Category Archives: Obituaries

The great Dutch libertarian Hubert Jongen has died

(Translated from the Dutch by Neil Lock. See the original by Michael van der Galien)

Hubert Jongen, who for literally decades was one of the most important and influential libertarians in the Netherlands, died on Wednesday (15th June 2016) at the age of 88.

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Is it wrong to tell the truth about the dead?

D.J. Webb

Occasionally, something happens in public life that leaves you stroking your head. How can you be the only one not to share in the general emotion? The death of Charles Kennedy, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats, has had that reaction on me. I wonder, if I died, would people crawl out of the woodwork to praise me, people who did not have a good word for me in my lifetime? Is it wrong to “defame” the dead? Or is it wrong to engage in this horrible mawkish pretence that anyone who dies was an asset to the country? Read more

Death of Colin Grainger

by John Kersey

I was saddened to learn that Colin Grainger, known to the blogosphere as Captain Ranty, has died. He was a past chairman of Freedom2Choose, campaigning for the rights of smokers, an advocate of Lawful Rebellion and a passionate, often ranty, opponent of the prevailing establishment.

Dick Puddlecote has written, “I was just heading out last night when the very sad news appeared on Twitter that fellow blogger and friend Captain Ranty has passed away.

I’d known him for a couple of years when he started his blog in April 2009 and was in no doubt it would be a success due to the quality of his writing, as I described during his early days. Read more

Farewell to Dennis O’Keeffe

Farewell to Dennis O’Keeffe
Sean Gabb

Yesterday, which was Monday the 29th December 2014, about sixty of those who knew him came together in Ealing Abbey to say farewell to Dennis O’Keeffe.

Life and death are mysteries that no scientific hypothesis can explain in other than functional terms. We were not. We are. We shall not be. While we are, the atoms that comprise our bodies maintain an apparently stable form. At last, through mechanical damage or the passing of time, the form is degraded, until its atoms go their separate ways. We can speak, with increasing sophistication, of this process in terms of cells and their division. We can, with increasing success, intervene in the process, to repair damage and hold off the effects of time. When confronted with the inevitable end of things, though, we are left by all our science with no greater understanding of where the person has gone than our earliest rational ancestors had. Read more

Dennis O’Keeffe RIP

lacnov02ac1djok1With deepest regret, I must report that Dennis O’Keeffe died early in the morning of Tuesday the 16th December 2014. He died peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones, and after a long illness. There will, in due course, be newspaper obituaries. These will supply full details of his life and his notable achievements. All I will do here is publish an old diary entry, to serve as a personal appreciation of one of the most remarkable men I have known. SIG

Monday 29th July 2002

Last Wednesday, we went off to the University of Buckingham, where Dennis O’Keeffe has been appointed Professor of Sociology. That evening, he was to give his inaugural lecture. I drove into the centre to give my lecture on Economics. This done, I collected Merrie Cave, Editor of The Salisbury Review and Michael Connolly, whom I knew from about twelve years ago, when he was a colleague of Dennis at the North London Polytechnic. Then I collected Mrs Gabb from Finsbury Park Underground Station. The journey to Buckingham was uneventful but long. Dennis has suggested I should go there and teach. Getting there from London is a bind—from Deal will never do. Read more

Terence DuQuesne: Obituary for a Pagan

by Alexander Baron

Egyptologist, classical scholar and author Terence DuQuesne died in a Croydon hospital, Thursday, April 17; he had been ill for some time. The following obituary was compiled with some assistance from his executor.

Born at Cambridge in 1942, he won scholarships to Dulwich and Oxford. He was the author or co-author of more than a dozen books including the 1964 critical bibliography Catalogi Librorum Eroticorum, and the 1986 study Britain: An Unfree Country, which he co-wrote with Edward Goodman. His expertise led to his being invited to write the entry for imiut in the on-line UCLA Encyclopedia Of Egyptology. He also published three volumes of his own poetry including Caduceus.

By the age of 13, the young Terry Deakin was already reading Greek poetry in the original. He is said to have claimed that one of his main motivations for learning ancient Greek was to be able to read Sappho in her original language. In 1990, he published a translation of her works after rejecting earlier renditions as “dull and distorted reflexions”.

Terence Duquesne was active in the Libertarian movement; in 1986 he published Illicit Drugs: Myth And Reality for the Libertarian Alliance. This was presented to the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee.

He was also a practising pagan, and in his will dated June 8, 2004, he directed “on no account shall my body be buried or the ashes from my cremation be placed in ground consecrated to the Christian religion”. His patron deity was Anubis, the jackal-headed God of the Dead, and it is hardly surprising that he should have published a new translation of the Egyptian Book Of The Dead. Read more

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