Elegy for a Raccoon

We had some very sad news yesterday. It was announced, by a friend close to the family, that blogger Anna Raccoon had died peacefully, very early on Thursday morning.

Anna, whose real name was Susanne Cameron-Blackie, had been extremely ill with cancer for some time, but had borne it with exceptional grace. And she didn’t let a little thing like end-stage cancer get in the way of her energetic pursuit of various projects. Her eponymous blog, now sadly only available via the Wayback Machine since it was well and truly hacked late last year, is full of gems and observations which must be read to be fully appreciated. It was a gathering place, too, for commentators from all walks of life; this earned it the designation of “The Raccoon Arms”.

Some may remember that in the last election, she stood for Parliament in order to work on a cause that had deep personal meaning for her: she wanted to ban lawsuits against the NHS, which she believed were crippling the health service and creating unacceptable gaps in front-line care.

In one of her characteristically acerbic posts, in the new blog created for the purpose, she referred to this as “this obscene situation of the NHS being skinned alive for money”.

Ms Raccoon is ‘lying’ for parliament, where other candidates merely ‘stand’ for parliament. No matter. The legs might not work, but the brain does! WE will force parliament to end the ridiculous situation whereby NHS Litigation fund amounts to 50% of the NHS budget. That’s your cancer treatment, your wait in A & E, your hip replacement not happening because others are suing the NHS.

She didn’t win her seat, but she got to make her point: the media picked up the story, and Anna earned coverage in The Sun, The Telegraph, The Eastern Daily Press…despite being confined to a bed and unable to move from the chest down, she achieved widespread publicity for a cause she passionately believed in.

We first encountered Anna via Twitter, when this blog was in its infancy; she was one of those standing up to the Hoaxtead mobsters at that time, and was one of the first people to make the connection between the earlier Hollie Greig hoax in Scotland and the Hampstead SRA hoax. In fact, she provided us with some excellent background material on those involved in promoting the Holliehoax, which she’d begun covering when it was relatively new.

We remained in touch with her by email, and found in Anna a staunch ally and sage advisor.

Last year, we ran a series of stories about the involvement of Belinda McKenzie, Yolande Kenward/Lindridge, and John Hemming in a case in which a supposed grandson of a well-known South African religious leader had bolted from the Royal Courts of Justice. Anna, ever on the alert, was quick to warn us that while what we were publishing was correct, we would be in contempt of court if we allowed it to remain on the site. She was right, of course; we removed the stories, and later heard that others who’d published similar material had got into some serious legal hot water.

While most of our online friends and colleagues are people we’ve never met in person, El Coyote was fortunate enough to meet Anna for breakfast last year, when she was still relatively healthy. They enjoyed a “full English” in a café in Bayswater, and Anna regaled EC with hilarious tales of some of the characters she’d met in her long and storied career online. It was an all too brief meeting, but EC felt privileged to have had the chance to sit down with Anna, knowing that she was, as La Raccoon herself put it, “date-stamped”.

Even in her last days, Anna was positive and upbeat, focusing on what she could accomplish rather than on her physical limitations. A few weeks back, she wrote to us:

…The ketamine is working a treat and apart from the occasional twinge, I don’t feel a thing which is pretty amazing under the circumstances. They didn’t expect me to live like this for more than a few days/weeks—they’ve never had anyone maintained in a home situation this long on ketamine, but I’ve surprised them all, and now with sepsis for a second time yet again. I burst out laughing every time the Doctor comes: “I’m still here, you’ll be filling out your coff points for a third year at this rate….” (not sure what a coff stands for but the GP gets an extra £500 or so for each terminally ill patient he has on his books at the end of each year) so I take the piss out of him—at nearly 70 you can do that and get away with it!

We will miss Anna’s acute observations, her staunch friendship, her humour and grace, her honesty, her willingness to engage with anyone of any political or philosophical stripe, so long as the debate was respectful. She was a very special person, and we feel honoured that she numbered us among her friends.

Sleep well, dear Anna. You’ve earned it.

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24 thoughts on “Elegy for a Raccoon

  1. As the original author of “The Hollie Greig Hoax” website, I can say Anna was of great help to us. I never personally met Anna although we did chat about meeting up but sadly it just never happened.

    She was without doubt a fine and great lady and I will miss her Twitter feed immensely.

    I’m sorry we never got to meet Anna, but we had a number of conversations that I will always hold dear.

    RIP and much love.

    Jon

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Awww! Bye Anna!

    “Unto them from whose eyes the veil of life hath fallen may there be granted the accomplishment of their true Wills; whether they will absorption in the Infinite, or to be united with their chosen and preferred, or to be in contemplation, or to be at peace, or to achieve the labour and heroism of incarnation on this planet or another, or in any Star, or aught else, unto them may there be granted the accomplishment of their Wills”.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. An excellent tribute to a very decent person. May she rest in the peace that she deserves.

    A person who truly deserved the tribute of a Lone Piper, how she exemplified dignity and respect of others is a true example of qualities to be respected and admired.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. One of the last comments here by Raccoon had me looking for some quotation associated with Heraclitus, which caused me to stumble upon the Derveni Papyrus, this havng such a major impact now on my philosophy, something which would not have happened if not for Raccoon. This lady sent out ripples knowingly or unknowingly causing changes in all those she came into contact with. I salute the Raccoon.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: My fight against SRA hoax draws to a close | satanicviews

  6. Condolences to this wonderful lady’s family & all her friends here & everywhere. RIP.

    I feel that our friends amongst the dead really mind us and look out for us. Often there might be a big boulder of misery over your path about to fall on you, but your friends amongst the dead hold it back until you have passed by.

    Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, John O’Donohue

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Anna’s observations on life and especially the Jimmy Savile saga were required reading.
    As another said, she was the Best Columnist Fleet Street Never Had and compared to some of the other deadbeats who get columns..(no names although K.Hopkins comes to mind) I can’t understand why she wasn’t snapped up by a British tabloid.

    It’s a real shame her Anna Raccoon website went down and her writings should be preserved for posterity.
    I was rather disturbed that Susanne seemed to turn on a number of supporters in her last days but I mean, Christ ..Ketamine !! . Not only a powerful and mind altering drug it also means the pain must have been intense for doctors to prescribe it.
    Vale Anna and best wishes to Mr Right who from the way Anna spoke, was a towering strength supporting her through thick and thin.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes it’s nasty stuff is Ketamine…
      from https://www.drugs.com/sfx/ketamine-side-effects.html

      Psychiatric
      Common (1% to 10%): Hallucination, abnormal dreams, nightmare, confusion, agitation, abnormal behavior

      Ketamine may cause behavior, mental, or mood changes; confusion; or hallucinations that usually go away within 24 hours.

      Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
      Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); behavior changes; confusion; difficult, frequent, or painful urination; double vision; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; involuntary muscle movements; mental or mood changes (eg, anxiety); pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; severe or persistent dizziness, light-headedness, or headache; slowed or shallow breathing; uncontrolled eye movements.

      Very nasty
      understandable its used only when nearly all else fails
      😦

      Liked by 2 people

      • Its a shame annaraccoon.com has been lost, I wonder if it would be possible to recreate it from wayback etc and return it to its former glory?

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Not unexpected, but very sad. Susanne Cameron-Blackie was a brave woman, who cut through the cant, lies and bullshit like a knife. She overcame much and suffered much, and helped countless people through her advocacy. Ave atque vale!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I saw her husband, Mr G, yesterday and will be passing on everyone’s kind words to him, here and anywhere else I stumble across, in dead tree format tomorrow as he isn’t really an internet kinda guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. How very sad indeed. I loved her blog and her writing and reading comments from the regular commenters was fun and interesting too. What a fighter the lady was. I hope that her name lives on for a long time.

    Liked by 3 people

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