Norman speaking on the Euston Manifesto. Picture courtesy of Anthony Cox

Norman speaking on the Euston Manifesto. Picture courtesy of Anthony Cox

Pioneering blogger and professor emeritus of government at Manchester University Norman Geras has died of cancer aged 70.

His political blog, the influential Normblog announces his death and carries this final update from his daughter Jenny.

“Writing this blog, and communicating with all his readers, has brought him an enormous amount of pleasure in the last ten years. I know that since writing here about his illness earlier in the year he received a lot of support from many of you, and that has meant a great deal to him, and to us, his family. The blog and all its archives will remain online.”

Tributes to the writer and thinker have been quick to to appear online. Writing in The Spectator, Nick Cohen said he had been shocked by the news.

“I can think of few political writers, who have influenced me more comprehensively. Whenever I faced a difficult moral question, I would at some point think ‘ah, what is Norm saying about this,’ go to his blog and see that Norm had found a way through.”

Writing on The Scroll, Ben Cohen remembers an occasion at Manchester University when Geras tackled some ‘cuddly capitalists’.

“In those few moments, the aspiring revolutionaries in his classroom were taught a salutary lesson on the enduring bourgeois values of respect, tolerance and kindness.”

Geras was reportedly partly inspired to start the blog because of his support for the invasion of Iraq, which he saw being opposed by others in his circles. In his second post, he wrote that he had “come to find much of what was appearing on the opinion and letters pages of my daily newspaper of choice [the Guardian] repellent”.

He leaves a wife Adèle and two daughters, Sophie Hannah and Jenny.