It's quite sad to see the passing now of people who were at the top of the political game as I got involved in politics. My first election was that one in 1983, when Michael Foot was leader of the Labour Party. I was campaigning for Bob MacLennan, whose principles weren't compatible with Michael Foot's Labour Party and who was standing for the first time as an SDP candidate.
My teenage self found him quite scary to be honest. His oratorical style, where he'd suddenly shout in the middle of a sentence freaked me out. I do remember being really cross with the right wing press when they castigated Foot for his appearance at the Cenotaph one year when he was Party leader.
It was only later that I came to appreciate the depth of his intellect, his integrity and the way his words matched his actions. He was true to himself and not afraid to stand up for what he believed in.
I had a lot of time for Donald Dewar, too and there was a connection with Foot in that he lodged in his attic for 18 years.
I like this interview in the Guardian from his 90th year in which he gave a very personal look back on his life.
I disagreed with him on virtually everything except nuclear disarmament. I tried for years to justify why we needed to have nuclear weapons, but never with any real feeling.
Michael Foot was a good and decent man and politics was lucky to have had him.