|McTaggart, head down, middle, under assault aboard his ketch. |
(Photos were taken by his girlfriend and sneaked off the boat.)
From the Greenpeace website: "
But here's the thing about McTaggart: he wasn't some saintly do-gooder, patiently working on behalf of the environment. David was the most complicated--and fascinating--mix of characteristics that I've ever encountered in a single person.
Consider how Brian Fitzgerald launched that online memorial to a worldwide organization in mourning: "I hope my colleagues will join me here in posting their recollections and testimonials to a man of great humour and warmth and vision. I'm sure we'll also remember to mention that he was a cold-hearted bastard armed with Machiavellian ethics, and that whether we loved him or hated him (and everyone who knew him usually regarded him with a mixture of both) the world is a less interesting place without him."
And here are some excerpts, as we followed Brian's lead:
David could be so aggravating that you’d want to throttle him. So contentious and provocative and sexist and downright duplicitous that you could not imagine working with him one more minute. But he had faith in people and he challenged us to be tough, to take on the big things. He trusted me to get him his boat back and so I did.
He was both charismatic and enigmatic. And incredibly stubborn.
For me, his impact was as the ultimate inspiration. Not in the sense of being someone you aspired to be like, god knows he had his unpleasant side, but in the sense of making you realise at first hand that one person really can make a difference. That one person, through bloody hard work, determination, focus, courage and sheer willpower could move a nation, and even the world.
He could work harder than anyone I ever met but was the best drinking companion you could ever hope to share a beer with.
We all have our memories of David, and without exception, they are vivid memories, strong memories of one of the most unforgettable people any of us are ever likely to meet. We've all on occasion disagreed with him and have experienced the full force of his personality; we've all on occasion been grateful to him beyond bounds.
McTaggart was a visionary--he could see/analyze potential outcomes to actions (literally) years into the future. Sometimes the rest of us were numbskulls compared to him. But he was ruthless in pursuing his vision(s). He was charismatic and confounding. I can think of no other person both so revered and reviled in GP.
Unconventional, stubborn, iconic. A thorn in the sides, a pain in the butt, and a twinkle in the eye.
For me David's defining strength was his uncanny ability to see what was important, focus on that and then his single-minded determination to get there. He was a true leader, and visionary.
Although to many of us he was almost superman, he did not win the war. But he did show us it could be won.
The world is a better place because he knocked so many of our heads together and told us to just get on with it.