Don’t worry, I’m not after a date or anything. I won’t be stalking you round the hills of New England. It’s more the sort of crush I had on James Stewart after I saw The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, or Yves Montand whenever he played a resistance fighter. It’s a political kind of crush.
Don Watson mourns Tony Windsor’s exit from politics in the latest Monthly. It’s a lovely tribute dressed up as a letter.
I share his sentiments. Windsor was one of the few politicians I was happy to listen to. He spoke plainly and reasonably, did his own thinking and tried to civilise politics rather than play on discord. None of them qualities we’re over endowed with just now.
A good bloke lost as collateral damage, people are saying. If that is all we can make of it, we will only deepen the folly. You could be the dead-set best bloke in history and be no loss at all. What matters is that you were a good politician: good enough to be the measure of what’s missing in modern politics.
I mean the qualities that the media no longer much values or, in its more extreme and youthful forms, even recognises, and which the major parties only sometimes reward. Not “the vision thing” – though I suspect you have one – but the dependable, intelligent, worldly, unbreakable, character thing, on which democratic politics and our faith in it depend.