology in 1972, the Complete Poems 1920-76 (1978, with W.R. Aitken), and worked together with Dougal MacMillan, an American academic author, on the official biography of his father, which has yet to appear.

John Calder

Michael Grieve, journalist, broadcaster, political activist: born Shetland July 1932; married; died Glasgow 18 August 1995.