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Friday, 22 June 2012

Ted Grant Remembered

Ted Grant (1913-2006)

Ted Grant was born Isaac Blank in South Africa in 1913. He spent most of his life in Britain and was a key leader of the British Trotskyist movement, a founder of the Militant Tendency which grew to be, by the mid-1980s, perhaps the most successful Trotskyist organisation in history.

Ted died six years ago this month. You can read his Guardian obituary here

Ted was always predicting another 1929 style economic slump. It's ironic then that in the same issue of The Guardian in which his obituary appeared, there was an article about the record profits which a certain British bank had just announced. That bank  was Northern Rock, which was one of the first to topple when the present crisis began the following year.

Members of Militant (in the UK) included such well known names as Derek Hatton & Tommy Sheridan. Members of the organisation's Irish section included the T.Ds Joe Higgins, Clare Daly and Joan Collins.

From 1982 to 1994 I was a member of the organisation myself, at first here in Galway where I was a Militant supporter within Galway West Labour Youth and later in north London, where I was chair of Enfield Against The Poll Tax. For my trouble, I was expelled from the British Labour Party in 1991.

When I heard about Ted's death, it inspired this poem

The poem is also available in my 2008 poetry collection Time Gentlemen, Please which can be purchased directly from the Salmon Poetry site.