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Terry Fields 1937 - 2008: Socialist fighter & former MP passes away
Below is a letter of condolance sent to the Fields family from Andrew Price, CNWP officer for Wales:
It was with great sadness that I learned last weekend from Tony Mulhearn of Terry’s death. Regrettably an important trade union commitment prevents me attending the funeral today, but please accept this letter from me on behalf of those in South Wales who mourn Terry’s passing, many like me and Tony who support the Campaign for a New Workers Party.
I first met Terry more than 30 years ago before he was an M.P.and when he was an activist in the FBU. Today more than 25years after the event I regard myself as privileged to have been one of the organisers of the public meeting held in Cardiff to promote the candidacy of Eric Heffer as Labour Party leader. That night more people turned up to hear Eric and Terry speaking than the equivalent one for Michael Meacher or in fact the one addressed by Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley- ’the Dream Ticket’ or as Terry called it ‘the Nightmare Ticket’
Two years later Kinnock delivered his vile speech to Labour Party Conference denouncing the 47 Liverpool Councillors whose stand inspired all of us. This was the start of a witch hunt that eventually led to Terry and Dave Nellist being expelled from the Party. In South Wales this happened to Chris Peace, Dave Bartlett, Dave Reid and me. Often before his own expulsion Terry visited South Wales to address meetings, and always began his speech with a message of solidarity for us.
Not for Terry the seat in the House of Lords reserved for traitors like Kinnock and Hattersley, or the aberration of New Labour, but the prison cell for one who endorsed the marvellous slogan of the Poplar Labour Party in the 1920’s and the Liverpool Labour Party of the 1980’s ’Better to break the Law than break the Poor’
Terry was a great socialist who will inspire many in the future. We will remember him long after the Blairs the Browns and their likes have been forgotten.
Our thoughts are with you at this very sad you and your family.
CNWP Officer for Wales