Wednesday, 29 April 2009

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


  1. Malcolm was an excellent trade unionist and Comrade I will miss him the most at this years UNISON Local Government and NDC RIP Comrade

    Philip Lewis Camden UNISON C&E co-convenor
    Camden UNISON Labour Link Officer

  2. Just to let all friends of Malcolm know Croydon Unison are holding a remembering Malcolm memorial event simply called "Malcolms Do" on 17th October 2009 at 7.00pm til late Beer,food,live music at Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road,Croydon,CR0 1BD please contact Croydon Unison Branch Office to if you want to attend.