John MacLean, a working class hero - The story of Scotland's greatest revolutionary figure - Part Three

Lenin considered MacLean an outstanding revolutionary and when plans were made to form a Communist Party in Britain Lenin was anxious that MacLean should play a leading role in it. MacLean, while defending the Bolshevik Revolution, refused to join the newly formed Communist Party, a grave mistake which prevented him from playing the role he could have played in these crucial years. In spite of his mistakes MacLean remains an outstanding Scottish revolutionary.

Revolution throughout Europe

The entire continent of Europe had been ignited by the Russian Revolution of October 1917. The successful overthrow of the corrupt tsarist regime and the parasitic ruling clique by the Russian workers and peasants had proved that with the proper application of a programme led by revolutionary socialists, backed by a mass party willing to struggle, was not a utopian dream, as had always been claimed by the rulers, but was demonstrably tangible and real.

In Germany, the navy mutinied and turned on its commanding officers, who promptly surrendered. Mass strikes broke out across the country. The Kaiser fled. Soviets (workers' councils) took charge of the running and administration of vast areas of the country. This development spread throughout Europe with revolution forcing regime change in Hungary, Bavaria and Latvia.

Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister, was fraught with worry. Overall commander of the British armed forces, Field Marshall Sir Henry Wilson, told the cabinet that he thought, "a Bolshevik rising was likely". He had good cause to draw such conclusions. In January 1919, 20,000 soldiers mutinied at Calais, demanding they be returned home. 10,000 troops at Folkestone refused to return to France and 4,000 demonstrated in solidarity at Dover. Sailors on HMS Kilbride removed the Union Jack and ran up the red flag, forcing the ship's officers to surrender the ship. In early summer the police in Liverpool and London went on strike.

Quite simply, Lloyd George, together with the various heads of the military and the Establishment, had to face the fact that the working class was on the march and revolution was in the air. Worse still from the governments' point of view they could not rely on the police and armed forces to crush the movement. The working class of Europe had taken on board some bitter lessons in the preceding period. Their exploiting masters would happily use them to fight their capitalist wars, offering praise and sycophantic honour, but little else! At a CWC Conference in early 1919 the militant mood among the workers on the Clyde was evident when they put forward their demands for a 40-hour working week.

But the contrast between the Bolsheviks and the forces of the organised workers in Britain could not have been clearer. Lenin and the leaders of the Russian revolution had engaged themselves in years of cadre building, learning important lessons along the way, including the unfinished revolution of 1905. Lenin had built a mass revolutionary party over a period of around 15 years, placing Marxist theory and education as a top priority for Bolshevik members. They sustained the production of revolutionary material in almost totally illegal conditions. The best of the militant workers and intelligentsia increasingly supported the aims of the Bolsheviks in their struggle for a better society.

While MacLean was an enthusiastic supporter of Bolshevism, a powerful advocate for revolution, and the notion that the working class in Britain were capable of seizing power, he did not have a mass revolutionary party to work in. The BSP, while formally adhering to Marxism, contained many of the traits of the sectarian SDF, and its members were prone to syndicalism. In fact, despite his personal influence, MacLean only had a small core of supporters. This weakness is one that should be of the utmost importance to serious socialists who are fighting to change society. Once more, despite the apparent calm under the surface, capitalism and the entire world order is being questioned by large layers of society, and it stands on the brink. In 1919, had a revolutionary party of the working class existed, even on a modest scale, it could have grown quickly and provided the subjective factor which was lacking. As we shall see, even the staunchest defenders of capitalism believed the game was up, as their beloved system collapsed around their ears.

The miners were about to join the struggle and put forward a claim for a 30% pay rise, a reduction in their working hours and nationalisation of the pits. The urgent need for coal meant the miners were in a powerful position. MacLean publicly called for the engineers in the CWC to link their demands and struggle with the miners, in a move that would almost certainly have guaranteed victory. MacLean also saw that such a struggle could push the ruling class to the very edge and begin the revolution in Britain. Unfortunately, the syndicalist leaders of the CWC failed to see the situation in this way. The dispute fell under the control of the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) and the Glasgow Trades Council. Manny Shinwell, then an ILP councillor (and later Lord Shinwell) was chair of the Trades Council. At the earliest opportunity, Shinwell, renowned for his political opportunism, declared, "This movement is not revolutionary in character. It is attributable solely to the fear of possible unemployment." This was music to the ears to the ruling class. The British Cabinet, which was following events, analysed the situation at one of their meetings. Winston Churchill, the Minister for Labour, regretted the rebelliousness in the armed forces.

"Once we had a well disciplined and ignorant army, whereas now we have an army educated and ill-disciplined". Churchill decided that the only option open to the capitalists was "a judicious use of force at an opportune moment". The comments of Shinwell and other working class "representatives" had emboldened the bourgeoisie who actively sought support from the trade union leaders. The more things change the more they stay the same!

Throughout early January, MacLean spoke at rallies in Leigh, Warrington, Liverpool and Glasgow, before taking his regular classes in Glasgow and elsewhere. He then addressed miners in Bellshill, Hamilton, Motherwell and Shotts. 10,000 Lanarkshire miners had just ended a successful unofficial strike demanding the reinstatement Mine Manager Willie Hughes who had been victimised because of his socialist beliefs. On 27th January 1919 the Clyde Workers Joint Strike Committee declared strike action, closing the shipyards and engineering shops and spreading throughout the Central belt. At a mass rally in the St Andrews Hall on 29th January, the striking workers marched to the City Chambers at George Square. A delegation including Davy Kirkwood sought a meeting with the Lord Provost to request the Council's backing for the demand for a 40-hour working week, which would assist in absorbing the newly demobbed service men into employment. Kirkwood asked that the council suspend the city's trams given the large number of strikers congregated in the city centre to reduce the risk of accidents. Some in the crowd scaled the front of the imposing building and fastened a red flag to the flagpole. The Lord Provost, clearly alarmed by the size of the crowd and concerned at the thought of insurgency in Glasgow, immediately contacted London. He was advised to tell the delegation to return on 31st January when he would give his decision. This ploy gave the government the necessary time to deploy troops and tanks to Glasgow. MacLean was not in Glasgow at the time, attending meetings and engagements in Warrington, Cumberland, Whitehaven and then London for an Executive Council meeting of the BSP.

On 31st January, thousands of workers poured into Glasgow City centre expecting the Lord Provost's answer. Nan Milton describes the crowd that day as "exhilarated, like the crowd at a cup final". Hundreds of police lined George Square, many of them on horseback. The delegation was allowed in to speak to the Lord Provost to hear his decision. Outside, Willie Gallacher was addressing the crowd when suddenly mayhem and disorder broke out. By all accounts the police, in an unprovoked attack, charged the crowds and indiscriminately battened and clubbed men, women and children, running over the top of them with police horses. A ferocious battle erupted when the workers had recovered from the attack and there was serious injury sustained on both sides. Kirkwood was battered to the ground and then arrested. The following day, Glasgow was like an occupied war zone with tanks in the streets and armed soldiers on strategic rooftops. The incident had shown the mood of militancy within a mass layer of the working class; it also pointed to the fact that they were willing to struggle against all the forces ranged against them. However, with the short-sighted and narrow outlook of the trade union leaders and the absence of a revolutionary organisation providing leadership, the effort proved futile and a wonderful opportunity was lost. The problem was not the working class but the deliberate blocking of the movement by the strike leaders. As a result the strike petered out.

Over one million miners, organised in the Miner's Federation, had voted overwhelmingly for strike action. Hyper profits during the war, when workers had sweated blood in the cause of their country, meant that the coal owners were willing to grant some concessions to the miners - but nationalisation of the mines was out of the question. Quite happy with state "interference" and support during the war, the wealthy mine owners now wanted a free hand in developing and increasing their lucrative business. The war was over, soldiers and service personnel were returning from foreign lands to mass unemployment. The capitalists knew that such conditions allowed them to drive down wages and conditions. The working class on the other hand had now to face the prospect of continuing their sacrificing for the bosses, or else challenge the capitalism system. The key to this struggle was with the miners. Lloyd George and the government were in a precarious position. With a disaffected army and the country bankrupt, they were at the mercy of the organised working class. As a detour they offered to set up a Royal Commission to look into the nationalisation of the pits and the miners' demands. The leaders of "The Triple Alliance", railwaymen, the transport workers and the miners, met with Lloyd George. It was a crucial moment in working class history. Aneurin Bevan recalled the conversation about the incident with Robert Smillie, the miners' leader:

"Lloyd George sent for the miners' leaders, and they went, so Robert told me, 'truculently determined they would not be talked over by the seductive and eloquent Welshman.' At this, Bob's eyes twinkled in his grave, strong face. 'He was quite frank with us from the outset,' Bob went on. "He said to us: 'Gentlemen, you have fashioned, in The Triple Alliance of the unions represented by you, a most powerful instrument. I feel bound to tell you that we are at your mercy. The Army is disaffected and cannot be relied on. Trouble has occurred already in a number of camps... In these circumstances, if you carry out your threat and strike, then you will defeat us. But if you do,' went on Lloyd George, 'have you weighed the consequences? The strike will be in defiance of the government of the country and, by its very success will precipitate a constitutional crisis of the first importance. For, if a force arises in the state, which is stronger than the state itself, then it must be ready to take on the functions of the state, or withdraw and accept the authority of the state. Gentlemen,' asked the Prime Minister quietly, 'have you considered, and if you have, are you ready?' 'From that moment on,' said Robert Smillie, 'we were beaten and we knew we were'." (Quoted by Rob Sewell, In the Cause of Labour, p.156)

It was a monumental moment in British political history. The ruling classes were admitting to the organised workers that they were beaten. Power was there for the taking. Incredibly, the union leaders refused to take their responsibility and believed they were beaten. They accepted instead a report by the Sankey Commission that placed a subsidy on coal, while the government heaved a huge sigh of relief. A golden opportunity was lost! The union leaders sold the sap to their members without telling the full story and within a few years the government crushed the very same men who had done business with them. This is how the ruling class treats those who compromise! This compliance by workers with the capitalist representatives, whose interests are completely opposed to those who have to work, has now become the norm and history is heavily littered with such deeds of betrayal. Tory leader and astute representative of the ruling class, Bonar Law, said later: "Trade union organisation was the only thing between us and anarchy - without it our position was hopeless."

MacLean and the Communist Party

Ever since the party's foundation, MacLean had remained a loyal and committed member of the British Socialist Party. However, despite its formal declarations, the party had not been built on firm Marxist principles and its leadership was subject to all kinds of influences. EC Fairchild, a political opportunist, won the leadership of the party in 1916 after Hyndman had split away. MacLean had been at the forefront of politically opposing Fairchild, who had adopted a pacifist position over the war. It was clear that the rump around Fairchild were moving away from a revolutionary perspective to one based on parliamentary action to take over the existing state as a vehicle for socialist legislation. Its affiliation to the Labour Party, while not incorrect, was seen more as a "ginger group" on the lines of the ILP. While not opposing in principle standing in elections, MacLean resolutely opposed this shift towards reformism. Today, similar processes have been occurring in the leadership of the Scottish Socialist Party, which has abandoned a revolutionary perspective for fear of frightening off their more moderate supporters. MacLean had no arguments with other parts of the BSP's perspectives or orientation. These were to encourage greater unity within the Labour movement and that socialists should stand in elections using them as platforms to bring their revolutionary ideas to the masses.

Lenin considered MacLean an outstanding revolutionary and when plans were made to form a Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), Lenin was anxious that MacLean played a leading role in its leadership. In 1919, MacLean's challenge to Fairchild's leadership and his ongoing disagreements with Willie Gallacher, Theodore Rothstein and Colonel Malone, gave rise to all manner of intrigues and rancour within the BSP. Politically, MacLean was head and shoulders above any of his contemporaries. The others, who had little if any theoretical grounding, were trying desperately to break free of their reformist or ultra-left traits. MacLean has been proven largely correct in his appraisal of the main grouping involved in the setting up of the CPGB. Gallacher adopted a brisling ultra-left approach (see Lenin - Left wing communism, an infantile disorder). Malone had no real understanding of Communism, and had been elected to Parliament as a Coalition Liberal in 1918. Rothstein, a refugee from tsarism, had played a certain role in the BSP, left for Russia in 1920 and became Soviet ambassador in Teheran.

At the 1919 BSP Annual Conference, MacLean was refused permission to participate as a delegate and effectively excluded from taking part in the critical debates. MacLean accused Rothstein of conspiring with others to have him secretly expelled from the BSP. In their accounts, both Gallacher and Harry McShane claim MacLean simply left the party; however writings of MacLean at the time suggest he was deliberately isolated. He did, however, simply move on from the incident without staying to fight his corner. This was despite the Communist International specifically requesting "that tendency represented by MacLean" should participate in its ranks.

Tom Bell, in his knowledgeable book, John MacLean, A Fighter For Freedom, which contains an enormous amount of statistics and information about the period, repeatedly refers to MacLean's understanding of the need for a Bolshevik party and his positive qualities. Bell laments the fact that MacLean never personally visited Russia and did not have the opportunity to speak personally to Lenin. MacLean had requested permission through official channels to travel to Russia but was refused by the Home Office. Had MacLean been able to speak to Lenin personally, events may have turned out differently. As it was, MacLean, while defending the Bolshevik Revolution, refused to join the newly formed Communist Party. This was a grave mistake, and prevented him from playing the role he could have played in these crucial years.

In August 1920, when the second Congress of the Communist International was held in Moscow, MacLean was invited and intent on going. However, once again the government denied him a permit and the only option open to him was to travel illegally. He refused to do this because as Consul for the Soviet Republic he felt he should have been able to go unhindered. Gallacher and others dispensed with such niceties and travelled under assumed names. It is a tragedy MacLean did not do likewise, as the Congress and meetings with Lenin, who wanted him to come, would have benefited him immensely.

Unfortunately, this did not happen. On Christmas Day, 1920, MacLean convened a conference in Glasgow with the object of forming a separate Scottish Communist Party. As Bell says, he was influenced in this direction by the independence struggle in Ireland. But this further widened the rift between him and his former comrades.

Isolated and almost certainly affected by his disgraceful treatment, MacLean's hostility toward the leadership of the CPGB increased, especially towards Gallacher, who he described as a clown. MacLean had endured harsh conditions of solitary confinement and penal labour in jail, undergone forced feeding and had been drugged. He lived a most frugal life, barely having enough to eat. In time, his poor wife Agnes could stand it no longer and moved away with their two daughters. MacLean had been slandered and abused by the press and lost his livelihood because of his political beliefs, and yet, he was totally incorruptible, holding to his moral, socialist principles to the very end. He now had to endure slanders from Gallacher who spread stories about MacLean being mentally ill. Was it so bizarre for MacLean to claim that warders whispered outside his cell during long spells of solitary confinement? Was it unreasonable for him to state that agents of the state were infiltrating the working class movements? Clearly not. Today, workers organisations and trade unions are infiltrated by the state. The miner's struggle in 1984/5 provides evidence of this.

However, what must be said here is that John MacLean's isolation affected his ability to think clearly. He had few people of equal standing he could discuss with.

Regretfully, the plaintive reality is that John MacLean, losing his bearings, had great difficulty in adjusting to the conditions around him. The decrease in the struggle on the back of demoralising defeats certainly had their effect. His failure to join the Communist Party along with the best elements was completely out of character. John MacLean's biggest mistake and a massive loss to the working class internationally.

MacLeans' isolation led him to look for other alternatives to the Communist Party. In February 1923, MacLean founded his Scottish Workers' Republican Party and put forward the aim of a Scottish Workers' Republic. He had developed a pessimistic view of the English working class, believing that they were lagging behind their Scottish counterparts in willingness to struggle. He began to think that Scottish workers were more advanced and open to revolutionary ideas. "The Social Revolution is possible sooner in Scotland than in England", he wrote in his Election Address of 23rd November 1923. "Russia could not produce the World Revolution. Neither can we in the Gorbals, in Scotland, in Great Britain. Before England is ready I am sure that the next war will be on us. I therefore consider that Scotland's wisest policy is to declare for a Republic in Scotland, so that the youths of Scotland will not be forced out to die for England's market."

MacLean was barely surviving on a semi-starvation diet, comprising mainly of porridge. Unable to pay his rates to the local authority his furniture and belongings were to be auctioned off in a warrant sale, surely amongst the most perverted laws devised. On 30th November 1923, John MacLean died in poverty and suffering from malnutrition. He was 44 years old.  The only overcoat he had ever owned had been given away to someone who needed it more than him. The reverence in which he was held was reflected in his funeral to Eastwood cemetery on Monday, 3rd December, which was attended by 10,000 people.

He was honest to a fault and sincerely believed that the Scottish working class could lead the way in struggle, giving a lead to their English, Welsh and Irish brethren. However, he was wrong. Within three years of his death, Britain was gripped by the biggest industrial struggle of the last century, the General Strike of 1926. It is within this historical context that John MacLean's legacy must be viewed. He had been isolated and disorientated. His once razor sharp mind had been blunted by hard labour and political manoeuvres. MacLean had become very embittered. He searched desperately for a short cut to building a revolutionary party that he knew was missing from the political scene and desperately needed if the workers were to change society. He still managed to attract huge crowds and maintained his capacity as a terrific public orator. He had a core of followers, but with all due respect to these individuals, the best of the Clyde workers had joined the Communist Party.

There are no shortcuts to revolution. This is the mistake of the sectarian groupings and political hotheads over the past century. Many of them see themselves as the vanguard. "We will act on behalf of the working class," they say. But history cannot be rushed. The problem for all of us who would like to change society is that we cannot artificially create the conditions for change, no matter how good our skills. At these times, it is paramount that we patiently explain Marxist ideas to the youth and workers and to educate ourselves in Marxist theory and its methods. We must seek to build a mass revolutionary party capable of succeeding where previous generations have failed. This party must be linked to the organised working class who are organised in trade unions. The struggle must be a class struggle and the eventuality must be to take power out of the hands of the capitalists and bankers and create a workers' state. Unless the working class fulfils their mission in this respect then it will be a straight choice - Socialism or barbarism!

MacLean's death and Legacy

It would take a hard heart indeed not to attempt to understand that MacLean began to look for a new way forward for the revolution he so desperately wanted. In this respect he was as far removed from the Scottish nationalists as the east is from the west. He had argued consistently for the working class to be organised on revolutionary lines. This is certainly not the outlook of a nationalist. MacLean was an internationalist and Marxist to the very fibre of his being.

The 1926 General Strike did not fail because the working class of England and Wales were not willing to fight, but because, once again, the reformist leaders of the trade union movement, both left and right, capitulated and betrayed their class at the crucial times. As Marxists, we set ourselves, together with our British and international comrades, to educate ourselves in the history of the labour movement with the explicit aim of examining past defeats so that we do not repeat them. Our position is at variance with the leadership of the SSP who delude themselves that Scottish workers are more advanced and militant than their brothers and sisters south of the border. They too, with the SNP, have championed Scottish independence and have drawn close to nationalism.

Bourgeois commentators love to tell us "socialism is dead". Socialist ideas have taken a battering over the last few decades. The destruction of the manufacturing large industries has led to a lack of continuity in workplace. Trade union membership has fallen since the eighties. In the last decade or more, Britain has enjoyed a boom, but a boom at our expense. Parasites of every type, bankers, shareholders, speculators and business entrepreneurs have gained most. The media rejoices that days lost due to strikes are at their lowest level for many years. This is all about to change in the next period because underneath the apparent calm industrial waters, movements of tsunami proportions are stirring. The boom has witnessed other phenomena like record numbers of working days being lost due to stress-induced illnesses. The current boom is financed by credit, a manoeuvre, which takes the capitalist system beyond its limits. The vultures give you next month's wages to spend this month! Likewise inflated house prices allow millions to borrow against the equity in their house value and these conditions have fuelled the consumer boom. It will have to stop at some point. The gloating about how well the economy is doing and that we've never had it so good, will be exposed in time as a mirage. Millions will pay the price. Small businesses will be bankrupted, homes will be repossessed, jobs will be lost, interest rates will rise and public services will be slashed. Even more public utilities will be privatised and asset stripped - affordable rented property has already begun the greasy slide into the sewer of private ownership and the politicians are determined (despite all the evidence that it will be disastrous) to privatise council housing, the health service and education. In many cases this process has already started.

While the international terrorists Bush and Blair rampage the globe with the intention of stealing any worthwhile resources, millions are murdered in the process. Their policies have led directly to the terrorist attacks on New York, Madrid, Bali and London. Simultaneously, the governments of the USA and Britain use the fear factor and matters of national security to curb civil liberties, including banning the concept of free speech, detention without trial, Diplock courts and ID cards.

Yet still, the working class refuse to buckle. The British working class are now stirring from their slumber as they recover from the crushing blows of Thatcher and now Blair, which will be continued in the future, probably under Gordon Brown. Socialist ideas are finding a new audience among workers and youth. In this respect we must state clearly that all kinds of reformism and tinkering with the decaying system of capitalism has failed miserably. The entire period following the 2nd world war has now conclusively shown that far from socialism being dead, it is timid appeals to the "human face of capitalism" which have no place in the future of class politics. Every single reform, fought for and won, by our forefathers is now under threat. Nothing is sacred as the ruling class throughout the world try desperately to save their rotting system. The last period shows that reformism, both left and right varieties, has nothing to offer the working class.

As is always the case in these types of projects, there is much more to be said. We have covered what we consider would be interesting for the reader and sought to revive the ideas of John MacLean, not as a misty-eyed accolade, but as a glowing testimony to the man's integrity and contribution. John MacLean was no nationalist and he certainly cannot be claimed by the Scottish National Party as one of their own. Nor can the SSP leaders claim that they are acting in the tradition of and with the authority of MacLean, except to say that they are repeating some of his weak sides and mistakes. John MacLean was schooled, largely by himself, in Marxist theory, philosophy, and history. He was an internationalist and a revolutionary in every sense. He never minced his words or watered down his revolutionary message, unlike the opportunist grouping around today, including the SSP. His November 1922 Election Address was characteristic of the man:

"Electors and Fellow Members of the Wage-Slave Class:

"I stand in the Gorbals and before the world as a Bolshevik, alias a Communist, alias a Revolutionary, alias a Marxian. My symbol is the Red Flag, and it I shall always keep floating on high. For twenty-five years I have been a Socialist and have devoted the best of my energy to convert workers to Socialism and to teach Marx's writings on wealth production and his interpretation of the course and meaning of historical development during that period.

"In 1916 when Jim Connolly saw how things were going in Edinburgh he resolved on the Easter Rebellion in Dublin, the beginning of Ireland's new fight for freedom, a fight that can only end in an Irish Workers' Republic based on Communism...

"In 1919 I started a campaign for a united effort to overthrow British Capitalism by a General Strike, and at my meetings I made public that I had been drugged in prison through my food like other convicts. The Government's reply was the break-up of my family, the blocking my every move through traitors inside the Socialist movement, the attempted ruin of my reputation and loss of my tutorship in the Scottish Labour College (founded by me after my dismissal by the Govan School Board) through the dirty work of that Communist clown, Wm. Gallacher..."

Unfortunately frustrated and isolated in his latter-days he searched for a short-cut to bringing the masses to a revolutionary conclusion. But there are no short-cuts to be found.

John MacLean and countless others have bequeathed us a great legacy which in the first decade of the 21st century is as valid as it was in the first decade of the 20th century. MacLean gave his life and despite his mistakes, has left, along with Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky the solid foundations for us to proceed with the building of an alternative, socialist society. The barbaric chaos we are presently witnessing is but the surface of this stinking, inhumane and disastrous system in which we are forced to live.

Today, the wind of change is already blowing in South America, throughout Europe and even inside the trade union movement in Britain. The coming period will be one of tumultuous battles, there will be victories and defeats as workers of all hues take to the road of struggle. We are entering a monumental period in world history. The very survival of the human race could depend on it. It will be an epoch when the working class of the world will have the opportunity to fulfil its historic task and transform society and take what is rightfully ours - "We only want the world".


Sources & Suggested Further Reading:

1. John MacLean by Nan Milton (Pluto Press)

2. Rent Strikes by Joseph Melling (Polygon)

3. Revolt on the Clyde by Willie Gallacher (Lawrence & Wishart)

4. Bolshevism - The Road To Revolution by Alan Woods (Wellred)

5. History of British Trotskyism by Ted Grant (Wellred)

6. Manny Shinwell by Peter Slowe (Pluto Press)

7. A Lost Left - Three Studies in Socialism and Nationalism by David Howell (Manchester University Press)

8. John MacLean by Dave Sherry (Pamphlet, a Socialist Workers Publication)

9. In the Cause of Labour - History of British Trade Unionism by Rob Sewell (Wellred)

10. Harry McShane No Mean Fighter an autobiography with Joan Smith (Pluto Press)

11. John MacLean - Educator of the Working Class by James D Young (Clydeside Press)

12. John MacLean Article by Linda McIntyre Socialist Appeal Issue 117 Nov 2003

13. John MacLean - Accuser of Capitalism (Speech from the Dock) (Clydeside Press)

14. The Clydesiders - A left-wing struggle for parliamentary power by RK Middlemas (Manchester University Press)

15. John MacLean -  A Fighter For Freedom by Tom Bell (Penguin)

16. Left-Wing Communism an Infantile Disorder by VI Lenin (Pamphlet, Bookmarks)



By the same author:

The Great Miners' Strike 1984-85, A Year of Class Struggle (With Gordon Martin)

Comment of Tony Benn, Former Labour MP, on "The Great Miners' Strike 1984-85, A Year of Class Struggle":

"A truly formidable history of the Miners' Strike interlaced with political analysis which provides a clear framework to help people understand what it was all about. I have filed it in my political archives alongside items I saved at the time. Congratulations."

Kenny McGuigan is a writer and a member of the National Union of Journalists. He has been a socialist for most of his adult life and a Marxist for more than 20 years. He was expelled from the Labour Party in 1989 for his socialist convictions. He is a supporter of and regular contributor to the Marxist theoretical journal, Socialist Appeal and can be contacted at, or PO Box 17299, Edinburgh  EH12 1WS 

(A supporters' pamphlet Price: £1.50) /

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