[Marxism] leader of Clydeside work-in dies

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 16 09:49:57 MDT 2010


I mentioned last week the death of Jimmy Reid, leader of the 1971
Scottish work-in. Since then I've done some digging to refresh my
memory of the early 20th century struggles in that Upper Clydeside
area which a) gave it the moniker "Red Clydeside" and b) led it to
play a central role in the U.K.-wide upsurge in the workers' movement
before, during and after World War I.
By coincidence, a couple days after I posted my note, the MIA uploaded
a transcript of the historic 1917 conference in Leeds:
http://marxists.org/history/international/social-democracy/1917/leeds.htm
... which featured many of the figures and issues described in Duncan
Hallas's summary of the period:
http://www.marxists.org/archive/hallas/works/1973/12/1strfm.htm
The Hallas piece is a review of James Hinton's book on the Shop
Stewards' Movement. In the 70s and 80s there was a vibrant debate (as
part of which Hinton and Richard Hyman, among others, wrote several
essential books and articles) about what exactly was possible at that
moment in the U.K. -- and how those possibilities were shaped by the
war, the lack of a sufficiently strong party, and the interaction of
those two factors with the particularities of the labor movement in
the country.
All of which, in combination with Trotsky's writings on the UK in that
period, should be an essential part of all our educations.




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