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A key figure in the National Union of Seamen’s strike of 1966, Norris was a life-long Communist and, at the point of the dispute, had attained a key role in the Union's negotiating machinery as a leading member of the national negotiating committee, even though he was not himself a member of the Executive Council.
Norris had extraordinarily been elected from the floor of the Annual General Conference to this role. He was a “highly articulate and effective Communist”, according to the Earl of Longford in the debate on the Emergency Regulations made on June 22 1966.
Longford made much of the fact that Gordon Norris, “in certain of his activities also operates under the name of Mr. George Goodman”.