Sunday, 3 May 2009

George Binette

I came to know Malcolm largely through our shared involvement in UNISON's United Left in London and later through the shared misery of the union's national conferences.For me he embodied a profound decency - generous to a fault to his foes and loyal - albeit constructively critical - to his friends. His trade union militancy was tempered, like the best steel, rarely yielding to anger yet persistent and ultimately often effective. I think in his quiet, self-effacing way Malcolm left a fine legacy for this battered movement of ours, not least in Croydon and London as a whole. Like many others, I shall miss him personally over the weeks and months ahead, not least during conference lunch-times when we managed to somehow avoid a worthy fringe meeting and sneak off for an all to hurried pint (or two) given him the chance to impart something of his knowledge of real ale and latter-day English folk and for me to wax more or less lyrical about The Clash, whom he actually appreciated.

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