Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 24 November 2021

Obituary: Ted Austin (1940-2021) - working-class socialist stalwart

Ted Austin

Ted Austin   (Click to enlarge)

Roger Keyse, South East London Socialist Party, Niall Mulholland, East London Socialist Party

Socialist Party members are saddened to hear about the loss of Ted Austin, aged 81, who died on 11 November, following a short illness. Ted was a working-class stalwart of the Socialist Party in south east London over four decades. Ted was known for his deadpan humour and independent mind.

Ted grew up during World War Two, and its aftermath, in a large working-class family in a small flat in Elephant and Castle in south London. Like many of his generation, Ted faced serious hardships in his early years and young adulthood.

After school, he worked at various jobs, including as a photo-finisher for horse races, and he often lived by his wits. In later years, Ted's removal van was a ubiquitous sight in south east London. Many financially hard-up Socialist Party members benefitted from Ted's generosity, as he moved their house belongings for a nominal fee or for free.

Ted's political instincts were always on the left. During the 1970s and early 1980s, he vocally supported the civil rights struggle in the north of Ireland, and attended Tony Benn public meetings.

After his daughters, Lois and Caroline, joined the Labour Party Young Socialists, Ted also became a supporter of Militant (forerunner of the Socialist Party), and his political understanding and activity quickly took off.

He regularly went to show support to striking print workers at Wapping. He helped set up Bexley anti-poll tax union, and became its chair, organising protests against bailiffs and acting as 'McKenzie Friend' to non-payers in court.

He played a key role in the successful campaign to kick the far-right British National Party (BNP) HQ out of Welling, which was very near to where he lived. He helped to organise meetings and protests against the BNP, and was never afraid to confront its members, accusing them of "skulking around the back streets".

Ted also fought tenaciously against the right-wing witch-hunts in the local Labour Party, including political attacks against him and his family. He expressed healthy class contempt for the "trendy middle class" and careerists in the movement.

Press reports of all these activities saw Ted become well-known locally as a principled socialist fighter. He stood for the Socialist Alliance in local elections, coining the slogan, "homes not domes" in response to the construction of the highly contentious Millennium Dome in Greenwich.

Ted's anger at injustices everywhere burned strong. He stoically bore the heavy burden of his son Edward's wrongful conviction, and closely followed the related justice campaign (, confident that the truth will eventually be brought out.

A keen Spurs supporter, Ted played indoor football for many years, raising fighting fund for the Socialist Party, until only weeks before he passed away.

Ted will be hugely missed, but very proudly remembered as someone who overcame many early disadvantages to leave his footprint at some of the epic working-class battles of the last decades.

The Socialist Party sends condolences to Ted's wife, Doreen, his children, Edward, David, Lois and Caroline, his grandchildren and wider family, and to all his good friends in the party.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

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 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.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 24 November 2021:


Workers' action can defeat weak and divided Tories

Working class strangled by price rises and pay cuts

Poorer pensioners fleeced by social care cap

Tories hammer nail in pensions triple lock coffin

HS2 eastern route cancelled: Fight for a workers' plan for public transport

Cricket's history of racism and elitism


Midwives march against unsafe staffing and for adequate funding

Tories responsible for NHS staff shortages

Violence against women

End sexism and violence against women

Socialism 2021

Socialism 2021: A steely determination to change society

What did you think of Socialism 2021?

Workplace news

Support uni workers' walk-out on pay and pensions

RMT to strike in London night-tube dispute

Panasonic workers strike against pay freeze

Tesco warehouse workers ballot for strike action

Sage care home workers' pay victory

International news

Historic victory of India's farmers

Sudan: "Hamdok has sold the revolution!"

USA: Right-wing vigilante Rittenhouse acquitted - capitalist courts will not defend the working class!

Working class history

Chartism: The world's first working-class movement


The struggle for accessible workplaces and an inclusive society


Obituary: Ted Austin (1940-2021) - working-class socialist stalwart


Victory! Hackney children's centres saved!

West Sussex: Payouts for council bosses, cuts for us

Newham: Durning Hall - another shameful act of Labour gentrification

Slough: Adult service cuts will leave vulnerable homeless

Northampton: Phoney consultation to mask cuts

Selling the Socialist


Home   |   The Socialist 24 November 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


trianglePauline Wall memorial meeting

triangleObituary - Pauline Wall

triangleObituary - Ethan Bradley 1993-2021

triangleObituary - Pauline Wall

triangleObituary: Kate Jones - 1953-2021


triangleMet police boss ousted

triangleTV: 'A Killing in Tiger Bay'

triangleBelfast: Worth watching portrayal of previously airbrushed workers' unity

triangleGloucestershire and Swindon Socialist Party: Building a working-class political voice


triangleCarlisle Socialist Party: What now for Ukraine and Russia?

triangleThe Erdington byelection and the fight for a new mass workers' party

triangle1 March: Socialist Party new website launch

Socialist Party:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Crisis in the Ukraine

triangleLondon Socialist Party women's meeting

The Socialist:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Perspectives for the fightback in England & Wales


triangleNewham City Farm - closed with no consultation

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments



TV review: This is Going to Hurt



TV: 'Death of Two Black Men: Police in the Spotlight'



TV: 'A Killing in Tiger Bay'



How Cardiff Bay's redevelopment led to 'social cleansing'


Trans rights

Does the fight for Trans rights conflict with women's rights?


Socialist Party

Why I joined: I'm tired of austerity and status quo



Belfast: Worth watching portrayal of previously airbrushed workers' unity



Covering basic costs is hard, and it's getting worse



Theatre: Yes Yes UCS



Anne: Hillsborough and the fight for justice



Money Heist: A Robin Hood tale set in modern-day capitalism



Don't Look Up: An entertaining satire on corporate power and the US establishment


Tony Blair

War criminal Tony Blair knighted



Bullying weighing room culture at the races



Free prescriptions? Maybe when you're older

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

Email: [email protected]

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: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

February 2022

January 2022