IN a parallel universe, the man offering me coffee in his homely kitchen in south Oxford is the brother of the President of the United States of America.

Countless insightful pundits believe Bernie Sanders would have defeated Donald Trump in the race for the presidency - had Hillary Clinton’s doomed campaign not interfered - and a proud Larry Sanders wholeheartedly agrees.

“Oh he would have beaten Trump massively”, the 83-year-old says, without a moment’s hesitation; before adding that it’s ‘certainly possible’ that ‘Bernard’ - as he calls him - could yet run again.

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“He has a good chance to win the (2020) nomination”, Larry claims, in distinctive, deep, New York tones that you could mistake for his brother’s - alongside many mannerisms.

The pair are close, after growing up in a small apartment together and keeping in touch for years with a phone call every second Sunday.

“It was astonishing", Larry sighs, reflecting on the campaign.

Oxford Mail: Larry Sanders, Green Party.

"First of all, I knew he was going to do well - I said 'he’s going to reshape American politics'.

“But to see him leaping up on a stage and 20,000 people leaping up to their feet, that was amazing. When I saw that I thought ‘oh, I was wrong, he is going to win’.

“Bernard was saying ‘all this bullshit about how government can’t afford these things, that’s a political argument - it’s not even an argument, it’s a whitewash, a nonsense’.

“And he was so right.

“That’s what’s aggravating - this business that we don’t have the money is economically nonsense, as well as morally nonsense.”

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Yet for all their similarities - and Larry’s proclamations that he’s still a New Yorker at heart - he is a world away from his brother’s antics and deeply embedded in the Oxford community. A county councillor here for eight years, he has stood in numerous parliamentary and local elections, including the race to replace David Cameron in Witney. Like Bernie, though, it seems fair to say he would have liked to have done better - in nearly all of them.

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Now 83, he seems more radical than his younger brother - despite claiming to be politically identical - and remains the Green party’s national spokesperson for health.

Mr Sanders, though, says he probably won’t be standing for political office again, even in the event of a snap election.

Educated at the universities of Harvard and Oxford, he is thoughtful, polite and has the demeanour of a wise, comforting grandparent.

Indeed, when we meet, he’s been up since 6.30am looking after two of his four grandchildren.

The Brooklyn-born former Labour supporter lives in a cosy house with a well-attended garden, alongside his partner Janet. He had two children with his wife but she sadly died when they were just 14 and 10.

First arriving in Oxford some 50 years ago, Mr Sanders was a student at St Peters, though on his social work course he says he had very little to do with his college, joking wryly: ‘the only thing I got out of them was punting’.

When asked about Oxford, he smiles: “It’s obviously a lovely city.

"A very mixed city; a beautiful university, wilderness…” He’s effusive, but not uncritical.

“I think it’s an odd city. The relationships between the ethnic groups is not bad - there’s very little nastiness that I’m aware of - but neither is it particularly close. It’s not a bonded city.”

Housing, he believes, is Oxford’s main issue - pushing health and social care second, despite that being his main area of expertise, alongside law.

At heart, though, the octogenarian has clearly been deeply political for most of his life and his grasp of detail remains impressive.

He admires former USA president Franklin Roosevelt as an ‘interesting character’ but struggles to name a contemporary political figure to look up to, other than his brother; of course.

“I’m more impressed by how bad some of our leaders are,” he says, name-checking Theresa May and David Cameron for good measure.

Mr Sanders, who clearly hails from the left - "I suppose I am a (green) socialist" - backs a jobs guarantee and universal basic income. The former would mean the state guarantees training and a job for anyone who wants one, at a living wage rate and the latter that everyone is paid a non-means tested allowance large enough to live on.

As critics might suspect, then, a key pillar of his economic ideology is that state debt is far less of an issue than conventional wisdom implies.

But Mr Sanders undoubtedly has the intellectual rigour to back up such sentiment and even went back to university in 1993, just shy of his 60s.

As ever, he has a fascinating anecdote to accompany the aside; describing how, while visiting Harvard, he was told to see the Dean when they found out he was a former law student, and from there he was encouraged to finish his course - despite his age - at the college's expense.

In remarkably British style, he is consistently self-deprecating, noting how Bernie "was a good athlete and in the street life, being a good athlete is much more important than your parents’ wealth, education or anything like that... I was not a good athlete, I was an enthusiastic athlete."

Larry is an intriguing mix of Anglo-American culture, and admits to being delighted that his daughter preferred harsher New Yorkers to the 'have a nice day people' of Vermont, where Bernie is a senator.

Larry's accents remains strong, making him a more engaging speaker and highlighting his outsider viewpoint. Hailing from an immigrant Jewish family devastated by the Holocaust, that outsider stance does not seem to have left him.

Mr Sanders is particularly articulate about the NHS and concerned about its future - particularly the way one of the ‘main successes’ of the service, GP surgeries, are being ‘dismantled’.

Another cause he is keen to highlight is making social care free at the point of use - something he discussed while speaking at an NHS rally in London recently.

“I know that Jeremy Corbyn is not as good as he looks (on the NHS/social care)", he warns, perhaps predictably.

“A strong Green party would actually be very good for Corbyn - he’s being pushed from the right, whether he knows it or not - but if he could say we are losing voters because we are not strong enough on the NHS, that would be powerful."

Given the comparisons with his brother, and Green party allegiance, Mr Sanders' position on the Labour leader is intriguing.

"I think the election of Corbyn was an enormously good thing for the country", he clarifies.

“There are parallels (between Bernie and Corbyn). A lot of (their) policies are similar - minimum wage, housing, etc.

"(But) I think Bernard is a better candidate, a better speaker and Corbyn’s situation is different... Bernard is a lot more aware of the economics, (though) he doesn’t necessarily always talk about it."

The conversation, perhaps predictably, does often turn to his younger brother, who is "out there doing it everyday anyway (so) might as well be president."

For all that the association is something of a distraction from Larry himself, it has shed a light on a fascinating Oxford character, who seems part of a dying old-school breed, if not quite one of a kind.