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S - U - T

 

David Tatford

During the 1970s, Tatford was a young Communist Party activist - and a poet - from South west London. He was one of those who split to join the New Communist Party in Sutton, and was active in the youth section of the NCP.  

Tragically, he was killed in a motor bike accident in August 1977. A memorial meeting was held in Sutton Co-op Hall on October 18th 1977 at which speakers included Andy Merritt of Sutton NCP and Marguerite Simmons of Wallington NCP; other speakers included John Chamberlain and Colin Jones.

Marguerite Simmons stated of Tatford that  he was "a young man who embodied within himself all that was finest and noblest in a man.  He died before he had begun to give all that he had to give". Describing his political life she recalled in particular, the fight he had made for Marxism-Lenininism. She also read two of Dave's poems, explaining that he had left over three hundred, which she thought all demonstrated his fine ability to put into words the thoughts of a true communist.

Tatford was an occasional contributor in the Communist-inspired Manchester Voices, working class arts journal in the early 1970s.

 

YOU SEE ME SMILING? 

By David Tatford

 

Good evening one and all,

This is your plastic president

Speaking.

You see me smiling?

A greasepaint image

My witch doctor made for me,

The magic media man.

 

This is your plastic president

Talking

In words of simple syllables

Rolling

From a three-forked tongue.

I'm a nice man really.

The burning babies are a dream,

And anyway

They're better dead than red,

(though they'll never know

The service I did them

Unless they have T.V.

In heaven.)

 

This is your plastic president

Grinning

In skeleton likeness

Of those I killed.

 

You see me weeping?

The tears are glycerine,

Sweet as sugar

For you all to taste.

My grief is real -

I grieve for you,

Poor fools.

Source: New Worker 28th October 1977; Voices Issue 5

Michael Walker