Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 October 2019

Book: The Making of a Liverpool Militant by Tony Mulhearn

"I'm glad they convinced him to put it down in print"

Packed book launch

Packed book launch   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Socialist Party national committee

I wasn't able to go to the launch of Tony Mulhearn's book, The Making of a Liverpool Militant, but my copy arrived in the post a couple of days before, so I spent a lot of time reading it.

So what did I think?

It's great! It's written in an engaging style that draws you in. You want to keep reading without stopping.

That is a product both of how it's written, but also Tony's life and experiences. I'm glad friends and comrades convinced him to put it down in print.

The cover shows photos from the great battles against Thatcher with the socialist-led Liverpool Council. There Tony played a crucial role as president of the District Labour Party, a gathering of delegates representing the spectrum of labour and trade union organisations in Liverpool.

They discussed and debated the strategy and policies the 1983-87 Labour council adopted, winning back tens of millions of pounds for the city. That was invested into building new council housing, parks, nurseries, and to create jobs.

This is of course covered in the book, but Tony refers to 'Liverpool: a city that dared to fight' to flesh out some of the finer details. In The Making of a Liverpool Militant, he concentrates more on the debates around the strategy they adopted.

This aspect is most valuable about the book - it doesn't just cover the mighty events around the council, but Tony's experiences as a trade union activist, which may be less familiar to some readers.

Tony was a trade union rep in many different unions from father of the chapel (branch secretary) of a print works in the National Graphical Association to a call centre worker and Communication Workers' Union member later in life.

These are a real school for how to get a feel for the mood of the workforce, and develop a fighting stance to take on management. For any current or aspiring trade unionist, these chapters on their own are worth reading the book for.

Sadly, given his recent passing, I won't be able to send my compliments on to Tony. But, a revolutionary socialist party is the memory of the working class - to arm it for future struggles.

By producing this book, Tony has helped preserve the valuable lessons of the important struggles he was a leading participant in. Let us utilise these lessons in the even bigger class battles that are coming to truly continue his legacy.

No space left at packed book launch

Hundreds packed into the big room at the Casa pub in Liverpool, the venue of the Socialist Party's weekly meetings, for the launch of the late Tony Mulhearn's autobiography - The Making of a Liverpool Militant - just days after his sad passing.

The room was overflowing. There wasn't even standing space left!

A film of Tony's life was shown and an array of speakers included Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, Derek Hatton and Dave Nellist. Len Mcluskey remembered his years on Merseyside and encouraged the audience to read Tony's other major publication - Liverpool: A City that Dared to Fight, written with Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary.

Derek Hatton - deputy leader of Liverpool's socialist council in the 1980s - said that Militant, relaunched as the Socialist Party since 1997, provided a political strategy that was essential to the anti-cuts struggle in Liverpool.

Former Militant Labour MP, Dave Nellist, spoke on behalf of the Socialist Party. He praised Tony's lifelong contribution to the fight for socialism, saying he had remained a Socialist Party member until the end.

Socialist Party members from across the country joined the event. The Socialist, with a short obituary for Tony by Peter Taaffe, was widely sold and a leaflet distributed.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 16 October 2019:

What we think

Corbyn must stand firm against establishment and Labour right

Mass united action against the war on Syrian Kurds

Low pay

Minimum wage debate: how can we end the scandal of low pay?

News and reviews

Tories out - general election now

The Cameron Tory legacy

Climate watch

Workplace news

Massive vote for strike action: postal workers - "we're out to win!"

PCS general secretary election: Marion Lloyd - standing for action on members' pay, jobs, pensions and more

Wales: Hundreds march to save the Orb works

RMT: Jared Wood - Fighting cuts, defending jobs, pay and conditions

Hackney SEND transport workers achieve victory

NEU support staff dismiss Tory 'extra funding' hype

Workplace news in brief

Tony Mulhearn

Tony Mulhearn 1939-2019: Courageous fighter for the working class and socialism

Book: The Making of a Liverpool Militant by Tony Mulhearn

Chinese revolution

China after the 1949 revolution: the benefits of the planned economy stifled by bureaucracy

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Be part of the future: join the Socialist Party

Mass union mobilisation needed to counter anti-choice group

Major new book out in November: In Defence of Trotskyism

Trade unionists discuss climate change

Pressure needed to force secret police disclosure

International socialist news and analysis

Uprising in Ecuador forces government climbdown

Catalonia: Mass protests against punitive political jailings


Home   |   The Socialist 16 October 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:

Tony Mulhearn:

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: Tribute to Tony Mulhearn

triangleTony Mulhearn - a Eulogy

trianglePacked labour movement service a fitting farewell to Tony Mulhearn

triangleCarlisle Socialist Party: Tony Mulhearn - the making of a Liverpool Militant

triangleTony Mulhearn 1939-2019: Courageous fighter for the working class and socialism


triangleCouldn't pay, wouldn't pay, didn't pay: the battle to defeat the poll tax

triangleSocialism 2019: Major rally to plan how to get Corbyn elected with socialist policies

triangleObituary - Bob Lee: 1954 - 2019

triangleTony Mulhearn 1939-2019


triangleLiverpool council: "No more cuts" - Is Joe Anderson serious?

triangleCapitalism fails NHS services in Liverpool: scrap PFI!

triangleTo win back working-class trust Labour must take the 'Liverpool road'


triangleWarrington Socialist Party: The battle of Winwick Quay

triangleNew Socialist Party press


trianglePreparing for the post-Corbyn era

Socialist Party:

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: Couldn't pay, wouldn't pay, didn't pay - the battle to defeat the poll tax

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments



Brilliant Korean film exposes class inequality



New BBC series - Insight or whitewash?



Liverpool council: "No more cuts" - Is Joe Anderson serious?



Socialist Inbox



The Socialist Inbox



TV review: The Trial of Christine Keeler



Robert Burns: of the people, for the people



The Socialist inbox



The Socialist Inbox


George Monbiot

TV Review: Apocalypse Cow



Sustainable food production and the need for socialism



The Socialist Inbox


Socialist Party

The Great Big Socialist Party Quiz 2019



Plymouth Blairites side with anti-tenant landlords


Minimum wage

Minimum wage debate

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

February 2020

January 2020