Tony Banks is dead

by Harry on January 8, 2006

Speaking completely selfishly, for me the worst immediate outcome of the 1997 Labour victory was Tony Banks’s inclusion in the government. I had not anticipated it (I gather that he, too, was “gobsmacked”), and I realised instantly that it meant he could no longer be a participant in the World Service’s Talking Politics program; his participation had been the icing on the cake, as it were. Very sorry to hear of his death, and my thoughts go out to his family. The BBC obit violates the norm of not speaking ill of the dead by mentioning his favourite football team. A cute account of his wit is here.

Update: A much fuller obit in the Grauniad.



Lee Bryant 01.08.06 at 6:05 pm

Very sad. He was a man of passion and some principles, and will be sadly missed in the characterless political world of the UK today. The few times I met him he really seemed genuinely interested in the issues at hand, and I admired his application and energy.


Bob B 01.08.06 at 6:40 pm

Perhaps readers here should be reassured that not all lively political wit in Britain is quite as subtle as was that of Tony Banks.


Randy Paul 01.08.06 at 7:09 pm


There goes the Genesis Reunion tour (someone had to do it :-)).

A Chelsea fan? Well, at least he got to see them win the Premiership before he died.


P O'Neill 01.08.06 at 10:27 pm

The Chelsea thing may exlain the nice words that David Mellor had for him. I also wonder if there’s a difference in the medical strategies followed for him compared to Ariel Sharon.


dearieme 01.08.06 at 11:16 pm

But I know several people who knew him at Uni. Not a kind word said.


Andrew Brown 01.09.06 at 3:14 am

He was much funnier than those BBC quote, which are merely abusive, can suggest.


Peter 01.09.06 at 4:21 am

Does personal abuse pass for wit in Britsh politics? No wonder politicians are held in such low esteem if Banks is considered some sort of model.


rea 01.09.06 at 6:47 am

I always was a big Genesis fan, but I never knew the guy played such a prominent role in politics, too . . .


Ray 01.09.06 at 8:44 am

“Does personal abuse pass for wit in Britsh politics? “

Only if it’s funny.


Daniel 01.09.06 at 8:02 pm

Does personal abuse pass for wit in Britsh politics?

yes, you foetus.


veebee 01.10.06 at 9:51 am

No, not a complete tosser after all, despite his own description of himself. Instead a unique and caring man who’ll be sorely missed by those who knew him, and many who did not.

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