Eric Lubbock 50


I want to mark briefly the death of a man for whom I had enormous respect, Eric Lubbock, Lord Avebury. I knew him on and off since 1976 and he was an inspirational man. He devoted fairly well his every waking moment to attempting to fight injustice all over the world, with his focus often falling on deeply unfashionable human rights causes, including the Uzbeks, the Uighurs and the majority population of Bahrain. He was an unstinting opponent of specifically British injustices, and a dedicated campaigner for the Chagos islanders.

He never fell for the neo-imperialism of Blair and the astonishing claim that to improve other countries we should invade them. He opposed all Blair’s interventions, most notably in Sierra Leone where he saw through the propaganda of “victory”, and as I recount in The Catholic Orangemen he was the catalyst for revealing the Arms to Africa scandal and the Blairite involvement with mercenaries.

In the days when the UK had a political culture of respect for opposition parliamentarians and of public service, FCO ministers feared Avebury’s extraordinary persistent and acute questioning, to which they gave evasive answers at their peril. Sadly nowadays this culture of accountability has been abolished by the armies of taxpayer paid party PR men.

Eric Lubbock’s involvement in public life was motivated purely by a desire to make the world a better place for other people. I believe the concept of personal gain was alien to him and he certainly gave a great deal more than he ever got back, in terms either of finance or of public appreciation. The world may not esteem him a great man in terms of achievement; but the world was a much better place for his being in it.


50 thoughts on “Eric Lubbock

1 2
  • glenn_uk

    Node, 12:30: “Burial at sea without a coffin would do me. I’d be recycled within days. Cheap, efficient, environmentally friendly.

    My old Dad had a woodlands burial. Only natural materials are allowed for the coffin, everything must be fully biodegradable. There is no headstone or traditional grave, or non-native species allowed to be planted there. Once the site is fully populated, it will be planted with native trees, and becomes a woodland in perpetuity.

    That means you end up with a permanent woods, which will never be allowed to be build on, cut down or otherwise disturbed. Seems a fairly sound environmental choice.

  • Chris Rogers

    Glenn,

    It’s really is an environmentally sound practice to act as fertiliser for trees and its nice to know you are actually giving life even after ones demise – I’m most likely to favour this option myself, its simple, efficient and makes death sound not too bad given we all shall pop our clogs.

  • Habbabkuk (Are you a person of interest?)

    Eric Lubbock won Orpington at a by-election in 1962; it is fair to say that this unexpected victory was the first sign that the 13 years of Conservative govt were drawing to a close, a conclusion of course confirmed by the wafer-thin Labour majority at the subsequent 1964 general election.

    He held the seat at the 1964 and 1966 general elections but lost it to a Conservative at the 1970 general election which (unexpectedly) brought Mr Heath into office.

    To be noted also that the young Eric Lubbock attended Harrow (NOT Harrow Grammar, alma mater of Michael Portillo and Ambassador Nigel Sheinwald) and Balliol; his subsequent career and political activity show that – contrary to received opinion on here – not all public school and Oxbridge men are rotters.

    Mind you, he read Engineering and not Modern Greats (vulgarly known as PPE).

    Over and out.

  • Republicofscotland

    I wonder what Mr Lubbock, thought of his fellow Libdem, Alistair Carmichael’s current predicament?

  • glenn_uk

    Chris Rogers: I hadn’t even heard of such a set-up until a couple of years ago (when the old man was making final arrangements). It’s a very good option which I’d rather have for myself too – not only are you giving nutrients back to the ground, but you’re ensuring a habitat for trees, animals and birds particularly.

    Graveyards have always struck me as such desolate, wasted spaces. Neatly moved grass between thousands of blocks of stone. Not much opportunity for anything else to exist there, the entire area is effectively barren.

    The cemetery caretaker said woodland burials are an increasingly popular choice, but the availability is very scant. A shame, because it requires no extra space, a lot less maintenance, and the benefits are very obvious.

  • James Caldwell

    Sorry to be off topic but the No Borders Campaign mentioned in the ‘BBC Bias’ blog in December has now lodged accounts with Companies House. These can be downloaded from the Companies House Beta site free of charge.

  • nevermind, it might be interesting

    Thanks for the links. Have those ‘Corbinystas’ got any understanding of a fair and proportional voting system I wonder. Without it his campaign is not much more that prevarication of the status quo.

    Good luck in Berlin Craig, hope the film gets a mention.

  • Leonard Young

    http://kjohnsonnz.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/eric-avebury-on-bushs-poodle-and-dirty.html

    There are enough poodles in this example of Eric Lubbock’s determination to enter an entire pedigree category at Crufts:

    Poodle 1: Baroness Amos for blocking the initial request under instructions from the Cabinet Office.

    Poodle 2: The Cabinet Office itself acting under instructions to block from Blair and D. Miliband

    Poodle 3: The Private Secretary, No 10, who blocked the subsequent request.

    Poodle 4: The Information Commissioner who again blocked the FOI request on spurious grounds.

    Poodle 5: All Repeat above ad infinitum until Blair resigns

    Poodle 6: Tribunal releases dates of meetings, but no details.

    All the above is as relevant now as it was then. The FOI laws are routinely abused and the ICO, Cabinet Office and Government Peers are all in it together, blocking the right to obtain information that should routinely have been made available AS A MATTER OF COURSE. Note that one of the poodles claimed that meetings need not be published “because they were not minuted”. That’s a new one.

    The ICO should be closed and a decent FOI/Data Protection body with clout and funding should replace it. It won’t happen though. This country is ruled by serial obfuscators.

  • nevermind, it might be interesting

    Thanks Leonard, you said ” Note that one of the poodles claimed that meetings need not be published “because they were not minuted”. That’s a new one.

    That is not new, we dealt with their Atlantic bridge manipulations here on this blog. There were meetings between MOD representatives, Adam Werrity and Liam Fox, also not minuted, some years back now.

    Adam Werrity came from where? he was…. who? to have such access? Now he’s been Lucaned, not seen since.

  • Leonard Young

    “That is not new, we dealt with their Atlantic bridge manipulations here on this blog.”

    Ah yes. Sorry. But I remember it now.

  • nevermind, it might be interesting

    but it is insidious nevertheless and I can feel John Garrett spinning in his grave, he would have been aghast at such practises.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    If his wiki page is anything to go by, he ticked all the boxes – especially this:

    “In 1987, as a jocular protest against the cost of cremation, he offered to leave his body to Battersea dogs home “to vary the inmates’ diet.” On being advised that the dogs would probably accept but the home’s management wouldn’t, he made the same offer to the cats.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Lubbock,_4th_Baron_Avebury

    Look at what we have got now….my wife just told me whilst walking through the park do not tell me that…I do not want to know….as we hang our heads in shame at the current occupants of Westminster. They are far worse than you think.

    Tony

  • Habbabkuk (Are you a person of interest?)

    Tony

    “If his wiki page is anything to go by, he ticked all the boxes – especially this:

    “In 1987, as a jocular protest against the cost of cremation, he offered to leave his body to Battersea dogs home “to vary the inmates’ diet.” On being advised that the dogs would probably accept but the home’s management wouldn’t, he made the same offer to the cats.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Lubbock,_4th_Baron_Avebury
    ______________________

    Very droll.

    Of course, he could have left his body to one of the medical schools to help aspiring doctors practice their dissection skills?

    That’s what Kingsley Martin (long-time editor of the New Statesman and fervent socialist and anti-colonialist)did when he died in Cairo.

  • nevermind, it might be interesting

    Thanks for the obituary Old mark, very comprehensive, I have learned more about the Lubbock family now than during Eric’s lifetime. As so often one wonders how privileged families got their wealth in this country.
    looks like the Guerneys and Lubbocks were entwined, Guerney bank is today’s Barclays.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earlham_Hall

1 2

Comments are closed.