I visited my journalistic mentor and friend Seth Lipsky, the editor of The New York Sun, for whom I worked at The Wall Street Journal Europe in the late 1980s. Seth hasn’t changed. I had barely been in for five minutes or he had set me to work, writing an obituary for Ralph Harris, which will be in tomorrow’s Sun.
I cannot do a better job than Helen Szamuely, however, who writes in her obituary for Ralph that “We shall not see his like again.” He was one of the most generous and inspiring men I have known. I know that most of his friends are as moved by his death as I am. He will be missed by many – not just in Britain, but all over Europe and even in America.
A quote from Helen’s obituary: “Ralph Harris came from a working class family in north London, [...]. He knew the importance of good education for people who wanted to rise and achieve; he [...] knew that the working classes had been perfectly capable of looking after themselves and their families; [he] knew how destructive the welfare state, imposed largely by do-gooding middle class politicians, had been to working class families and, beyond that, to the whole of this country’s society.”