Michael Foot was a decent man
27 September, 2018
• I HAVE highest regard for Michael Foot and will continue to have despite the vilification of him, (Michael Foot is not here to defend himself against bogus Soviet spy stories – so I will, September 20).
I became a member of the Labour Party in 1981 when he became the leader of the party after reading various criticisms of him. I felt it was unjust of the press to criticise a person like that. I never met him when he was the leader. I only met him once on a bus in West Hampstead.
With some trepidation I sat by him. He, of his own volition, wanted to know about me which surprised me as it was the first time that an Englishman had shown interest in me on a bus – particularly when I had experience of local party members turning their eyes away from me when I saw them in the street.
When I told him that I was a Hindu and was driven out of East Pakistan, he told me that the partition of India was an evil act of the Labour Party.
I was surprised, again, for such frank statement about the partition causing perennial misery to the millions of people uprooted from their ancestral home.
I was however impressed and told him that I remembered when Tony Blair lost in the Beaconsfield by-election in 1983, he told a BBC reporter that Tony Blair would play a great role in British politics.
I told him that his prediction came true. He smiled and asked if I followed British politics. I told him that I became a member of the Labour Party when he became leader. He smiled again. That made my day which I will never forget.
I abhor anyone who could vilify such a decent man when they should urge others to follow his qualities as a human being.
SUNIL KUMAR PAL
Abbey Road, NW8