Throughout her adult life Helen Szamuely was known and feared for the sharpness of her tongue. It was said that those who engaged her in debate over the European Union — she was a founding member of what became Ukip — would come away with their egos in slices.
It’s a good obit. One thing does surprise me though:
She was also writing for History Today, contributing chapters for books, writing articles for various think tanks and blogging prolifically. Her debut with the latter was in April 2004 on Richard North’s blog EU Referendum. Five years later she decided to go it alone and began running her own blog. She was as cutting online as she was in person and would tear her victim’s virtual self apart.
“I notice you have no arguments just personal invective,” she wrote to one commenter. “I am proud of my enemies and you are an excellent addition to the group. I shan’t bother to reply to you again but be assured your self-satisfied silliness is appreciated.”
She was always sweetness and light to me. I assume that’s because I never said anything interesting……
On the one occasion I met her socially, she was utterly charming. I found it difficult to believe she was the same person as her online manifestation.
My one contact with her was online. I asked her if she had any family connection with either of the two Tibor Szamuelys (the revolutionary and the historian)
She scolded me for my impertinence before confirming that she did.
“Although she professed to have a thick skin she took it personally when friends removed her from Facebook during last year’s referendum campaign.”
How bizarre. What stance did these people think she’d take?
Daughter and, I think, grand daughter, but might have been great niece.
Daughter of the historian, who was in turn nephew of the revolutionary.
“…that’s you, that is.”
I was on the receiving end of one of her insults once. It was almost like a badge of honour. I’m glad she lived to see the start of the process of the withdrawal of this country from the EU, something she did as much to bring about as most people.
She sounds like a pain to me – Spud with some grey matter.