Sir Edward Richard George Heath
9 July 1916 - 17 July 2005
Rest in Peace
Former Prime Minister Sir Edward Richard George Heath has died aged 89 at his home in Salisbury. I had heard earlier today on the radio an announcement by a spokesman that "he is near death" and am therefore not unduly surprised. Indeed, the last time I recall seeing him being interviewed (quite a few months ago, may even have been one or two years ago) it was clear that his life would soon draw to a close.
Here is the BBC news report about his passing, with their obituary here. Wikipedia's biography is here.
His lasting legacy as Prime Minister was to have strongly supported the United Kingdom's accession to the Treaty of Rome in 1973, as a member of the European Economic Community, forerunner to the European Union. His attempts to reform the unions in this country were not met with great success, indeed my abiding memory of my final months in the country prior to my departure to live in Morocco was of the 'three-day week' and the attendant electricity cuts and being cold.
Edward Heath was a decent man, immensely courageous throughout his life and a considerable patriot, in the very best sense of that word. He was my kind of Conservative and I mourn his passing.
UPDATE: (Monday 18JUL05 12.10 BST) It seems only fitting to link to the Telegraph obituary for Sir Edward, as it is often referred to as the Conservatives' House Journal. Their obituary is, when you read the whole thing, reasonably balanced overall, although there are parts of it which lean a little far toward acerbism, reflecting I suppose that newspaper's reputation for advocating a much more right-of-centre (even if not precisely right-wing) agenda than many conservative-minded One-Nation Tories (such as me) would ever feel entirely comfortable with, even if I am probably rather more right-wing than your classic one-nation conservative and found many of Thatcher's ideas not only attractive, but essential for the regeneration of Britain.