We are sorry to announce that Graham Lloyd, who has blogged at Harry’s Place for a number of years, passed away on Saturday after months of serious illness.
Throughout his illness, and punishing treatments, Graham remained mentally undiminished, and could still argue the case for Ken Livingstone with the best of them – even when seriously incapacitated. Those whose lives have been enriched by knowing Graham, will find the world a little more grey today.
In recent years, Graham undertook academic studies of the history of British Fascism at the University of Sheffield, and would often pop up with an arcane point of relevant information in discussions. All of Harry’s Place contributors will miss Graham.
Our thoughts are with Graham’s family and friends.
– – – –
An example of Graham’s writing is his review of Sacred Causes: Religion and Politics from the European Dictators to Al Qaeda by Michael Burleigh. Heaven is a Place on Earth – Part I, Part II, and Part III.
Archived comments (in reverse order of posting):
Graham Lloyd was a lively and interesting commentator on modern history, particularly on the 20th Century totaltarian moverments such as Communism, Fascism & Nazism. His awareness of their appeal and the reasons for it was first rate. He will be missed here and many other places. My sympathy to his loved ones.
I never thought I’d be writing these words, but I agree with SPGB Gray. Well said.
Contempt for the undemocratic left? No way. He was an apologist for Ken Livingstone.
It was only a few days ago that I was ruminating (to myself) on the ebb and flow of contibutors to the Harry’s Place blog. I’ve been a reader since the early days, well before “Harry” himself buggered off to Hungary, or wherever he’s gone.
I’d noticed that “David T” and “Wardytron” and “Marcus” had virtually disappeared from recent postings and that “Graham” seemed to have gone entirely.
I used to pride myself on being reasonably well read in the origins/history of European Fascism and being able to argue a reasonable case for my position(s). Exposed to Graham’s rather better informed postings on this blog I soon realised I wasn’t and I couldn’t.
I’m saddened to hear that Graham’s absence from the blog was due to his illness and although he was someone I didn’t know at all (other than through his internet presence) I’m saddened to hear of his untimely death.
My condolences to all his family and friends.
A sad loss, far too young.
I may not have agreed with much of his politics, but the fact that he was an Everton supporter is reason enough to regret his passing. Still, I’m confident that he’ll receive his just rewards in Blue Heaven.
Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.
I didn’t know him, or really know of him. But ‘every man’s death diminishes me…’, and all that.
Condolences to his family and loved ones.
Just called in at HP after an extended absence and was saddened to hear the news about Graham.We often clashed – particularly over Ken Livingstone – but Graham was always generous in debate and never mean spirited. I am very sorry to hear about his untimely death this and send my condolences to his family and friends. I shall miss my old sparring partner.
I am overseas at the moment so cqnnot comment at length.
graham has a particular significance as some time after an almighty row which went on for days, we settled our differences and a while later, it was he who first invited me to post on HP, He was gently enc0uraging ande reassured me not to get too rattled by the furore that particular post stirred up. He was really so quietly swupportive. so it was he who really drew me in to the Hp gang
My thoughts with his family
I would like to thank you all for such a wonderful tribute and for sharing your memories of Graham. With your permission, I would like to include some of these in the eulogy on Friday…Lots of love and Angels to you all xoxo
If you are not bob, please ignore the following…
Bob, your limited use of linguistic skill is only surpassed by your lack of empathy. Too bad you will never become one jot of the man that Graham was! (Seriously doubt you have achieved much in your tiny, miserable life) Jealousy is not pretty Bob…
A sad loss. RIP, Graham.
I was so shocked to read he had died. I had wondered where he was for that period of time.
I always appreciated his comments. We had some discussion way back over the adoption issue, as I too am adopted. I liked him immediately.
My thoughts are with his friends and family. RIP Graham.
When he got ill, I told him I was right about the smoking ban all along and he still insisted the cause was car fumes from main road outside his front door. Stubborn bastard.
We mostly disagreed politically and didn’t get along so well overall. And yet I can honestly say I liked him, and I had been missing his presence at HP.
I always liked hearing him talk about adult education. He was inspiring on the subject and I wish he had spoken about it more often.
Far too young, I think he had many achievements and contributions ahead of him.
Sorry to hear it. Condolences to his family.
I’m sorry to hear that he’s dead. On the other hand, he loved learning, and I can’t think of any better way to have lived than that.
Plus, at least he was around long enough to see the downfall of Saddam Hussein.
Finally, as Gene said, he was on the broad democratic wing of the left in days when this is a minority-of-a-minority position, and at a time when this was also the broad outlook of the main Harry’s Place writers—in its heyday, if I can call it that.
Perhaps HP could post a brief outline of Graham’s life;his origins, education, projects, achievements etc.
I often argued with him and would just like to know a little more about the guy.
RIP – v sad news
Very sad news indeed.
I loved his sense of humour and his fantastic argumentative technique.
I wish we had met.
He’ll be sadly missed. Rest in Peace.
Condolences to Graham’s friends and family. I never got to meet Graham, though we did correspond a bit over the last few years. Aside from being an all-round good guy, knowledgeable and funny (and argumentative!), he was, as Gene said, very much of the democratic decent left.
We’ll miss you, Graham!
He was a contrarian old git, but witty with it. In a weird way I’ll quite miss trading insults with him. Very sad news, condolences to his family.
Hello Harry’s Place!
Thank you for this thread! I have just read all the comments, and am sitting here thinking how embarrassed Graham would be by them, but also how touched he would be! (The fact that there’s an argument he can’t finish tho would rankle)
I hope that you will take comfort from the knowledge that Graham no longer has to suffer or worry about anything.
I was with Graham when he passed away, and it was very peaceful for him.
The service will be on Friday, 27.05.2011 at 12:15 at City Road, Sheffield
For those of you who live around London, please do not worry if you can’t get here, as I am going to organise a memorial service in Brixton as well. When the details are worked out, I’ll post them on this thread and Facebook.
I would like to thank Harry’s Place for giving Graham an outlet where he could be himself and share his thoughts. For those of you who feel guilty about disagreeing with Graham, please don’t beat yourselves over it. Graham thrived on challenges and one of his favourite things was to play devils advocate, even if it was just to see how people really felt about things.
I shall miss his passion for so many things, he opened up a whole new world for me!
If you wish to talk or share your memories, please feel free to get in touch with me. My email address is dreamitbeitnow[at]gmail.com
Thank you all. Angels to you xoxo
I never met him in person, but his personality certainly came through in his writing. A very warm, witty and passionate man. We rarely disagreed on anything. I parted company with him on Livingstone post 2008, but as on every other issue his opinions were informed by a real commitment to the welfare of ordinary folk. People from the sort of background he came from. Some others said he had a chip on his shoulder about his class. Those people were wrong – he just had a clear grasp of the importance of that prism that any intelligent and compassionate mind would. This toffy-nosed champagne socialist really appreciated his down to earth but considered and thoughtful contributions here.
I feel also that his equanimity (which of course I have only seen through the prism of this place and Facebook) in facing up to his illness and its probable consequences are notable. I’m sure there were many dark times for those who knew him, but he didn’t allow what would have been an all too understandable bitterness to conquer him. I’m not sure I’d be able to say the same for myself faced with similar.
You can tell that he was the sort of person who will leave a large hole in the lives of those who knew and loved him, and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to them. It is a sad thing to lose a loved one at such an early age.
A gentleman of genuine character, bravery, intelligence and compassion.
Like Orwell, whom he greatly admired, Graham was a genuine democratic leftist who knew– and held in utter, deserved contempt– the undemocratic Left in all its forms, as well as the sections of the Left cut off from the actual (as opposed to imagined) concerns of ordinary people.
I’ll miss him.
For a bluenose he wasn’t that bad a sort even if we did almost come to blows once or five times.
The minutiae of left-wing thought isn’t my forte, so I’ll start another argument by wondering if him and Bernard Manning are now sitting enjoying a pint together in Valhalla or what…
This is really sad and shocking news. Graham was relentelssly thoughtful and sane, even when you didn’t agree with him, he made you think very hard about why that might be the case. That he blogged so intelligently and robustly whilst facing a such an utterly unfair circumstance that might have turned many others bitter and sullen is a testament to the fortitude of his humanity.
My condolences to his family – and hope that they might find some consolation that he touched so many minds, and improved them.
I may be mainly a reader rather than a fighter, but I’ll miss Graham’s writing here and in the comments boxes elsewhere. Best wishes to his family and friends.
You can e-mail me at mettaculture[at]gmail.com I would like to be in touch
This is very sad. I crossed swords with him a few times too, as a fellow cussed old bugger. A great debater and obvious good bloke. May he know peace.
Of course you do not have to speak well of the dead (though you do when they are communists) butacky to defame them just because a reputation goes to the grave.
You are quite wrong about Graham dismissing left wing (what you call ‘red’) and/or revolutionary thought.
I am quite sure that you never engaged with him at the broader level of the history of ideas, including revolutionary Jacobin, Anarchist, Fascist, Marxism, Lenninism and Marxian thought.
You do rather tend to micro-tendancy spiel and it is true that he did not have any time for such groupuscule sectarianism.
I think it fair to say that he opposed revolutionary practice (rather than thought) as a result of both a personal contempt for the self indulgent, deluded, middle class would be revolutinaries, that comprise British sectarian commpuscules and a keen historian’s sense of the epic totalitarian failure of actual communist revolutions.
To consider revolutionary communism a failure because it has actually, as an ultimate historical fact, always failed (whatever your transcendental views of the ultimate corrective victory of SPGB) I would consider a sound and objective appraisal of empirically observable reality, rather than an example of pig ignorance.
To put it simply, Graham had a rather sophisticated grasp of the thing that is found on both ends of a bayonet in a communist revolution.
An argument on Graham’s obit thread. Now that would have made him smile.
I don’t approve of gushing over the dead myself – but I genuinely see very little of it in the above comments.
I don’t normally mind your contributions here at all, and indeed very much disagree with the stick that both you and Red-Deathy get from too many sneering, ignorant right wingers…….
But I do think your comment here is misjudged, nonetheless.
oh the gushing.
Graham Lloyd wasn’t that good a blogger or commentater. He dismissed any red, revolutionary thought simply because of his 1 year teenage flirt with the SWP.
I think it tastless that people are saying we didn’t agree but we’ll miss him.
Say it as it is: you didn’t agree and you never knew him.
Graham was always good for a pig ignorant statement on the SPGB.
49. Too young, simply too young.
@Brownie – Ha, that is so true about the smoking. Graham and I nearly came to blows outside the cancer hospital over that one!
@IM – If you are who I think you are (perhaps the rosary gives it away a bit!) then I can tell you that Graham thought very highly of you and enjoyed your little facebook arguments very much.
@Metta – That was a lovely comment. Graham thought you were super and I think he tried to get in contact with you via email but had lost the address it. I think it was something to do with books. HP can give you my email, if you want it and I can help answer any questions.
@Everyone Else – thank you for your lovely comments. I’m sure they will be great comfort to Graham’s wife Debi. I shall make sure she sees them.
I met Graham via HP and was lucky to have had such a good friend, even though it was for such a short time.
I haven’t been to Harry’s Place in months and then I pop by to see what is going on only to find this terrible news.
I remember Graham with great fondness. His mockery of Lee Barnes and his sock puppets was always guaranteed to provoke the kind of frothing personalised reaction that would make Barnes and his party look pretty ridiculous.
But as others have commented, there was much more to Graham than that. I am deeply saddened.
It seemed like I was always crossing swords with Graham, but he was always such a vigorous and cogent defender of his point of view, that every skirmish was somehow productive.
While we are here, and in this rather reflective frame of mind, just a short message to the HP regulars: About this place, and about us lot. I have often locked antlers with you, some more than others, and I still have every intention of doing so in the future. But it’s like being in one of those great big families where they are all arguing all the time. We are a bit like that.
And if some complete bloody outsider blows in off the street, and starts bad-mouthing you, even if he’s taking my side, I’m liable to bite his head off at the ankles.
Well that’s enough about that…
What a terrible, terrrible loss.
I wish to honour the memmory of Graham LLoyd and celebrate his life and remember the huge impact he had on me as he touched my life.
I loved Graham the blogger and everything about himself that he chose to reveal through blogging (and he often chose to reveal personal aspects of his life experience not through class bitterness, or chippiness as some thought but throuugh a determination to expalin how some things personal really are political).
I almost never disagreed with him about anything (except Ken Livingstone and then I understood exactly why he took his view).
It was Graham and his generosity of spirit that hooked me at Harry’s Place and kept me commenting here.
We shared some life experiences, such as being thrown on the scrap heap of the state education system and only gravitating to a serious education as adults, through auto-didactism fed by political activism with punk rock as our pervasive sound track.
I never met him, though communicated privately a few times in which we promised to meet.
I am sorry I never tried harder to meet him in person.
I want to celebrate his commitment to adult education to giving back to others what he struggled so hard to acheive for himself.
I once told him I was in awe of him for his work in education, which he just modestly batted asside as ‘well I am only a teacher’.
He was a consumate, fucking fantastic, teacher in the 19th C spirit of empowering the downtrodden through really useful knowledge.
That his enduring memmorial, a noble and enviable one.
For his closest loved ones, my deepest feelings for your loss.
Terrible news. Graham will be badly missed.
My condolences to his family.
Blogging generates a sense of community because of people like him who put their heart into it, displaying genuinely and in a loyal manner their ideas and opinions and standing up for them, while remaining open to different perspectives. So was Graham as a blogger.
As a fellow blogger, Graham was always very supportive to me. I particularly appreciated his comments in my defence in a few occasions in which comments of mine in HP triggered nasty responses, as well as the way he reacted to my perspective when we disagreed.
I am glad I was included in Graham’s virtual community and sorry only for not having had the chance to meet him in person. It is sad that his life was cut short but from what I got to know about the person he was, his love for music, his sense of humour, his pride on being somewhat excessive, he clearly knew how to live life intensively.
This is very sad. He was a character.
The man was worth debating with. Perhaps the last brightspot.
My condolences to those who had the good fortune to know him better than I.
Sorry to hear this – he had this great vibe coming through the page. And a great fans of the melodic punk like the Boys.
And I agree with Brownie – Graham relished a good fight, so why feel embarrassed about the ones you had with him now?
This is Graham from the comments bit? Aw no, that’s bad news. We had a fight or two on here, but that’s what makes coming here so entertaining. Requiescat in pace, old bean
Is that Graham on the masthead? Dreadful news. Gone but not forgotten.
Never engaged with him, but was always impressed.
Very sad, condolences.
Condolences to his family.
Nick (South Africa)
Sad and rather shocking news, condolences to friends and family.
Andrew Ian Dodge
Condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed.
Terrible news. I was looking forward to discussing further with Graham the finer intricacies of education politics and curriculum – issues in which both of us had a stake.
A good guy of the sanest kind. An honest and dedicated man of principle and generous spirit.
My thoughts are with his family and friends.
Rest in Peace.
RIP. A great thinker and polemicist.
I am terribly sorry to hear this. I had no idea he was seriously ill. I had become very fond of Graham. Totally unreasonable, never allowing anyone else the last word, never backing down, full of high spirits and humour. I really enjoyed his banter. A real character. I’m so sad that he has died.
If first got to know Graham properly after our 3-week debate on the smoking ban. I used to think I liked to have the last word. When he got ill, I told him I was right about the smoking ban all along and he still insisted the cause was car fumes from main road outside his front door. Stubborn bastard.
And for those feeling slightly awkward about their confrontations with Graham in the past, you really shouldn’t. That’s the last thing he would have wanted. In fact, any back-tracking would piss him off royally.
A legend and I’d say the best read blogger/commenter on HP and no doubt many another blog. If you don’t agree, it’s probably because the majority of his literary and cultural references went straight over your head.
One of the good guys, indeed. Rest in peace, pal.
I enjoyed sparring with him, and he’ll be greatly missed.
I was wondering why both his comments and contributions had been rare lately.
Is this Graham Graham? From Brixton? Oh, what a shame. Poor bloke. His comments were always an enjoyable read. RIP.
I am very sad to hear this. He did indeed seem like a great chap. I also fondly remember the time when he offered to meet up with fascist thug John Lee Barnes for a ruck in his local. JLB shat his pants, of course.
Very sad indeed to hear this. I’ve greatly enjoyed Graham’s contributions over the years. My condolences to Graham’s family and friends.
My condolences- his wit and humour will be missed.
Very sad to hear of Graham’s tragically premature death. I had no idea he’d been so ill. My condolences to his family, and I hope they will find some small comfort in the many warm expressions of appreciation of his contributions to HP.
A very bright lad who caused me to stop and think as to whether
my thoughts were in order.
Any interesting blog requires intelligent awkwards to keep the pot boiling.
A very sad loss indeed!
How tragic. He was no age at all. My thoughts are with his family, they must be devastated.
Whenever we see a thread that Graham would have waded into, we will miss him.
Very, very sad news, condolences to all Graham’s family and friends. At HP, Graham’s anti-fascism, knowledge, humour and kindness will be sorely missed.
Sad to hear. RIP.
If there’s a heaven, he’s started a row there already.
Very funny and thought-provoking guy, there are far too few of his ilk.
sackcloth and ashes
Terrible news. My condolences to his family. He was a good bloke.
That’s really sad news. He was one of the stars of Harry’s Place. I’ll miss the chance to correct his taste in music and laugh at his eternal Evertonian flame-carrying. RIP.
He was generally right about Ken, too.
Studying fascism at Sheffield is almost an oxymoron!
Sad news. I never met him either, but his posts were always entertaining. His humour always came through.
Awful news. I never met Graham but I used to like to see his contributions on the screen. He was very erudite. I was wondering what had happened to him. Awful news.
very sad news. RIP.
This is v. sad. I could never persuade him of the merits of Supertramp any more than he could persuade me that Stiff Little Fingers weren’t a hideous racket, but he was a really good egg. I’ll listen to some hideous racket in his honour. Punk songs are quite short, aren’t they.
What was fun with Graham, is that he would argue any point with you. He stuck to his guns.
Annoyingly, his arguments were often extremely good, and quite difficult to displace!
(Much better to have him arguing on your side!)
I am genuinely saddened by this news, I didn’t know Graham and I didn’t share his political views but as others have said and of which I have no doubt, he was one of the good guys.
Very sad. My condolences to his family and friends. He was one of the good guys.
That’s terrible news. He was someone worth arguing with.
Sorry to hear this. We probably never agreed on anything, but he will indeed be missed.
Very sad news. My condolences to his family and friends.
Condolences. What a loss …
A O Sandal
I am genuinely saddened by this news, I didn’t know Graham but nevertheless it has had an impact, we were at opposite ends of the political spectrum but I admired his commitment to his cause.
We may not have agreed on some details, but Graham always championed the same liberal ideals that I cherish. He could make the case with unparalleled mastery and impact. My apologies for trying to rile him at one time. Condolences to his loved ones. R.I.P.
Fabian ben Israel
I’ve also had my clashes with Graham, but I was very sad to hear this news – I had had no idea he was ill. Condolences to his family.
I’m so sorry to hear this.
Man I wish I was nicer to him. I’m really sad that he died at 49 years; its about the age of my contemporaries. Will say a rosary for him and his family.
I’m very sorry to hear this. My condolences his family and friends. RIP Graham.
A fine comrade and a penetrating mind. I will miss him
This is very sad news.
Graham was always up for a fight.
We didn’t agree on much, and we clashed often, frequently quite violently, but this earth really is a poorer place without him on it. Condolences and hugs to his family.
My condolences to his family and friends.
The day after his 49th birthday.
I shall miss Graham both for his generous imparting of his knowledge of history and for his wit and tenacity in countering some of the most value-challenged stopper, troofer and anti-imperialism of idiocy dribble deposited in the comment boxes. He was far too young to have had to suffer what sadly turned out to be a terminal illness. My condolences to his friends and family and hope they can take a little pride and comfort in that that people like me who only knew him from his written contributions will always remain grateful to him for what we learned from him. Rest in Peace Graham!
I had wondered why we hadn’t heard from him for a while (actually quite some time). He was an extremely knowledgeable fellow, never afraid to call a fascist a fascist. Until now, all I ever knew about him was that he was adopted and born in Brixton. Shall miss you Graham in spite of all our disagreements under a variety of pseudonyms. Rest in peace!
A life taken away at a young age. As with others, my thoughts are with those who were closest to him.
Graham was somebody who not only contributed much of worth to this blog “above the line” – he also stood up for sanity in the comments boxes when the infestation of curtain-twitching haters at times threatened to reach intolerable levels.
He was never “Labour” in a party-political sense (though his foes liked to pretend he was) but even so, he represented many of the best traditions of the left in its broadest sense – what this blog, let’s not forget, was created to stand up for.
I enjoyed Graham’s contributions and his sense of humour, and I’d noticed he wasn’t around much lately. I will miss him.
My condolences to his family and friends also.
RIP. My thoughts are with his family.
RIP Graham – thoughts with his family
Condolences to all of Graham’s family and friends. Sad news.
This is awful news. We didn’t often agree, but he was a decent man and an engaging writer; the world is a poorer place without him. My condolences to his family and friends.
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
I will miss dearly Graham Lloyd’s wit and sense of humour! His writings were always a pleasure to read.
RIP Graham, buddy. And my sincerest condolences to your family.
Damn. A good guy.
Condolences to his family and friends.
Such sad news, very sorry to hear that. Graham was a brilliant member of the team and his comments were always wise. My condolonces to his family and friends.
Rest in Peace.
Very sorry to hear this news. RIP Graham.
We will miss him hugely.
Sorry to hear this. RIP.
So sorry to hear X