Sad passing of a true Scottish militant
Socialist Resistance and Fourth International supporters in Britain were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jim McVicar on Thursday 3rd December 2020, writes Mike Picken.
We wish to pass on our deepest condolences to his partner Christine, his family, and send solidarity to the Scottish Socialist Party of which Jim was currently the treasurer and a longstanding activist.
Jim McVicar was a giant of the Scottish socialist movement. He had been elected a Labour councillor in Glasgow’s East End, but was expelled from the party for his principled refusal to go along the implementation of the Tories’ hated poll tax during the 1990s. Socialist Resistance supporters have strong memories of Jim’s sterling work at the time on behalf of the Scottish working class. After he was expelled from the Labour Party for fighting the victimisation of those refusing or unable to pay the poll tax, Jim fought to be re-elected to the Council and held his council seat as an Independent Labour candidate.
Jim participated in the formation of Scottish Militant Labour, the Scottish Socialist Alliance and culminating in the formation of the Scottish Socialist Party, of which Jim was a founder member. The SSP attracted thousands of members in its early stage and Jim had the often thankless task of holding the finances of the SSP together as treasurer.
In the first elections to the Holyrood parliament in 1999, Jim stood as an SSP candidate and got the second highest vote anywhere in Scotland, after Tommy Sheridan who was elected. Despite the subsequent actions of Sheridan in trying to destroy the SSP, Jim worked tirelessly to keep the SSP going in the battle for an Independent Socialist Scotland.
Jim put the interests of working class struggles to the forefront of his life, as a trade unionist and as a socialist activist. He will be sadly missed by the SSP and all those fighting for social justice and independence in the Scottish workers’ movement.
Messages of condolences from individuals and workers’ organisations should be sent the Secretary of the Scottish Socialist Party, Hugh Cullen, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
A fitting tribute will be arranged in the future to remember Jim and we will let Socialist Resistance readers know the details.