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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 October 2019

Active and strong member of Socialist Party reaches 80

Socialists in south east London are celebrating the 80th birthday of Peter Redfarn.

The son of a shipping clerk, he was born in Chester just after the start of World War Two. At Trinity College Dublin he became active in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and discovered a range of political views. On his return to Merseyside he joined the Labour Party in 1961. He met Peter Taaffe from Birkenhead Young Socialists and Ted Mooney among a number of comrades who launched Militant in 1964, forerunner of the Socialist Party.

After a year of unemployment, Peter moved south to become a research assistant at the London School of Economics. Since then he has lived and worked in various parts of London. He was a union rep at National Freight Corporation. He spent his later working years as a postman at Nine Elms.

Forty years ago, the national tabloids turned their attention to the spectre of the growing Militant Tendency inside the Labour Party. Peter was sharing a Lewisham council house with other Militant supporters and was surprised to find it featured in the Sunday Express under the headline "Why the secret of 13 Elsiemaud Road shocked Mrs Box" (she being the landlady). The reporter revealed a portrait of Karl Marx was on the wall inside!

Peter has always been an active and strong member of the Socialist Party. Generous with his time and money, he has been a good and frequent contributor of letters and articles to the Socialist and before that Militant, including issue number one.

He is thoughtful and patient, never sectarian but he strongly defends socialist ideas. Comrades like Peter have tirelessly argued, from Nye Bevan to Tony Benn to Jeremy Corbyn, that the primary quality of leadership is not personality but to have clear political ideas.

We need a programme that can inspire working people to organise within their mass organisations and consciously replace capitalism with a democratically planned socialist economy.

We are indebted to comrades like Peter who have done the consistent work in the trade unions and the workers' organisations to help build the authority of the Socialist Party.

The need to rearm the trade union and labour movement with a socialist programme is becoming clearer. The continuing efforts of Peter are a great example to a new generation.

Andy Beadle, South East London Socialist Party

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 2 October 2019:


What we think

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40 years on: Mandatory reselection more vital for Labour than ever


Brexit

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Fresher's fairs

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Nationalisation only way to safeguard jobs and skills at Wrightbus

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Them&Us


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PCS general secretary election - Support Marion Lloyd

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Hull: Construction workers' walkout forces employer to back down

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Karro Foods victory Hull


International socialist news and analysis

Catalonia independence movement two years on

Egypt: Street protests challenge Trump's favourite dictator


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialism 2019: An unmissable event

Now is the moment to join the Socialist Party

Financing socialist struggle


Reader's opinion

The Socialist inbox

Active and strong member of Socialist Party reaches 80


 

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