Now -read the book!

Here is a link to my memoirs which, if you are a glutton for punishment, you can purchase online at
Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name. (William Morris - A Dream of John Ball)

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Farewell John and Carl

As the year in which I ceased to be a full-time local trade union representative after quarter of a century draws to a close, I am sorry to hear of the passing of two other former UNISON Branch Secretaries in London local government.

John Mulrenan, from the neighbouring borough of Southwark, served our movement not only as a Branch Secretary (more than once), but subsequently as a union trainer (in which capacity he was greatly appreciated in Lambeth).

John was a diamond, a socialist rank and file activist who neither gave up nor fell victim to either sectarianism or careerism. He was generous with his experience and therefore leaves a legacy in the activism of many people whose lives he touched.

Carl Millin, retired Branch Secretary from Bexley, was not perhaps in the same political space as John (or your blogger). He was though a long serving trade unionist committed to a union run by elected, rather than paid, officials. His wry comments as an observer of our Conferences were welcome and appreciated.

In John and Carl our movement has lost two stalwarts from among the ranks of those who are the lifeblood of trade unionism.

A life of service to the movement which can liberate humanity is a life well lived.

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