Benjie Goodhart's dad, the Lib Dem peer Lord Goodhart, was a fervent European who cherished his American roots. But as the world he'd fought for turned to dust, he was oblivious – hit by Alzheimer's, content to sit in the garden and count planes
There can't be many people who realise their dad has Alzheimer's from listening to the Today programme. But six years ago, hearing my brilliant and erudite father, the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Goodhart, stumbling and pausing through his interview with John Humphrys, I knew something was very wrong. Not that being reduced to a stuttering wreck by Humphrys is necessarily a sign of dementia – if it were, we'd have very few senior politicians left – but that sort of thing didn't happen to my dad. He was calm, clear-thinking, unflustered and always in full possession of the facts. He knew his onions. He was t hat frowned-on creature these days – an expert.
If that sounds braggadocious, well, yeah. It is. But my dad died in January, and I feel like bragging about him. He was the kind of man who deserves to be bragged about, although it is the last thing he would have dreamed of doing himself – he was modest to a fault.