Thursday, October 30, 2008

What Colour is Labour - Red ?

What Colour is Labour ?

The Greater London Labour Party in 1966, carried out a survey of Constituency Labour Parties to see what colours they were presently using during elections to promote the Labour candidates.

Replies received were 56 out of a possible 104

Present Colours
Red & Yellow 36
Red & White 8
Red 6
Red & Gold 3
Black & Orange 2

Replies concerning future planned uniform colour

Red & Yellow 34
Red & White 10
red 6
Red & Gold 3
Black & Orange 1

Willing to accept uniform Labour party colour

For 51
Against 4
Doubtful 1

L.G Sims Secretary Greater London Co-ordinating Committee
Transport House, Smith Square, London SW1
Chairman R. J. Mellish MP

Hayes Labour Party would seem to have used Red & White for many years

Nationally the Labour Party dabbled with purple at the 1997 general election

The colour Red as a "Socialist" colour probably dates back to time of the Paris Commune of 1871 (however a Red flag was raised at the Merthyr rising of 1831)

Green was the colour ?

The traditional colour of the Left in England had been Green as used by the Levellers during the English Civil War and Commonwealth 1649 to 1660 (Green twigs being placed in their hat bands - sea green blades) and the Chartists also wore Green.

The Chartist used a red, white and green flag at one stage (picture) However, the Chartists also liked to carry the French tricolour to scare the aristocracy in particular
. A tactic also used by Swing rioters, who hoisted a tricolour at Newington, Kent.

It was reported that this Chartist/republican flag (picture) was flown again at the Jubilee of King George V in 1935

Bill Jordan - New Zealnad

William "Bill" Jordan - New Zealand Labour Party

Born: Ramsgate, Kent
Founder of the New Zealand Labour Party

Bill Jordan was born at Ramsgate, Kent on 19th May 1879. His father was William Jordan Jordan a sea captain as was his grandfather, Jordan's mother was Elizabeth Ann Catt.

His father had been a member of the local Lifeboat crew who earned fame for exploits on the notorious Goodwin Sands.

The decline of the local fishing industry forced the Jordan family to move to London, where he attended St Luke's Parochial School (Old Street). His school career was satisfactory but brief, and having passed through the 7th Standard at the age of twelve, he left and was apprenticed to coach painting from which he resigned due to the exposure to lead poisoning.

Bill Jordan the entered the postal service in 1896 and reached a "responsible position" at the postal headquarters at Mount Pleasant, London's main post sorting centre.

It was while at Mount Pleasant that Jordan joined the progressive organisation the Fawcett Association, which had close links with the post office trade unions.

Jordan then joined the Metropolitan Police and was trained at Scotland Yard, before being stationed at Limehouse in the East End of London and later Forest Gate.

He emigrated to New Zealand in 1904 and undertook labouring, bush-farming, painting before opening a business as a trader in Waihi, moving on to Ngaruawahia.

Bill Jordan became first secretary of Wellington branch of Labour Party, becoming the first Secretary of the original Labour Party in 1907.
The Labour Party was formally established on 7 July 1916 in Wellington (Jordan became National President in 1932)

In February 1917, at the age of 37, he enlisted in the army. He had been married 17 days earlier, on 30 January, at Ngaruawahia, to Winifred Amy Bycroft, a draper's assistant. He joined the New Zealand Forces serving as a Sergent and saw active service in March 1918 being seriously wounded just two weeks later and was transferred to the Educational Staff of the New Zealand Extraordinary Force.

He returned to New Zealand in 1919 and stood unsuccessful for Labour at Raglan at the 1919 General election.

His election to the New Zealand parliament was the surprise of the at the 1922 election, defeating long term incumbent Sir Fredeick Lang for Manukau. Jordan remaining a Labour Member of Parliament until 1936, when he became New Zealand High Commissioner in London in September 1936.

He remained in London during World War Two and won great respect from New Zealand servicemen and women stationed in Britain during the War, for his tireless championing of their concerns.

William Joseph died Auckland, New Zealand on 8th April 1959

He left an estate valued at £28,040 and directed that the "Jordan Fruit Panel Bowl" originally presented to him by the London Fruit Panel, should be a trophy for cricket matches between England and New Zealand teams, on the lines of the England v Australia " Ashes"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Madge Davison - Civil Rights

Madge Davison - NICRA

Madge Davison was born 13th June 1950 and raised in

the strong Protestant working class community in the Shore Road area of North Belfast, where her family lived in Pittsburg Street. Madge remained proud of her Presbyterian background and their role in the "United irishmen".

She left school at the age of seventeen and started work as a secretary in the Falls Flax Spinning Mill on the Falls Road and soon joined the Communist Youth League.

In 1970 she took place in the breaking of the Falls curfew, when several hundred women marched in protest at being held within the area by the British Army.By the 1970's she had started working as full time organiser for the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA).

Many of her comrades in the Communist Party of Ireland who struggled to bridge the religious divide and build working class solidarity. People like Betty Sinclair President of Belfast Trades Union Council (see posting) Barry and Terry Bruton, Jimmy and Edwina Stewart, Joe Deighan, Andy Barr, Lynda Walker, Margaret Bruton, Noel Harris, Joe Bowers and many more....

Madge took part in the civil rights demonstration on Bloody Sunday in Derry, 1972 (she can be seen in television film, standing on the running-board of the lorry). Along with others she helped to organise the protest march in Newry the following week, and subsequently she organised the placing of a memorial in Derry to those who were killed.

Leader of the Connolly Youth Movement, she led the 11 4 Irish delegates at the 10th World Festival of Youth in Berlin in August 1973

She lead the tributes to Irish Communist and International Brigade leader Frank Ryan in Dresden

When her work with the NICRA finished she began to study law. She obtained a first-class honours degree from Queen’s University and became a barrister. She was respected in the profession for her ability to combine hard work with a down-to-earth approach to the law; her legal colleagues agree that she stood out as an exceptional barrister and gave much of herself to her work, standing out as a gifted advocate for human rights.

In January 1991 Madge was tragically diagnosed with cancer. She died on 27 January 1991, at the early age of forty-one, leaving behind her husband and comrade John Hobbs and two beloved young children.

Madge Davison was an outstanding communist, outstanding orator, and excellent organiser. During her short life she took part in many struggles and activities. She taught typing in Twinbrook, taught law in the Falls Women’s Centre, was an active member of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement, an adviser to the Rape Crisis Centre (Belfast), and a member of the Northern Ireland Women’s Rights Movement.

source: Communist Party of Ireland

Guildford LPYS

Guildford Labour Party Young Socialists 1981

Davy Alfert - Chairman
Steve Chapman - Vice Chairman
Michael Walker - Secretary

Jane Hutchinson

Jane Wilson
Liz Gibbs
Malcom Corbett
Barny Russell
Dave Eley
Rebecca Matthews
Jesica Matthews
Simon Tester
Julie Souaghy
Suzanne Otto
Richard Rogers
Carol Moffatt

Guildford LPYS was one of the few branches not to have either a member of Militant or be controlled by Militant. This at a time of their total domination of LPYS, a fact we were very proud to continue.

Work included fighting cuts in universities, health care, Guildford & Godalming Save our Services (SOS), anti racist work, CND, anti SDP work, supporting the developments of Co-operatives, working in election, Supporting the LPYS march for jobs organised by Dave Nellist (Later MP) visit to see "Cant pay wont pay" play Theatre production in London and famously flying the Red flag on Guildford Castle and red ramble and picnic on the day of the Charles and Diana Royal Wedding.

George "Bill" Bellerby

Bill Bellerby now the "elder statesman" of Guildford was born in South Wales in March 1917 educated at Penarth Grammar School and the University of South Wales, He was a school teacher, During the Second World War he served in the Queens Royal (West Surrey) Regiment 1940-1946. He came to live in Guildford in 1948.

Bill became President of Guildford Labour Party and a councillor on Guildford Borough Councillor. Stood as Parliamentary candidate for Guildford in 1955 and 1959. Elected Surrey County Councillor for Guildford, and famously in the early 1980's with his wife Doreen who also represented a Guildford ward (1981 or 1985 ?) Labour holding all three seats.

When Mayor of Guildford set up a well respected holiday play scheme, Unemployed Workers Centre also heavily involved in Education and arts issues in Guildford (Bellerby Theatre circa 1980s).

Bill Bellerby is still fighting to save local services such as the shuttle bus aged 91.


The Red flag hoisted on Guildford castle was actually
a Vietnamese flag, and was the property of the LPYS but fearing retribution from the Party was hoisted in the name of the right to work campaign after a local SWP stuff the wedding party and LPYS stuff the wedding picnic by St Catheines by the river.