I would like to thank all those comrades who sent flowers, cards, emails and letters of condolence, and posted supportive blogs, in response to Greg’s untimely death.
I would particularly like to thank Terry for all her support during his difficult illness and for her help in arranging the Funeral and Wake.
As most people know, it is many years since Greg and I were in political agreement and I am not one to engage in the kind of bullshit that pretends to have always respected the dead person’s views – but I did respect his right to hold them and I miss the arguments we had about them. Notwithstanding our differences, it has to be said that I more than anyone knew that his commitment to the FI and to Internationalism was absolute, and I am well aware that you have lost one of your leading comrades. The cause of revolutionary socialism is all the weaker for that loss.
Greg was so pleased that he managed to attend the ISG Conference at the end of March and, while neither of us expected his death to come about just a short week later, he knew that it was probably the last one he would be able to get to and he wanted so much to be there – and to be able to participate in your discussions. He really hated the fact that the nature of his illness prevented him from pointing out the error of your ways – or maybe even agreeing with what was being said! (as so many people remarked during his illness, it was a cruel irony that someone who spent so much of his life on his feet making speeches and expounding his views should have had that power taken away from him) – but at least he got there and, as someone pointed out at the Wake, even managed to make a point of order on how you should be proceeding.
Tim and I are investigating dedicating a bench (and possibly also planting a tree) in Kennington Park in Greg’s name and hope that that all his friends and comrades will join us in commemorating him when this can be arranged – at the moment we’re tentatively aiming for the end of September. Greg was particularly fond of the Park, not just because we happened to live opposite, but because of its historic connections with working class agitation and struggle. One of the many facts about it he enjoyed pointing out to people was that, when the Common was enclosed as a reaction to the 1848 Chartist demonstrations, the trees were specially planted in an attempt to prevent future mass mobilisations assembling here to march on Parliament…
Greg was a rarity – a revolutionary socialist committed to improving the lives of working people in the here and now, not just when the socialist millennium dawns, as I know the many RMT members he represented at Waterloo, and the many local people he helped when he was a local councillor, can attest to. There are too few like him.He is sorely missed.
Joan and Tim Twelves
[Greg’s partner and son]