I only met Norm once. It was at the Adam Smith Institute, at one of the “Whither blogging?” jamborees they used to organise, in which three well-known bloggers would make short speeches about the pros and cons of the medium. Once done, the fun started and we’d all hit the booze. I hadn’t planned on going to this one, but days before it was due I got an email from Norm asking if I were attending and, somewhat startled that such an eminence was interested in meeting, I showed up.
At 70 this bright, clear, solid Marxist professor and teacher has died—Engage summarises how he got between the Jews and their foes. Neil D recalls his blogging beginnings. Haroon Siddique plots its rise. Martin in the Margins pays tribute to the man who started him blogging. Norm was a great profiler of less well-known bloggers. He had a whimsical side, attempting emails with Rosie using only one vowel. Nick Cohen calls him uxorious. Harry—the actual Harry—blogs about his methodical patience when dealing with people who could drive saints to mass murder. Ben Cohen, whom Norm taught, remembers him as patient, kind, and sympathetic to his students. I hear that tomorrow there will be a Guardian obituary worth reading.