He was a committed anti-fascist and a truly marvellous orator of the old school. I heard a clip today of him addressing a CND meeting and you had to marvel at the power of his oratory. Foot was anti the European Union and a Republican (although it is reported that he got on well with the Royal Family at a personal level).
What made Foot so admired in Westminster was his decency as a person and his conviction. Foot was a politician who went into politics to change things not for what he got out of it. He was a politician you could imagine in a big hall debating with Gladstone and Disraeli not for him the smart suits and media consultants of Blair and Cameron.
He was derided for the coat he wore at the cenotaph in 1981 (although the Queen Mother admired it - apparently she had more sense than the red top media). He led his party to its worst election performance since the war but Foot was a politician of principal and perhaps his view that banks should be state owned is not so wrong headed in 2010 as it once was.
Not only though was Foot a politician (with 42 years in the commons ), he was a journalist (editor of the Standard) and highly regarded writer.
I do like the comments of Ed West in the Telegraph.
and though most of us here will not have agreed with his politics, ........ he was a good man who loved his country and wanted to make it even better
This speech was from 1942 in Defence of the Daily Mirror which had criticised the conduct of the war by the Churchill Government.