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John Blevin

 

My brother, John, was born in Liverpool in 1954, and attended St Edwards College in the city before working for Liverpool City Council from 1972 to 1982.

 

Whilst working for Liverpool's Parks and Gardens he began to get involved in trade union activities which quickly began to dominate his life as a local authority worker. He joined the General and Municipal Workers Union, becoming a shop steward and eventually Branch Secretary. 

 

What made John a well known figure in Liverpool was his role as Secretary of the Liverpool City Joint Shop Stewards Committee, which he helped to set up.

He was also a delegate to Liverpool Trades Council.

 

John was a well known activist on Merseyside in the struggle for equality and worked on issues of women's rights and anti-racism and was a campaigner for trade union rights helping to develop the struggle against privatisation in Liverpool.

 

During his time at Liverpool City Council he joined the Communist Party, eventually giving up his job with the local authority to become the full time Secretary of the Merseyside Area Committee in 1983.

 

He stood as a Communist candidate in several Liverpool City Council elections in the early 1980s and as a Parliamentary candidate for the Riverside constituency in the 1983 general election.

 

A move to London in 1984 saw John working at the Morning Star newspaper, where he established a well-deserved reputation as a journalistic innovator. 

 

John eventually became Features Editor and later News Editor in 1991.

 

Following a period of political splits within the Communist Party, John left the Morning Star and, after a short spell as a freelance journalist, joined Tribune as Deputy Editor.

 

By the time he arrived there his political outlook had changed although his fundamental beliefs in decent, humanitarian values had not. 

 

John was a principled socialist who undoubtedly made enormous sacrifices to keep alive journalism of the Left.

 

In October 1999 just as he was about to move back north to take up a different role, he died suddenly.

 

John will be warmly remembered as a fine journalist, trade unionist and a friend of the Labour movement.
 
 
 
by Paul Bishop
 
 
(formerly Blevin)