In Memory of Ed Teague, Postman Patel 20

One of the best and most original voices on this British blogosphere has fallen silent with the death this morning of my friend Ed Teague, better known to many as the blogger “Lord Patel”.

I will be forever in Ed’s debt. When I pitched up in Blackburn, cold and friendless, to make a stand against Jack Straw, he read about me in the local paper, turned up and became my campaign manager. He had enormous dynamism and fantastic managerial skills. If we managed as independents to prise out 2,000 votes from this most corrupt of NuLab rotten boroughs, which has officially the third lowest educational achievement in England, it was entirely due to Ed’s ingenuity.

We were both stunned by the obstacles put in our way. I was not aloowed to take part in candidates’ hustings hosted by the Churches. I was banned from a Radio 4 Blackburn candidates’ debate. I was not given the legally obliged access to public owned meeting rooms. The local Post Office didn’t start delivering my electoral addresses until the day before polling. I could go on. Ed fought and fought with relentless energy, and never let it depress him.

The full name of his blog – Postman Patel and His Dog Jack – was a reference to Lord Patel, Jack Straw’s other corrupt Blackburn peer besides Lord Taylor of Blackburn. Lord Patel was dubbed “Postman Patel” by Ed because of his tight gripped control over Blackburn’s Muslim Community, used to farm postal ballots for New Labour. Blackburn had the highest incidence of postal voting in the UK – three times the UK average. That is why Lord Patel is a Lord.

The reward system for corrupt cronies is of course why Gordon Brown is so adamantly against a democratic House of Lords. The suspension of Lord Taylor for corruption was not an aberration. Corruption is the purpose of the unelected chamber, as far as New Labour are concerned.

So that is why Ed was Postman Patel – and his dog Jack should be obvious to you now too (though he seems to have dropped off the blog heading latterly).

So please, go to Ed’s blog and just savour for a while a unique and courageous voice. Much missed, I hope by all the blogosphere, of whatever political view.

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20 thoughts on “In Memory of Ed Teague, Postman Patel

  • Anony

    A tribute is at the Antagonist’s blog, here:

    The postman will be missed.

    No other blogger wrote quite like he did – the variety of subjects & the fact that he was not afraid to cut through the bullshit being fed to us from the mainstream media.

  • Clark

    I’m sorry to hear about Postman Patel, Craig. I did visit his blog occasionally. I didn’t know about his contribution to your Blackburn campaign.

  • stef

    As a little reading around will reveal, Lord Patel’s fans represent a diverse range of political beliefs and world views

    The common factor was an appreciation of Lord P’s anti-authoritarian, liberationist stance taken on, well, lots of issues

    That and his elevation of typos to an art form

    I’m missing him already

  • gary

    Patel was never afraid to confront the ugly truth about 7/7, unlike our wimp scottish one here.

  • stef


    Lord P. had a lot of time for Craig

    Lord P. was also fortunate enough, and stubborn enough, to be in a position to say whatever the f*** he liked.

    bless him

  • Ruth

    His blog was absolutely brilliant. He seemed to me to be highly intelligent and knowledgeable. He was straight to the point and didn’t care who he insulted. He penetrated the surface. He was really funny and I loved his use of language. What a man!

  • Brenda

    Thank you Craig, I had no idea of this background.

    Postman Patel was my favourite political blogger – I have read every single post from the beginning, and although I rarely commented, I must be one of very many who appreciate his courage and insight.

    He will be much missed.

  • PR

    Wondered what happened…sad, very very sad news…thanks for the potted biography

    In my my thoughts

  • Sukyspook

    I visited Postman’s page every day for several years but have feared the worst since the last page update on Monday 11th May…..

    Postman’s humour and irreverance was legendary and I will miss his contributions to our collective predicament enormously.

    Rest in peace Postie, you will be greatly missed.

  • Sara Teague

    Craig – If you would like to know about the arrangements for Edward’s funeral which will be Monday June 15th please contact me either by email or phone at Dad’s number.

  • William Bowles

    Yes, Lord Patel, or Edward Teague will be missed. I had the pleasure of getting to know Edward back in 2003 and we became good friends. He also helped me out when starting up my first Website, here in the UK and met up as often as we could. I accompanied him on his first trip to Blackburn during the election (see Craig’s comments above).

    Above all, I will remember him for his ascerbic, Northern humour and tremendous breadth of knowledge.

    Hamba Khahle Edward


  • subrosa

    How sad. This man was an inspiration to me and insisted that blogging will be influential in time. Once again he’s been proved correct.

    My condolences to his family and friends.

  • another

    Very sad news, condolences to the family and friends. His work will have not been in vain

  • Sinclair

    An Obituary in The Independent, today:

    Edward Teague: Blogger known as ‘Postman Patel’

    Thursday, 25 June 2009

    The Independent

    A cotton man through and through, Edward Teague repeatedly cut his cloth to suit a variety of sometimes simultaneous careers which straddled the commercial, scientific and artistic lives of Manchester and elsewhere, including a stint as a United Nations advisor to North Korea. He became best known, however, in his sixties, as Postman Patel or Lord Patel, one of the best and most original voices on the British blogosphere and regularly consulted by many a Fleet Street commentator.

    Born into a family of Manchester cotton merchants, Teague played rugby at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys before going to Leicester University to study botany from 1961 to 1964. Further research in this, at Edinburgh, was curtailed by being hauled back to run the family firm.

    Leicester had been a brand-new redbrick, famous as the inspiration for Lucky Jim. Edward throve in a university which then had fewer than a thousand students, and he made lifelong friends among those studying disparate subjects. He relished hearing what they said about their enthusiasms, and these often became his own. As the only fellow undergraduate with a car, he and I traced the lost railways of Leicestershire or, rather more wickedly, sniggered at Monica Jones, the lover of Philip Larkin, as she distractedly wandered the small campus.

    Back in Manchester at the family firm, he met and married Lesley Holmes in 1969; she was with him throughout his varied occupations. He was a regular at the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society which met in the Portico Library ?” a relic of the quest for learning which existed alongside the search for profit which characterised Manchester in its heyday. The Manchester Stock Exchange was a particular interest and he was especially proud to be associated with the Royal Exchange Theatre, created inside the Exchange buildings when, in one era of an eclectic career, he served as Drama and Literature Officer for North West Arts.

    He had previously spent time working for Saatchi and Saatchi as an advertising copywriter, owning a bookshop with the typically sardonic name of “Books” and as director of a private art gallery, where he refused to hold L.S. Lowry on the grounds that he was a better artist himself. This was almost true: his cartoons of Sydney the Spider were adored by all the children who received postcards with his illustrations.

    Always at the forefront of understanding and appreciating the changing industrial and commercial world (to the extent of establishing a software company which developed programs for textile manufacturers), he was also adept enough to become a constant thorn in the side of government as he witnessed the collapse of the industry and the futile attempts to pour money into factories which were soon to be shipped wholesale to India.

    Edward Teague had a love of the North-west and knew, for example, where to find the old charcoal pits beside the M62 in the Pennines. He could readily, and engagingly, explain the workings of the pneumatic/hydraulic system which existed in the warehouses alongside the Bridgewater Canal in Manchester (these explanations recur in his blog). He never tired of the region’s industrial archaeology and could name all the mills which still dominate a few of the towns to the north of Manchester.

    Never a political activist in the traditional sense, he was a genuine libertarian with no time for the humbug and rhetoric of the left and right. The blog he ran as Postman Patel/Lord Patel became a port of call for anyone seeking to unravel what was really going on behind the headlines. His scientific training made him ask questions, and seek answers, where others feared to tread. Never daunted, though sometimes dismayed, by a changing world, he throve upon challenge, to which he brought a perspective which spanned two centuries and drew upon many contacts ?” whether he was discussing the De Menezes shooting, the fact that the US brought greater firepower upon Libya in 1986 than the English had done in the Falklands, and the embarrassing photographic evidence held by MI5 about Anthony Blunt, among others.

    In one of his last blogs, he declared, “apart from making my arm ache reaching for my gun when I hear the phrase ‘Two Cultures’, it has been evident since Queen Victoria died and the little incident in Sarajevo that the Rolls Royce minds of the upper echelons have always regarded scientists as an unpleasant luxury, like a water flushing closet”.

    Teague soon found the internet a natural outlet for his wide-ranging talents ?” the very emblem of fast-moving, post-industrial society. It is a profound regret that he died so soon into this latest incarnation of a pleasingly eclectic life. Would that more politicians themselves were of his maverick spirit. He hoped his blog would continue beyond his lost struggle against cancer, and there are those in that blogosphere who may attempt it. However, it is doubtful that any one person can bridge C.P. Snow’s Two Cultures in the way that Lord Patel did during that personal, idiosyncratic foray in the global village.

    Ken Bodfish

    Edward Teague, copywriter, arts administrator, bookseller and writer: born Manchester 25 January 1943; married 1969 Lesley Holmes (one daughter); died 9 June 2009.

  • Catherine

    I do not think there will be any other blogger of his nature and kind. In short nobody can take place of the image which he created with “Postman Patel”, a legend who will be remembered for a long long time.

    A good man, hero, funny, professional and much more. Don’t have right words. He will be lived forever in the hearts of all his fans.

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