Very few have given so much simple delight to so many as the late Oliver Postgate. Quite rightly, then, his death has been widely acknowledged, and his merits listed and applauded.
Not many get a full page obituary in the quality press. He not only received that respect: he deserved it.
In reading the Guardian’s, by Philip Purser, Malcolm was struck by the second paragraph (which, curiously, becomes the third on the web edition):
Born in Hendon, north London, a son of Raymond Postgate, Labour Party historian and first editor of The Good Food Guide, Oliver grew up in an impeccably socialist-academic milieu. His grandfather on his mother’s side was George Lansbury, Labour party leader from 1932 to 1935, one of his aunts Margaret Cole of the formidable Fabian partnership of GDH Cole and Margaret Cole. His brother became professor of microbiology at Sussex, a cousin is professor of Assyriology at Cambridge, and another cousin is the Murder She Wrote actor Angela Lansbury.
Again the last clause is omitted on the web page.
Is it not astonishing how so many distinguished and talented folk are linked, as here?
Is it something genetic?
If so, Malcolm has a problem. According to one well-researched genealogy, he is directly descended from a High Tory squire and MP of the early eighteenth century, and also from Sir Richard Rich, who did down the saintly and sainted Thomas More, to qualify as one of the ten “worst historical Britons” (according to the BBC History Magazine).
Then, again, one’s birth and origin are not matters of choice. As Bill Bryson had it: I come from Des Moines…