Harry Leslie Smith
Harry Leslie Smith. (Image: AP/Peter Byrne)

So Harry Leslie Smith is dead then. The 95-year-old firebrand speaker and activist was taken by pneumonia, after tweets of his condition, by his son John, turned into a global online vigil, a mass outpouring of love and solidarity.

From his Twitter account -- @harryslaststand -- he had spent five years telling of the abyss he had been saved from by all that we were losing, and blasting out an attack on the new forces of wealth, inequality and war. He was still doing it a week ago, ending as he began, in his 90th year, when he rose to improbable fame, speaking at the 2014 UK Labour Party conference and asking the simple question: why were we letting all that had been achieved in the post WWII years simply be thrown away; our resistance sapped by years of Blairism, "Big Society" Toryism, and a general air of defeat?