Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Rennie, Hughes and Carmichael pay tribute to Andrew Reeves

On Monday night, a whole crowd of people met in Edinburgh to just have a few drinks together in memory of Andrew Reeves. We went to this really homely, comfortable, friendly bar, Joseph Pearce's on Elm Row. That place is rapidly overtaking my previous favourite pub, the Station Bar in Cowcaddens in Glasgow. Joseph Pearce's is the sort of place you can relax in. You can feel at home. You can celebrate there, or it's a safe retreat in times of trouble. And they always have plenty Hendricks Gin.

Going in on the train, somebody said over Twitter to smile at the memories and at that time I really felt that it was too early to smile, and all I really wanted to do was cling to my friends for comfort. But, you know, there are very few memories of Andrew which don't have a smile in them somewhere. We sat outside in blazing sunshine for a little while, too. It was an evening which was exactly what I needed anyway.

Over in Belfast, other friends were similarly sharing memories of Andrew.

My guess is that we're probably all still a long way from all this hitting us, though.

They say that you don't know what you've got till it's gone. I don't think that's true - we did appreciate him while he was here, and it has been very comforting to see the tributes paid to him from friends and senior party figures alike.

Willie Rennie's, on Andrew's Facebook wall, was very personal.
He is there, part of your life, the he's not. Except I think Andrew will always be as he made such an impression on the way we were and are. I will miss you Andrew.
Alistair Carmichael's is contained in Callum Leslie's article on the Liberal Youth Scotland website.
 “I am not looking forward to my next visit to 4 Clifton Terrace where there will be a large Andrew Reeves – shaped hole. There are many people in the party who work hard, many who are fun to be around and many who have an instinctive feel for the liberal response to any given issue. He was one of the rare few who was all three and more.”
Simon Hughes, who worked closely with Andrew in London, said on his website:

Andrew's untimely and sudden death has sent shock waves and great sadness across the party.
To Liberal Democrats in Southwark and to me as the local MP he was a workhorse, a hugely talented campaigner and a source of perpetual wisdom and good advice.To the London region when he was our campaign officer Andrew was an effective advocate, loyal friend and very valued campaigner. In his final job in Scotland he was not blown off course during the very difficult campaign of recent weeks from his liberal principles, enormous commitment and dedicated hard work.
Thousands of Liberal Democrats will remain in Andrew's debt for many years ahead.

Now, I have had to correct the misplaced apostrophe in the first sentence from the original, because I'm a bit freakish about these things. I'm fairly certain Andrew would have laughed at the thought of me frothing at the mouth at that apostrophe. How do I know?  Because during the election we had a very similar conversation where he used exactly those words.

I should also mention that Nicola Sturgeon took time out of her day to send sympathy via Twitter. She didn't know Andrew, but she read the post I wrote on Friday. She didn't have to do that and her kindness is appreciated.

Scot Goes Pop also wrote warmly about him showing that there was affection for Andrew across the political spectrum.

And back to the Liberal Democrats, two lovely personal tributes that sum Andrew up perfectly.  Mark Cole talks about how Andrew always made time to encourage him with his blogging.

And, one of the biggest mysteries of all time - a front of house with Billi and Andrew on it - how on earth would anyone want to leave them and go out? She sums up exactly how his encouragement could give you confidence and help you decide the course of your life.

And damn you, Falchikov, for making me cry again. Beautiful choice.

Tomorrow we start to gather ahead of saying goodbye to him on Friday. Edinburgh is welcoming people from across the country. I just hope the city Andrew loved shows itself off at its best - and that doesn't mean the torrential rain that's falling at the moment, please.

1 comment:

Dan Falchikov said...

I wish I could be with you in Reekie. But I'm sure Andrew will get the send off he deserves.


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