I have just heard of the death of Denis Healey.

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Denis was a very kind man.

He made some extremely generous remarks about my late cousin, Sam Watson, recently in a radio interview.

Sam, as leader of the Durham NUM, was on the National Executive of the Labour Party for many years.

Sam was from Trimdon.

Barbara Castle was probably the greatest Prime Minister the Labour Party never had.

Denis ran her a close second.

The Wilson Cabinet had many giant figures in among its number. Barbara’s popularity with the public was equal to Denis’s.

Barbara would have eclipsed Margaret Thatcher in a way Jim Callaghan failed to, and Denis never could.

Barbara’s industrial relations policy, called In Place Of Strife, was ahead of its time.

Labour’s fortunes never recovered, until the Blair years, after the party failed to persuade Barbara to be leader and our first woman Prime Minister.

Denis Healey was a towering Chancellor of the Exchequer at a most difficult time.

Ultimately, he was just too kind and loyal to Michael Foot to become Prime Minister.

Nigel F Boddy,

Fife Road,

Darlington.