Interview With Jimmy Deane

This interview was carried in the book, Liverpool, a city that dared to fight, produced by Militant in 1988.

'In 1937 I met Eric Brewer and joined the Labour Party.

'I had already formulated ideas in my head about socialism and fighting for Marxism. I joined the Labour Party because at that time the Labour Party in Walton was more left than the ILP. At that time politics in Liverpool were very different.

'There was a Protestant party, led by Longbottom which had a large base of support amongst Protestant workers. Vauxhall was the base of the old right wing, and was largely a Catholic area. Bessie Braddock represented Exchange which was made up of really run-down areas, but for a time she played a progressive role and built up a support amongst ordinary workers.

'For many years we had a broad basis of support inside Walton. For example, John Hamilton and his father, John Hamilton Snr supported us. There were other sympathisers, for example Hywel James, who was a member of the Co-op and a former sympathiser, George Bradshaw of the National Council of Labour Colleges. But a lot of comrades slipped through the fingers of the RCP, but not the youth they stayed with us people like Alan Giles, Brian Deane and so on.

'For a short time in the war, the Trotskyists set up an organisation called the Militant Workers' Federation. It conducted very effective work but was in no way as successful as the BLOC today, but we were obviously working under very different conditions, more difficult in some respects. In 1940 there was a lerge apprentices' movement mainly based among apprentices in the AEU and the ETU. However, the movement was dissipated among the youth by the call-up. But for two years in this period the Trotskyists had big support among the young workers in Liverpool.'

See the obituary article written by Keith Dickenson

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