Wednesday, December 21

Vaclav Havel; a man who changed the lives not just of Czechs


22 years ago, we all watched on TV in our comfortable Western homes as the Iron Curtain came crashing down, and Vaclav Havel was in our eyes the epitome of everything good in these events. I suspect he did not care much for ‘brands" but he created a modern image of Czechoslovakia which I and many others fell in love with. Unlike the other East European countries, Havel's Czechoslovakia was seen to be full of sophisticated, cultured and peaceful people, with a sense of humour and (a sense of) the absurd. It is no surprise to me that his sad passing was the top story in my British news outlets, and in those of many other countries. I personally feel this loss far more than I ever did at the passing of any British politician or public figure. But I believe the inspiration of his life, his work, and his moral principles will stay with all of us whose lives have been changed because of all that he did.


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