John Gouriet died last Saturday evening. I met him in the 1970s, when I was a naive schoolboy who thought Margaret Thatcher had come to save England by enacting J.S. Mill’s essay On Liberty into law. John did explain very gently that I was not entirely correct in my belief, but welcomed me into the Freedom Association as one of its youngest members. I never did that much in the movement. But it was John who indirectly led me to Chris R. Tame and the newly-founded Libertarian Alliance.
I lost sight of him after about 1985. But we renewed our friendship after 2004 on various conservative and Eurosceptic distribution lists. I was shocked to hear about the heart attack he suffered a few years back while he was speaking in a debate on the climate change scam. I think we are all diminished by his passing last Saturday evening.
Monday, 06 September 2010
John Gouriet (1935-2010): The Freedom Association’s greatest campaigner.
DSC_0105 We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn that John Gouriet, The Freedom Association’s first and greatest Director, died on Saturday evening, 4 September.
Simon Richards, TFA’s Director, said, “He was a delightful man as well as a brilliant one. Our young team here loved him and his wicked sense of humour. John was The Freedom Association. He was a great man and it was an honour to have known him. I am only pleased that I had an opportunity, at the Stanway Summer Party on 31 July, to pay warm tribute to him and his achievements. John was – and will remain – an inspiration to me and to all at The Freedom Association. We honour and revere his memory and give thanks to him for a lifetime dedicated to fighting for freedom. Our thoughts are with his widow and his family at this sad time.”
John was a campaigner of genius. Back in the 1970s, he masterminded Operation Pony Express, which defeated an illegal trade union move to crush the Grunwick photo processing company. He took on the unjust trades union closed shop and won. He paved the way for the great reforms introduced by Lord Tebbit and the Thatcher Government, which brought an end to the excessive trades union power which had brought Britain to its knees.
Right to the end, John was campaigning, with his usual style, panache and wit, for Britain to regain its freedom from the European Union.