Sunday, 9 July 2017

Peter Risdon has died


He was a brilliant, clear-minded and deep thinker. He was one of my closest Facebook friends, someone who made Facebook worthwhile despite all the idiots and bores. I am so glad I finally met him in real life in March in Ely. 

Peter broke the opticians' monopoly in the 1980s. Later he was mixed up with Darius Guppy and Peter recorded Guppy's conversation with his school friend Boris Johnson.
Peter told very funny stories about Guppy but Guppy, who is out now, is litigious and I shall not set them down here. They should be made into a comedy thriller.

Peter was a great liberal in the true sense of the word, who regretted that this meant he
had to vote conservative, and a noble human being. He was a classical liberal, a libertarian, a firm but always polite atheist, a republican with a small 'r' and in
American politics a big one.

Peter had very deep scientific knowledge and was certain that climate change fears were unfounded.

He made his money from IT, lived in Cambridgeshire and kept sheep on a small holding. This seemed appropriate for a Gladstonian. He recently married a beautiful young
wife, Katie, to whom my heart goes out.

A contrarian, you might call him, except he did not take positions for the sake of being different. I never knew anyone argue so well for Brexit or for Donald Trump. He despised Barack Obama. 

In May Peter said:
That rambling incompetent Trump has got Russia to agree to no fly zones in Syria. That's after getting China on the right side against North Korea. Pathetic. All I can say is, he has orange hair.
He coined the phrase, which I am afraid I plagiarised (slightly adapted), that Labour is essentially a 20th century answer to a 19th century problem. 

He rightly said that a Labour government is always the worst disaster that can befall Britain.

After the Islamist massacre in the Berlin Christmas market in December he wrote on Facebook:
There is quite a rich haul of posts and comments this morning. The only way to beat terrorism is with our values, for example. This much loved perennial always comes from people whose values include importing then surrendering to terrorism. New technology forces people back into the Victorian age was a beaut. Best of all was something about Obama and Merkel and how it would be a disaster if the outcome of all these terrible problems was that the people who caused them lost power and influence.
The problem is. Merkel isn't finished. Germany has no moderate adjustment available and it isn't ready to move to the extreme. It will be, at some stage.
In January he posted these wise words.
The new mainly left wing habit of lying while calling other people's normal political language lies is the most dangerous development in politics at the moment.

It's a genuinely Orwellian attempt to gain control of 'truth' for political purposes. Nothing, not newfound Russian nuclear superiority, not Chinese military expansion, nothing threatens liberal democracy as seriously.
As a nineteenth century liberal he was a neo-con, who never ceased to argue that invading Iraq and overthrowing Gaddafi were right. He was a great Zionist and a great admirer of General Mattis. Unlike me, he was convinced that Iran was much more malign than Saudi Arabia.

He was sometimes more interesting, in my view, on Facebook than on his blog, but this post from December entitled
Trump’s foreign policy genius
is very well worth reading. 

The flavour of Peter can be gleaned here in an interview with the well known blogger Norman Geras.

Adrian Morgan described Peter as
A moral giant of a man, who was prepared to stand up to bullies in the real world and the cowardly ones who live online, Peter knew what was right and wrong. In 2006 when our nation's freedom of speech was under threat from fanatical Islamists demanding the "right" to not to have their prophet depicted in cartoons, he organised the March for Free Expression. He stressed that the event was about the right to free speech and not against Muslims. He insisted that BNP and other anti-Muslims should stay away. That action led to him being hated by Nick Griffin and his minions. In one of his last circuitous rants before losing control of the BNP, Griffin attacked him.


  1. A gentleman, learned, cultured and the best debater I have ever come across on social network. He will be greatly missed. RIP Peter. Jeanne Griffin

  2. We will all miss Peter Risdon and that includes those who did not agree with him and that is the mark of a gentleman.
    Ray Berke