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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 June 2014

Obituary: George Duff

George joined the Socialist Party around the time I became branch secretary of East London branch in January 2013. He was an upbeat and treasured member of the branch.

Growing up in a Protestant household in Belfast during the 'Troubles', before moving to London, shaped his politics greatly. His experiences led him to strongly oppose sectarianism and all forms of bigotry and injustice. He followed with great interest and admiration the work of our sister party in Northern Ireland.

The poor treatment of disabled people in society today was also a driving force behind his political activism. George loved his job at a disabled charity. As a disabled man, he knew how little and just what poor quality services are available for disabled people.

Sadly he also felt the impact of the government's austerity first hand when he lost his job due to funding cuts at the charity. These cuts were passed on to the charity by Tower Hamlets council.

When the cuts were announced, with the help of Socialist Party members, George recruited a number of colleagues to the Unite union and tried to fight the redundancies. His efforts managed to postpone but sadly couldn't stop the redundancies going through.

I was always impressed by his warmth and confidence especially in political settings. He used his powerful Ulster brogue to great effect on street stalls and paper sales, ensuring passers-by were well aware of the branch's campaigns!

We had hoped he would be a branch delegate to congress this year for the first time but sadly he was already too unwell having just lost his job. But despite our best efforts to re-immerse George back into political activity he succumbed to acute depression and tragically took his own life.

While George was a very strong individual and class fighter, he was also a victim of government austerity and this uncaring capitalist system. Nonetheless, George's struggle to overcome great difficulties and to fight for a better world will always inspire comrades who knew him.

Helen Pattison

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In The Socialist 11 June 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS: Private profit kills

Newark byelection: capitalist parties in crisis

'Trojan Horse': who is attacking education?

World Cup carnival can't hide corruption and injustice

Them & Us


Anniversaries

Tiananmen Square 1989

The battle of Orgreave


International socialist news and analysis

Spain: European elections redefine political map

Greece: CWI councillors elected


Socialist Party workplace news

10 July: United action can beat austerity

Bakers' union calls for general strike

Unison: No waiting for Labour - fight the job cuts

Housing workers strike against rep suspension

Firefighters to walk out for 24-hours

Care UK workers continue dispute

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Now is the time to join the Socialists!

Why I'm a socialist

Stevenage: EDL not welcome here

Cuts consensus: Labour joins with Ukip to back Tory council


Readers' comments and reviews

Ken Loach's Jimmy's Hall

Obituary: George Duff


 

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