You Wouldn’t Have Liked My Grandfather

My grandfather was an achingly intelligent man who died at the age of 85 after a long period of medically-induced dementia. Nearly 15 years later, I still feel the effects of his death profoundly.

You wouldn’t have liked my grandfather – not if you occupy what is, in something of a misnomer*, known as the political left.

Despite the background he came from (he was a farmer), he was a product of his time. His views on social issues in particular are completely at odds with everything I hold dear today; gay rights, reproductive freedom, co-habitation, defence of the vulnerable and ill, the right not to be persecuted for not being religious, yadda blahdeblah.

You would not have liked him if you knew him only for these issues. Neither would I.

But despite this, had you chosen to celebrate his death, I would consider you to be beneath contempt. I don’t particularly give a fuck if he wasn’t the single most influential person in the United Kingdom during some formative years of his life or not. If he had been, his convictions – however misguided they may have appeared to you and I – would still have guided how he conducted the power afforded him.

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