A tribute to Andy Viner

I was deeply shocked to hear of the sudden death of Andy Viner. I remember Andy as an active comrade in the Militant in the 1980s when he was a full timer in the industrial department in Hepscott Road. He struck me even then as an outstanding young comrade, very sincere, straight-talking and hard working. I never had any reason to change this opinion.

Andy played an active role in the establishment of the Broad Left Organising Committee (BLOC). Later he became a train driver for London Underground, becoming an active member of the ASLEF union, for which was recently elected to an effective fulltime position. This fact shows his high standing amongst ASLEF members.

His association with Socialist Appeal lasted for a number of years, during which time he wrote many articles under the pen name Steve Tree. These articles were naturally mainly on the workers’ movement, which he was always actively involved in. But he was also very interested in theory and had organized a Marxist discussion for young people.

Unfortunately, a number of differences led to his estrangement from Socialist Appeal in the recent period. I very much regretted this and maintained friendly relations with him at all times. I last spoke to him around Xmas, and he told me that his discussion group was reading Reason in Revolt. He asked me if I would be prepared to speak to the youngsters, an invitation I readily accepted.

Now, sadly, this meeting will never take place. Andy’s life was cruelly cut short in a car accident just over one week ago. It is a sad loss. He remained fully committed to the cause of the working class and Marxism to the end. I will always remember him as an honest, intelligent and indefatigable worker for the cause of socialism.

In the name of all the comrades of Marxist.com, I would like to convey our most sincere sympathy and solidarity to his daughters Alex and Kirsty and the rest of his family and friends.

London, 27 June, 2011