Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/27311

Posted on 7 May 2018 at 15:04 GMT

Roger Shrives selling the Militant, photo Andy Walker

Roger Shrives selling the Militant, photo Andy Walker   (Click to enlarge)

Obituary: Roger Shrives, 5 April 1947 - 1 May 2018

Roger Shrives, a very long standing member of the Socialist Party in south London, has sadly passed away.

He had been a full-time organiser for Militant and the Socialist Party for 39 years, of which he was a member of the editorial team of the Militant and the Socialist newspapers for 37 years.

Roger became active in socialist politics as one of the first students at the New University of Ulster in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, in 1968 - at the very beginning of 'the Troubles'. It was here that Roger was introduced to Militant.

In December 1969 he helped establish the left-wing Coleraine Labour Party. In May 1971 Roger joined Militant.

That same month he campaigned in a council byelection in which the Northern Ireland Labour Party stood a local factory worker in a straight contest with the Unionists - securing 40% of the vote on a fighting, working class programme.

Returning to London after graduating, Roger resumed work at Lewisham social services where he became an active member of the Nalgo union.

He also helped establish the Labour Party Young Socialists Irish solidarity campaign at this time.

In November 1975 he and three other members who shared a rented flat in south London were accused in a witch-hunting Sunday Express article on Militant of being 'bed-sit Trotskyist infiltrators' of Labour under the, hilarious to Roger, headline: "Why the secret of 13 Elsiemaud Road shocked Mrs Box" (she being the landlady).

This article was a precursor of a generalised witch-hunt against Militant (see The Rise of Militant, by Peter Taaffe).

In 1976 Roger became a full-time organiser for Militant, working at our then central offices in Hackney, east London.

He was an incredibly industrious party worker, never missing an important demo or party activity, and was a stalwart of our successful council election campaigns in Telegraph Hill, Lewisham, in the 1990s and 2000s - where he tutored a younger generation of members in sound methods of party building.

He possessed razor-sharp proofreading skills, an encyclopaedic knowledge of the party and almost everything else, and an amazing ability for remembering dates - give him your date of birth and he would instantly tell you what day of the week you were born - as well as knowing all the London postcodes!

He did, however, exhibit disdain for modern technology and would frequently curse his misbehaving computer in scenes reminiscent of the character Basil in the sitcom Fawlty Towers!

Unfortunately, Roger had many long-term health problems, including the legacy of a stroke, and he finally retired as a sub-editor in October 2015.

But as an old trooper he continued to be an active member of Lewisham branch, all too often ignoring advice from fellow comrades to take it easy.

He set high standards for selling the Socialist - even in the ambulance taking him to hospital the day before he died Roger complained to an accompanying comrade about a reported low sale of the paper on a branch activity!

He enjoyed a pint, he liked listening to jazz and he possessed a wit which, when joking about fellow comrades, bordered on the rude!

He will be missed.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 5 May 2018 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






Related links:

Obituary:

triangleMick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

triangleObituary: Rob Crabb

trianglePeter Hadden remembered

triangleObituary - Bob Lee: 1954 - 2019

triangleObituary: John Boots (1942-2019)

Militant:

triangleHelp us continue to fight for workers and socialism

triangleCouldn't pay, wouldn't pay, didn't pay: the battle to defeat the poll tax

triangleSocialism 2019: Major rally to plan how to get Corbyn elected with socialist policies

triangleTony Mulhearn - a Eulogy

London:

triangleFight continues for safety on London buses

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Workers' safety before bosses' profits

triangleGoing viral - Socialist comments and letters

Socialist:

triangleFight racism and class inequality, fight capitalism!

triangleSocialism Today special issue: Lessons from the Corbyn experience

Labour:

triangleBlairite general secretary elected - Starmer's takeover of Labour Party consolidated

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

3/6/20

Equity

Equity union general secretary election

3/6/20

Socialist

Pandemic doesn't stop Socialist Party educating organisers: northern meeting

3/6/20

Labour Party

Blairite general secretary elected - Starmer's takeover of Labour Party consolidated

3/6/20

Racism

Fight racism and class inequality, fight capitalism!

3/6/20

Covid

Hospital closed following rampant spread of Covid-19

3/6/20

JCB

Coordinated union struggle needed to save jobs and nationalise JCB

3/6/20

PCS

PCS pay claim: Vital work unrecognised

3/6/20

Schools

Schools... no going back until it's safe

3/6/20

UCU

Reject the university employers' offer on pay, workload and casualisation

3/6/20

Buses

Fight continues for safety on London buses

27/5/20

Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

27/5/20

Ferries

Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

27/5/20

Schools

Schools aren't safe

27/5/20

Energy

Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

27/5/20

Hull

Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999