Stan R Broadbridge was born in 1928 in Barnet, Middlesex, to a mother with the maiden name of Calway,
He was identifiably a Communist Party activist in Manchester at a very young age in 1949, possibly when he was at university. He is then recorded as opposing, in the party press, a position put by Pat Sloan, which sought to play down the Party’s support for elections and the Labour Party.
“The tactics advocated by Pat Sloan, were they adopted, could have a very adverse effect on the development of the working class movement,” Broadbridge wrote. “It is only by full experience of social democratic governments that the workers can be brought to see the need for proper working class policy. Let us oppose Labour candidates wherever we have our own but, while criticising we must urge support for the Labour Party elsewhere.
In putting what was essentially the Party’s line, Broadbridge located his argument in classic Marxism-Leninism by quoting from Lenin’s `Left-wing Communism’. It was necessary, he thought, for workers “to realise through their own experience the absolute importance and characterless, the absolute helplessness and servility before the bourgeoisie, the utter vileness of the Government of the knights of the second International … in order to turn them resolutely towards communism”.
Comments such as Sloan’s, Broadbridge thought, were unhelpful since the mass of working people were “far from fully realising this yet and, until they do, any talk of ceasing to work for the return of a Labour Government may sound revolutionary but it will aid us nothing in building a mass Party.”
In 1961 Broadbridge was the author of the Communist Party’s Our History pamphlet, The Lancashire Cotton `famine’ (1861-65). He also wrote for“Transport History”, in March 1971, and authored “The Birmingham canal navigations” Vol.1 1768-1846 (1974).
In the mid-1970s, he lectured at Stafford Polytechnic, and was a highly regarded Communist President of the Association of Teachers in Technical Institutions (ATTI) in the mid-1970s.
In 1976, ATTI formed the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) by a merger with the Association of Teachers in Colleges and Departments of Education. Tom Driver (see separate entry) had negotiated the leadership of the new union for Stan Broadbridge and he was its first general secretary. Sadly, he is not infrequently missed out of commentaries on the history of unions catering for lecturers, perhaps due to the shortness of time he held the post. Broadbridge died of cancer at the end of 1978, aged 50.
Sources: World News 12th February 1949 (MW) and other miscellaneous sources
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