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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
In The Socialist 2 October 2019:
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