When I was at University In Coventry in the mid 1990's, many of my friends were Tories and were involved in all things Conservative. Through this, I came to meet John Butcher, then Tory MP Coventry South West, a seat that was abolished in the 1997 General Election, so it is with some sadness that I read HERE of his death on Christmas Day.
I met John on about three occasions. Once, when he came to my house to speak to my Tory housemates about something, and the other times in a pub. I have to say, that I could disagree with him on almost every point he made, but I found him to be a very pleasant chap. He was very open about his heart by-pass operations, which was a reason for him not standing for parliament in 1997 (also the boundarary revisions were very favourable to Labour). He used to joke that his heart had been by-passed so many times that the surgeons had run out of space for future ones, although this didn't stop him from enjoying a drink !
I still remember (and have found the link HERE) when he proposed that the then Tory Government should employ entertainers and jugglers to soothe the nerves of those people stuck in traffic jams on the M6 motorway !
So, I'll raise a glass myself to John Butcher tonight. A nice bloke to completely disagree with.