Chris Lightfoot - "a one man think-tank"
February 11, 2008 9:43 AM   Subscribe

It's a year since the untimely death of Chris Lightfoot. He had a remarkable combination of political commitment and technical expertise that led him to develop sites such as WriteToThem and Pledgebank for the splendid political and social software group, MySociety. His political writing brings a sharp and sarcastic wit to bear on such subjects as the Iraq war, and ID cards. There are also some good rants. A sad loss to British society.
posted by crocomancer (6 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Lightfoot made some genuinely excellent contributions to UK public life and the accountability of government - as well as having many other wide-ranging interests on a variety of topics - and from all accounts was both a fiercely intelligent and extremely kind guy in person. His death was pretty shocking, and it was a shame to see that it passed largely unnoticed outside the small corner of the British internet in which he was well known.

Just off the top of my head, one enjoyable and potentially very useful little non-political thing that he began, and which MySociety subsequently developed, were these great travel-time maps for London.
posted by flashboy at 10:43 AM on February 11, 2008

How did he die? The article seems to imply suicide.
posted by xmutex at 10:49 AM on February 11, 2008

Chris Lightfoot was a good friend of mine at university. We used to write together. He was an incredible guy and his death was a terrible loss.
posted by WPW at 10:59 AM on February 11, 2008

Yes, by all accounts it was suicide, though I can't find any report of the inquest. Very sad. I never met him, just read his blog, but had a real sense of loss at the news of his death.
posted by verstegan at 4:41 PM on February 11, 2008

a shame to see that it passed largely unnoticed outside the small corner of the British internet in which he was well known.

He did get an obit in the Times, which is rare and impressive for a thirty year-old, especially one who wouldn't be known to the vast majority of the Times' readership.
posted by Burger-Eating Invasion Monkey at 6:20 PM on February 11, 2008

cgc - thanks. I've now emailed the mods.

I knew Chris a little through the Cambridge branch of NO2ID, as well as from his blog. I just noticed Tom Steinberg posted a thoughtful remembrance on the MySociety blog today.
posted by crocomancer at 4:36 AM on February 12, 2008

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