Encounter with an old bruiser

I had to ring Denis Healey today in re Conquest: they were both in the communist party at Oxford inthe late Thirties. He was delighted to hear Bob was still alive. “When you are over eighty,”, he said, “all your contemporaries are your friends”. He liked the serious poetry, which I admired him for. And, when I told him that Bob had excused his CP membership with the words “You couldn’t take seriously any organisation headed by Philip Toynbee”, he added the following anecdote: “I remember reading the first volume of Philip Toynbee’s autobiography in which he said that he had proved his dedication to the cause by reading the Daily Worker from cover to cover between Oxford and Paddington. If I had done that, I would have finished it before the train had left the Oxford suburbs.”

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