A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Roy Shaw

I was sad to see that Roy Shaw is standing down from Camden Council due to ill health.

Roy was a good friend and wise adviser to me when I started working for the Labour Party in Holborn & St Pancras back in 1996.

He has been a councillor for the same area continuously since 1956 after serving as a tank crewman in the war.

He was Leader of Camden in the late '70s and early '80s, fighting running battles with Ken Livingstone who was his Chair of Housing and led a rival leftwing faction in the Camden Labour Group.

Roy explained to me that he had started his time in the Party as a Bevanite leftwinger, but by the '80s was regarded as on the right because of infiltration by the Bennite Hard Left. He had a wealth of anecdotes about the Labour left and their Trot allies which I can't republish here due to libel laws... and a good one about the Agent who printed a poster with the candidate names


for a 4-member ward in the old St Pancras borough and couldn't understand why people wouldn't put it in their windows.

After ceasing to be Leader he did not walk away but instead helped organise the fightback by moderate forces in the Camden and London Labour Parties in the '80s and mentored figures like Dame Jane Roberts who went on to lead the council.

He has a huge personal vote in Haverstock Ward after years of hard work for local people.

I feel privileged to have learnt from Roy - over some good lunches in various Italian eateries in Parkway - something of the history of the Labour Party in inner London from the '50s through to the Livingstone era. He dedicated himself to serving his community, his borough and his Party and it is fitting that Camden Council are making him their first ever Honorary Alderman.


Anonymous Greg said...

An amazing man with a tremendous hinterland - he pitched up at my 25th birthday party (i think you were there it is somewhat hazy now) - which coincidentally I was having in a favourite pub of his - the Sir Robert Peel near chalk farm - he wondered who we all were and was pleasantly surprised that at least some of us knew of him by repute. He stayed for a few beers and told us a few stories of how politics has improved since the dark days of militant.

Is fitting that he should be camden's first honorary alderman and well deserved

6:24 pm, April 12, 2007

Blogger Chris Paul said...

Very relieved to hear that there were some good lunches in it for you Luke. You could have wasted away out there. Congratulations to Roy Shaw on his half century of service to the people and of course on his indenturing of young Akehurst in the perils of sectarianism and all that.

2:56 pm, April 13, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you mean that pizza place? What was it called 'Parkway Pizza'? Sadly it seems to have closed.

2:14 pm, April 16, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incidentally, Chris 'mouth on a stick' Paul should actually look up the Marxian definition of sectarianism sometime. It's about emphasising what separates you from the mass movement and in that Luke's politics, concentrated as they are in essence on the traditional concerns of a trade unionised workforce, are far from sectarian.

That said, they are not mine either - I think the movement needs to move beyond it's traditional focus.

But sectrian, it isn't. Obviously Chris means 'factional' but he's too busy churning out garbage to bother with mere facts.

2:17 pm, April 16, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

No I was thinking of the Goodfare Cafe (a Dobbo favourite come to think of it) and Trattoria Lucca.

2:25 pm, April 16, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OOh, I think I've been in that caf. On the corner by the cinema? Lard on a stick, baby.

5:03 pm, April 16, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:09 pm, April 16, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Yes that's the one. A major contributor to my current waistline. Tough choices every day as an Agent over fry-up vs. omelette & chips vs. risotto.

5:10 pm, April 16, 2007

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