Birmingham Worker and the local branch of the CPGB-ML salute the life of Derek Robinson, aka “Red Robbo”, famous communist trade unionist who died this morning. Derek Robinson, played an important role throughout his life in defending the working conditions of Birmingham workers at British Leylands car manufacturing plant in Longbridge through a period of concerted attack on working people by Margaret Thatcher and the betrayal of numerous struggles opposed to these atatcks by the Labour party, not least the heroic Great Miners Strike of 1984.
As the Communist Party at that time continued it’s decline towards eventual liquidation, and the Soviet Union headed for collapse following the total betrayal of socialism by revionism, Derek Robinson holds a place in British working class history as a fighter for the interests of his class in exceptionally difficult circumstances. It was revealed in the years which followed Derek Robinsons dismissal from British Leyland that Mi5 had conspired with revisonists and agents within the old CPGB to work against Robinson and his comrades at Leyland who represented workers at the Longbridge plant. A hate campaign in the local media led by the reactionary Birmingham Mail (which continues it’s anti-worker activities today during the bin strike) was instrumental in undermining the solidarity of workers at the British Leyland factory who eventually were bribed and blackmailed into acquiescing in Robinson’s sacking with the connivance of “right wing” (Labour Party) union officials.
Red Salute to Derek Robinson!
(a fuller and very interesting obituary can be read on the website of labour movement historian Graham Stevenson, the leader of the revisionist “Communist Party of Britain” which still has a small branch in Birmingham)