I’ve no doubt that his immediate family are in shock and have some serious grieving ahead of them, but if they’re reading this at any stage I hope that it will comfort them to know about Tom’s other family.
This morning I have watched a wave of sentiment on Twitter from friends of Tom and fans of his work on @BorisWatch and associated projects. What Tom did on an entirely voluntary basis was face up to some of the most devious, disingenuous and downright unpleasant people in politics with relentless good humour and the sharpest of wits.
Tom not only sought to stem the tide of bile and bullshit with incredible tenacity, but he did so in a way that gave strength and comfort to people who might otherwise let it wash over them.
This contribution amounts to so much that I draw some strength from knowing all of the good that Tom did with the life that he had, and how much of his spirit is likely to live on in others.
We may have lost Tom to the void, but part of me dares hope that it is inexplicably a brighter place now, despite the odds. I know this world is.
Tim Fenton: So Farewell Then Tom Barry
Darryl Chamberlain: Some thoughts on the passing of Tom Barry (@BorisWatch)
John B: He Was Watching The Defectives
David Allen Green: Farewell to BorisWatch
Dave Hill: A small tribute to Tom Barry of BorisWatch
Alex Ingram: What I learnt from following BorisWatch
This from Alex is spot on:
(Tom) seemed to live not only to find things out but to share them as widely as possible.
Tom was an insightful and informed data evangelist. He was the kind of rare person that Jesus of Nazareth reportedly described as ‘the salt of the earth’ and the ‘the light of the world’.