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YOU KNOW you’ve done a service to the movement when your retirement do is as well attended as Tommy Campbell’s last Saturday night in Aberdeen. The crowd at the Copthorne Hotel included Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke — all the way from London — and other union top brass like Unite Scotland secretary Pat Rafferty (pictured with Campbell). But there were countless others whose names wouldn’t be in the Morning Star on a regular basis, but who had turned out because they’d equally seen the service Campbell did for workers over 50 years, originally in Enniskillen and Belfast, and latterly in the Granite City. Equally, he couldn’t have done it without them. As Campbell said in his interview with the Morning Star last weekend, it’s the shop stewards who are the “real heroes” of Aberdeen’s labour movement, “and the workers who support them in that role.”
A PLEASURE too to welcome Momentum founder Jon Lansman to Glasgow the following day, and introduce him to the delights of Calabash, Glasgow’s finest African restaurant. Lansman faces vitriol on a daily basis from rightwingers who accuse him of putting faction before party, while getting called a sell-out by a few leftwingers on the late night typewriter. Hot takes, but both are misguided. I may be biased — I worked with Jon for several years running the Left Futures website — but a figure more committed to achieving socialism in our lifetime I’ve yet to meet. His lack of personal career ambition in politics is his most striking feature — and, I’m in no doubt, why so many on the right feel threatened by him. For those of us on the left, it’s worth remembering that a few disagreements shouldn’t be reason to forget we’re working for the same cause.
ARISE, Sir Boyd. Teacake magnate Archibald Boyd Tunnock, of Uddingston, is to be knighted for “services to business and to charity.” Would those services include his donation last year — initially anonymous — of a six-figure Rolls Royce to Glasgow City Council? The Lord Provost added insult to injury through accepting the gift at a time when the council was still claiming it couldn’t find the money to settle equal pay claims for thousands of women workers. As the dark knight rises, I can’t help feel this gong takes the caramel wafer…
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