Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Lord Mackie of Benshie has flown his last mission

Sad news today. Lord Mackie of Benshie - farmer, war hero, Liberal MP and peer - has died at the age of 95.

As his Guardian obituary says:
The whole of his life had been coloured by the war, and like many other participants in that terrible conflict, the experience made him a passionate believer in European unity. 
Much of his political life was devoted to that idealistic concept, including membership of the Council of Europe and a brief spell in the European parliament before it became a directly elected body. He spent many years on House of Lords committees charged with examining EU legislation.
As George Mackie he sat for Caithness and Sutherland between 1964 and 1966. At the time of his death, he was the longest surviving former Liberal MP.

Who holds that crown today?

George Mackie held the crown even when I blogged about it back in 2009. And the silver and bronze medalists then - Clement Freud and Emlyn Hooson - have both died too.

So by my reckoning the three oldest former Liberal MPs are now
  1. James Davidson (b. 10 January 1927)
  2. Elizabeth Shields (b. 27 February 1928)
  3. Eric Avebury (b. 29 September 1928)
James Davidson was MP for West Aberdeenshire between 1966 and 1970. Elizabeth Shields was MP for Ryedale between 1986 and 1987. Eric Avebury, as Eric Lubbock, was MP for Orpington between his famous by-election victory in 1962 and 1970.

Unless, of course, you know better.

Later. Thanks to Greg Stone for pointing me to Elizabeth Shields' date of birth.

1 comment:

David Loxton said...

A morning canvassing with Nicol Stephen and George Mackie during the Kincardine & Deeside By-election was an unforgettable experience. His campaigning tips for Nicol may have been a bit dated, but the delight he took in ordering 'young Johnston' around was priceless.