George R. Russell, SPGB: George Walford Memorial

George Walford Work Permit

Although I never met George when he was a member of the SPGB in the forties I did know of him. I was most agreeably surprised when he told me (when I became a subscriber to IC) that he had known many of the Glasgow members that I knew so well, such as Angus Beech McPhail, Johnnie Higgins, Bill Standing, Jim Thompson, Andy Ross, Tony Mulheron, etc. It was nice to know that George had known them too.

My writing days, so far as articles go, ceased in 1987 when I wrote a final article in the Socialist Standard just to mark my 50 years in the SPGB. I joined in 1937 and never dreamed I would leave it, but alas in 1991 it was forced upon me to resign because of certain incidents that I strongly disagreed with.

I first became familiar with George Walford’s name away back in the 1940s as he was mentioned in our EC minutes I received regularly from London, but after 1947 I was so busy traveling around the country on my own one-man commercial traveling-activities I was a ‘lone wolf’ propagandist for the Party, distributing our literature daily on trains, busses, cafes, stations etc., etc. and then there were no longer any mention of George Walford. I seem to remember that he resigned from our Party, although in his recent letters to me he could not remember whether he resigned or lapsed or whatever. Regardless, it was a great pity that his talents were lost to our small party.

In 1992 Lily Lestor, Secretary of the Camden Branch of the SPGB gave George my address when she saw him at one of our lectures in London, and then I received a nice letter from him together with two sample copies of his Ideological Commentary to which I at once sent in a sub. We kept in touch discussing the old-timers in Glasgow whom we both knew in the 1940s when George was there. I told him that I appreciated his articles about us in his journal as useful publicity for us, whether critical or supportive, and he responded by saying that he was not sure whether other members appreciated it as I did. It was a great shock to learn of his death from his wife and daughters.

My own socialist point about S.I. is that I take the Marxian view that the prevailing Ideology is that of the Ruling Class and that so far, the working class are NOT yet class conscious and thus accept the prevailing ideology as their own! This is also confirmed by George himself in his PYRAMID of ideas, the mass at the bottom accepting the prevailing ideology. So, it remains for the world socialist movement to INCREASE CLASS Consciousness among the working class and to that end I for one have spent most of my life trying to achieve and have quite a few converts to my credit! I also used to get good crowds around my retail jewelry stalls on various markets I traveled to and Stockport was very good as was Liverpool where I built up a steady sale for our journals. Harry Morrison of Boston, USA kept me well supplied with their journal The Western Socialist and George Jenkins of Victoria BC Canada with their journal Fulcrum and Jean Higdon of the Socialist Party of NZ kept me supplied with their journal Socialist Viewpoint and so it went on.

So I think we should aim to change the production of PROFIT to Production FOR USE. That is the crux of the matter. So… what about the Socialist Ideology?

April and December 1997

continue reading George Walford, A Memorial (1998):
Introduction | Notes and Quotes | Trevor Blake | Alan Bula | George Gook | Mary Anne Knukel | Encounter in Autumn by Dr. Zvi Lamm | Seeking George Walford by Paul Minet | Peter Shepherd | John Rowan | George R. Russell, SPGB | Thoughts on Ideological Minimalism by Eric Stockton | Reminiscences of George Walford and the Walsby Society 1976 to 1994 by Adrian Williams | Jack as I Knew Him by Brenda McIntosh | Alison Walford, Sharon Goodyear, Richenda Walford