Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/706/13933

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 February 2012

800 celebrate life of Rob Windsor, a socialist champion of Coventry's people

Coventry Socialist Party
Rob Windsor, photo Paul Mattsson

Rob Windsor, photo Paul Mattsson

"It was an inspiring event," said Kath O'Donnell about the funeral for her anti-poll tax colleague, Rob Windsor, at Coventry Cathedral.

A socialist councillor in St Michael's ward, he was described as "passionate, driven, eloquent and uncompromising... but a humble man".

Around 800 people - a huge turnout of work colleagues, council workers, Socialist Party (SP) comrades and hundreds of people from St Michael's and across the city - joined Rob's family to celebrate his life, a testimony to the man and the socialist and Marxist ideas he promoted.

Speakers paid tribute to the 'force of nature' that was Rob. Workmate Mike Fowler described Rob as "about as good as it gets".

Another workmate, Alan Thomas, said Rob was selfless and had an amazing record of helping people, fuelled by his compassion and Marxism.

"If we're made of dust, what dust he was," said Coventry SP member Dave Griffiths who described Rob's eventful life and dedication to fighting injustice, inequality and oppression.

Rob's greatest pride was the anti-poll tax struggle. And rightly. He firmly fought for a campaign of mass non payment which was to cement his relationship with the Socialist Party.

Warmth and compassion

A message from Scottish socialist Tommy Sheridan said: "There are some people you meet in life who have inner warmth and compassion that oozes from them... Rob Windsor was one of those people.

"Rob was a champion in the titanic battle against the poll tax. His understanding of the law made him a priceless member of the anti-poll tax team.

"He showed no fear in confronting the powerful on behalf of the powerless. His courage was awe inspiring."

SP general secretary Peter Taaffe praised Rob's role not only as a campaigner in Coventry but as a national leader in the Socialist Party.

Another leading SP member, Hannah Sell, explained how young he was to be an anti-poll tax leader. She added: "His socialism stemmed from his solidarity with anyone suffering poverty and injustice."

Because no individual councillor could stop all that, Rob "was determined to fight for a better society. It's a tragedy that we've lost him when the need for a society that acts for the 99% rather than the 1% has never been clearer. He would want socialists here to re-dedicate ourselves to the cause we shared with him."

Fighting back

SP councillor Dave Nellist said Rob was a politician not because he wanted to be one, but to fight back for working people. Our job, if we admire his work, is to find the next generation who'll do as Rob did, and fight to spread the ideas of socialism and the need to change the world.

The Bishop of Wolverhampton, Clive Gregory, said Rob was not a religious person but could be described as spiritual. "His spirituality was... a belief in the potential of every person and the collective potential of humanity".

Clive knew Rob's work well as he had been a Coventry vicar at St Peter's church in Hillfields. He said the cathedral was the only place large enough to hold Rob's funeral and that the cathedral's community should be proud to welcome such a man. Clive called for a permanent memorial to Rob.

Expelled from the Labour Party as it embraced the market, he was not deterred by a time of political retreat by the left during the 1990s. He continued the fight for socialism and led dozens of campaigns.

But whether on the council or leading campaigns, Rob hardly ever missed a meeting of his local SP branch, always looking to build support for our party.

Inspired

Recently he had the pleasure of hearing even Margaret Thatcher's biographer, Charles Moore, say how the 'leftist' argument now looked more credible and would gain new force. How Rob would have loved to be part of that. Luckily, he inspired so many and we are confident others will pick up the baton of struggle.

After the cathedral, family and close friends went to Canley crematorium to be greeted by 'Always look on the bright side of life'. The traditional workers' song The Internationale was sung at the end.

Hundreds who could not fit into the Canley chapel were hosted by Coventry Socialist Party at the SQ club where speakers young and old remembered and saluted Rob's contribution to the Socialist Party and the working class.

Peter Taaffe urged everyone to re-commit themselves to the struggle for socialist change and to join the SP if they weren't already a member in order to carry on the struggle that Rob fought so hard for.

Everyone there felt taller for knowing and campaigning with Rob and he would have been proud of the tribute his fellows paid him.

Read the obituary for Rob at: www.coventrysocialists.co.uk
See also:
Society needs more battling underdogs like Rob Windsor

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 22 February 2012:


Socialist Party youth and students

For real jobs - not workfare

Main parties have no solution to youth unemployment

Defend education - Join the student walkout


Socialist Party feature

What's wrong with capitalism?


International socialist news and analysis

Romania: Protest movement topples the government

Kazakhstan: Defend workers' leaders


Socialist Party workplace news

Pensions: Strike on 28 March

Sparks defeat Balfours - now for total victory over BESNA!

Support the workers at MMP packaging

Tyne and Wear Metro cleaners

Organising against the cuts in Greenwich

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

800 celebrate life of Rob Windsor, a socialist champion of Coventry's people

Save Charing Cross hospital!

Wales: A tale of two conferences

'Capitalism fails the poor' agree Oxford University students!

Portsmouth: Anti-cuts activists present an alternative budget

Gateshead: Children's healthcare under threat

Fight homophobic Tory attacks

North West aggregate meetings

Them & Us


Reviews and readers' comments

Fans not financiers should run football

Should socialists support the proposed HS2 rail link?

Radio review - My generation


 

Facebook   Twitter



Home   |   The Socialist 22 February 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop






Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter



Related links:

Rob Windsor:

triangleFuneral details for Rob Windsor, socialist councillor

triangleRob Windsor: socialist fighter and Coventry Socialist Party councillor 1964-2012

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: Defend jobs, pensions & public services; fight for socialism

triangleCoventry elections: Strong socialist support

triangleCoventry: strong socialist support

Coventry:

triangleCoventry fans stung by Wasps

triangleCoventry Socialist Party: Scotland in revolt against austerity

triangleJoin the fight for free education and student grants!

triangleGaza local protest reports

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

21/10/14

Russell Brand

Russell Brand strikes a chord

20/10/14

Liverpool

Kevin Maguire's mistaken comparison

20/10/14

Doncaster

Care UK strikers lobby Miliband for public support

20/10/14

TUC

TUC 'Britain needs a pay rise' demo

20/10/14

Recycling

Further action by Sheffield recycling workers

20/10/14

Southampton

"No Raise - No Rays!" - say radiographers

20/10/14

London

St Mungo's Broadway strikers fighting for decent pay and conditions

17/10/14

Black

Black History Month - London socialist meetings

16/10/14

POA

POA hospital workers join public sector strike wave

16/10/14

Jobs

Workers' Educational Association strike threat forces management to withdraw attack on jobs and conditions

15/10/14

Glasgow

'Political awakening' continues in Scotland

15/10/14

Doncaster

Care UK workers mark 81st strike day

15/10/14

The Socialist

Subscribe to the Socialist!

15/10/14

Socialist Party

Help us fund the fightback

15/10/14

Socialist Party

We need YOU to join the Socialists!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

TUC demo, 18.10.14, photo by JB

triangle20 Oct TUC 'Britain needs a pay rise' demo

triangle20 Oct 'No Raise - No Rays!' - say radiographers

triangle20 Oct St Mungo's Broadway strikers fighting for decent pay and conditions

triangle20 Oct Miliband refuses to publicly support Care UK strikers

triangle16 Oct POA hospital workers join public sector strike wave

triangle15 Oct Obama's strategy to beat IS lies in tatters

Kshama Sawant, photo Kevin Allen

triangle15 Oct Come to Socialism 2014

More ...

triangle21 Oct Newcastle Socialist Party: After last week's strikes, what next?

triangle21 Oct Derby Socialist Party: Building the action against low pay

triangle21 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: Building trade union action against low pay

triangle21 Oct Bristol Socialist Party: How we can win a 10/hr minimum wage

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice