Thursday, 30 April 2009

From Geoff Martin

Malcolm was a great friend and comrade of mine.

We shared so much - our politics, our trade unionism, our football team, our love of music and the odd pint or two in the Windsor Castle.

Malc was one of those guys who are just straight up and down, always there to give you an opinion and always there to give you support. And man, could he argue! I remember disagreeing with him once on a team selection at the Bridge and we were at it for hours!

Like me Malc was no great joiner of things. His politics and his trade unionism came from a life time of living and working in the real world, doing real things that made a difference to his members and those around him. He knew only too well that working people never got a damn thing without standing up and fighting for it.

And Malc was a born fighter.

My thoughts are with Jane and the family at this time.

So, old comrade, stay free and there's many, many of us who will never ever forget you and what you brought into our lives.

Hasta la Victoria!

Geoff Martin

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Farewell Farewell Malcolm

I still can't beleive Malcolm has gone. Even after three days of knowing and trying to get it into my head. This morning I tried to sum up my thoughts on my blog. But in one short sentence I could have said "I will miss you Malcolm you one one of the good guys"

As John Burgess says there will be so many empty seats in different walks of life as a result of Malcolms untimley death. When Sue Plain rang me to tell me I just couldnt take it in. I am glad we all have some wonderful memories of Malcolm to help us through our pain and also try to offer whatever small comfort we can to his partner Jane and the rest of his family. We can all help eachother through our grief.

I shall raise a glass of real Ale on Friday and rememebr the good times we had. It is at times like this I always think did I ever say thanks for the things you did to help me and others.

It shall be a long version of Meet on the Ledge at Cropredy this year, I'll leave a space for you in the circle or arms

Farewell Malc I was proud to have you as a comrade in arms fighting for the rights of UNISON members and so many others. I was equally proud to call you friend, the time we spent together along with many of our mutual friends, (especially your creation "the Secret Seven"),

RIP-Sadly not the same time same place this year

An empty seat at UNISON Conference, Stamford Bridge , Tolpuddle

An empty seat at UNISON Conference, Stamford Bridge , Tolpuddle.

On Monday 27 April I took a call from Jon Rogers to say that Malcolm had died. I don’t have the sufficient literacy skills to articulate how I feel and describe how special Malcolm was. My heart goes out to his partner, family and friends because there is going to be a big hole in everyone’s lives now he has gone.

Malcolm was a mentor as well as a friend to me. Being a branch secretary is not an easy role to take on, but Malcolm seemed to be able to maintain a calm, which sometimes I find difficult. He was good to sound ideas off and you always knew he would give his honest opinion. He was staunch, a real trade unionist. I feel angry at his loss. There are not enough Malcolm Campbell’s in UNISON.

I am also sad that he did not get elected as Regional Convenor. He would have made a bloody brilliant convenor. He would have done the work, he was member led he wanted to see things done.

I could see the social worker in his approach to issues. He would always look to see what could be done rather than look at how or why things couldn’t be done. He demonstrated an empathy towards others that was natural not trained.

Malcolm was able to fit in so much into his life, when he wasn’t busy in his UNISON role he was active in his Trade Council, or off to follow Chelsea , drinking awful real ale! I know he would have been so happy at the result last night. In fact when I was with him last Friday he was considering putting a bet on Chelsea to do the treble, FA Cup, League and the Champions League!

But he was also mad about live music, I remember talking to him about the Ting Tings……a couple years ago, I had never heard of them, but that was Malcolm he just liked music. The Festival season is about to start and I know there will be a lot of sad people who would have been going to festivals with him this year.

Croydon and Barnet are as far apart as you can get. I used to joke with him that I would like to work in Croydon because he seemed to be so organised. You just felt if Malcolm was representing you, you were not alone, you were safe.

Well Malcolm I said that you were leaving a big hole, but just from speaking to so many of your friends, I think there will be more than enough stories regaled about you to help go towards filling our loss.

John Burgess

Malcolm, I miss you mate

These were my first thoughts (posted on my personal blog on Monday) when I considered Malcolm's death. I will have more to say but I want to say this again first;

One of the ways in which a lifetime of commitment to our movement repays us is that we get to meet friends and comrades who are amongst the finest humans to grace the surface of our little planet.

One such was Malcolm Campbell, Secretary of Croydon UNISON until his untimely death yesterday.

It is too soon, and I am too sad, to articulate the depth of my feelings about this tragic loss. Nor shall I be in the mood to blog immediately about the many topics which require comment just now.

Soon however I shall return to the everyday struggle of trade unionism - and I shall do so knowing always that everything I am or can ever be has been enhanced by having been a friend of a great trade unionist.

Malcolm. I miss you mate.


What can I say, its not often im lost for words tbh - but I was gutted Monday morning when I found out that you were no longer with us.

I will personally miss you immensley - you were more than a good comrade and friend to me and gave me so much support over the last few years - and not just in UNISON and the Labour Party but in my personal life as well - I will never forget the effort you put into supporting me and the amny good nights out we had - including you staying miles away in Birmingham to celebrate my birthday with me and dan (and to watch the footie of course)

There are so many people who will miss you but in particular our core group the "famous five" as you named us, me you Kat, Andrew and Jon R - later to become the secret seven with the addition of John b and Sean - will never feel the same without you.

Thankyou for your support for me but also for taking time to bond with our various kids - Tolpuddle will also never be the same without you.

Stephen will miss Beerdy man (not to be confused with Beardy man as we all know you) Beerdy man because everytime he saw you, you had a pint :)

I was with him when I was told that you had passed away and he didnt understand why you couldn't take your mobile to heaven and call me from there! - Everywhere has phones now days why doesn't heaven - something I am sure you would have found very amusing.

So this is the first of many posts remembering how wonderful you were mate.