David Walter R.I.P.

There have been some very fulsome tributes to David Walter here, here and here (and no doubt elsewhere). I would not pretend to have known the man well enough to pay tribute to him in any qualitative form. But I would just say that I approached him at a Lib Dem conference while he was still an ITN journalist, to excitedly tell him that I shared a surname with him. It’s not often we Walters meet another Walter without the “s” which is, more often than not, appended to the end of our surname (it happens to other surnames which are, or sound like, forenames also, apparently. Ask anyone called “Roger” or “Rodger”).I didn’t have time to enquire as to whether he was one of the Bradworthy Walters (like me) or the, much more elevated, Bearwood Walters.

He was very charming about my approach, but, I must admit, he looked ever-so-slightly bemused.

Anyway, a great liberal, a great journalist and a man who very valiantly tried to hold the seat which has gone in and out of the Liberal/Lib Dem party – namely West Devon/Torridge. After a famous by-election win celebrated in august circles of the party (there is apparently a recently restored stained glass window depicting it in St Asquith’s), it was once held by the none other than Mark Bonham-Carter, grandson of Asquith.

Dick Cheney's heart transplant which isn't a heart transplant

For those of us who remember Dr Christian Barnard and his pioneering heart transplant surgery, heart transplant is a big deal. It is for others, no doubt.

As a fellow human being, with a family, I wish Dick Cheney all the best for a successful recovery from his “heart transplant”. Strictly speaking, he hasn’t actually had a heart transplant. He’s had the installation of an Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) powered by batteries. It’s often described as a “bridge to heart transplant”.

Rachel Maddow on MSNBC explains with the help of an expert below.

There have been lots of jokes about all this on Twitter. Perhaps they can be summed up by the number one Twitter Cheney “heart transplant” joke:

Don’t you need to have a heart in the first place to have a heart transplant?

[Drum roll – Cymbal}

In praise of Earl Scruggs R.I.P.

Earl Scruggs. “Who he?” comes the shouted communual response from the Liberal Burblings reader, as well as “Ed”.

Well, he was quite a man. A misucian, but particularly a banjo player. – Ask Billy Connolly, banjo player extraordinaire.

I was once forced to present a Country Music show or four on Radio 210 in Reading. I struggled. Country Music just isn’t me – even though I do understand the crossplay between it and rock/pop music. But Earl Scruggs was an oasis. “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” can be enjoyed by most people. A sheer piece of beauty.

Here he is with it – Foggy Mountain Breakdown – at the Camp Springs Bluegrass Festival in 1971.