Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/17949
Jimmy Parry - Liverpool 47 socialist councillor
1934 - 2013
Some 200 people attended the funeral of Jimmy Parry on 10 January, 2014. Jimmy, brother of Bob Parry MP, was born in the Scotland Road area of Liverpool. From his teens he was a committed socialist. He was a Liverpool councillor for 20 years and a loyal member of the 1983-87 socialist council. He was totally committed to defending the working people who elected him in the Central ward where he lived all his life. He was Labour Party ward secretary and signed me up in 1963.
In my eulogy I highlighted that he was a comrade of considerable courage and determination. In addition to his uncompromising opposition to Thatcher and everything she stood for, that contempt carried over to the present day Labour councillors who refuse to make a stand against cuts.
His mettle was underlined when he bearded Kinnock in his den. I was hauled in front of Kinnock's NEC to be subject to expulsion. Both Jimmy and Eddie Loyden agreed to be my 'seconds' in that encounter.
We attended and were confronted by the Star Chamber with Tony Benn, Dennis Skinner, Eric Heffer, Eric Clark of the mineworkers' union, Jo Richardson, Joan Maynard and LPYS rep Francis Curran giving us full support. Kinnock lead the rest, the future lords and knights of the realm, ready to carry out the predetermined sentence of expulsion.
Jimmy was asked if he would like to say a few words. His reply was like a hand grenade being pitched into the comfort of the NEC. He charged Kinnock with 'disgraceful' conduct in attacking committed socialists and he declared to Kinnock's profound discomfort that he 'would go down in history as the greatest traitor since Ramsey McDonald'. The right wing was stunned by Jimmy's invective. History has proved Jimmy correct.
The expulsion was duly carried by the right wing majority, but Jimmy's spirited intervention made its mark.
Jimmy Parry was a wonderful example of a councillor who saw his duty as voting to defend workers, at no matter the cost. He will be sadly missed. We send out condolences to Terry and the rest of his extended family.
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 13 January 2014 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.