Scottish Labour History Society Newsletter

February 2021

Opening text

50 Years on from UCS
Several initiatives have been organised for the 50th anniversary of the work-in at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) in 1971. On 28 January the Jimmy Reid Foundation is holding a celebration of the work-in, with Professor John Foster as keynote speaker, joined by UCS veteran James Cloughley: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-ucs-work-in-a-celebration-and-commem…; Theatre company Townsend Productions is planning to tour a new show about the work-in, Yes! Yes! UCS!, from the autumn: http://www.townsendproductions.org.uk/shows/uppper-clyde/; and Platform Films have a contemporary campaign film, Upper Clyde Shipbuilders, for £6.00: http://www.platformfilms.co.uk/shop/upper-clyde-shipbuilders/

Remembering James Connolly
The Connolly Association Scotland – the Scottish branch of the Connolly Association – was set up last year but its activities were severely curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic. This year, an AGM, using Zoom technology, is planned for March. For more information see the Association’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Connolly-Association-Scotland-106654514693184 and/or email the Association’s secretary, Andrew Ferguson at connollyassocscotland@gmail.com

The “English Cabinet”
The Frontline States website includes a listing of almost a thousand titles, known as the”English Cabinet” – books, pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals – collected by David Riazanov (David Borosovich Goldendach), founder of the Soviet Marx-Engels Institute, from 1918 onwards, and which are now housed in the Centre of Social & Political History in Moscow. Riazanov fell victim to the purges in the later 1930s. For more details see https://frontlinestates.ltd.uk/the-english-cabinet

Translating Rosa Luxemburg
The Toledo Translation Fund is seeking to raise money to complete the translation into English – and for publication – of the complete works of Rosa Luxemburg. Three volumes and a volume of letters have been published by Verso. A fourth volume is at the printers and a fifth volume is currently being edited. Four further volumes are planned, but another $60,000 is required for translation. Tax-deductible donations can be made, with full acknowledgement. For more information, visit https://www.toledotranslationfund.org/complete_works_rosa_luxemburg

Len Crome Memorial Conference
The International Brigade Memorial Trust (IBMT) is holding the annual Len Crome Memorial Conference event online this year, on Saturday 20 March, from 2.30pm-4pm. A discussion between Professor Sir Paul Preston (author of A People Betrayed: a history of corruption, political incompetence and social division in modern Spain 1874-2018) and Professor Helen Graham (author of Interrogating Francoism: history and dictatorship in twentieth-century Spain) will take place on the question 'Was the Spanish Republic worth dying for?’. Registration is free; more information and bookings at https://LenCrome2021.eventbrite.com

People’s History Museum Appeal
The future of the People’s History Museum in Manchester is under threat. The impact of the Covid pandemic on visitor numbers has pushed the Museum – the only one in the UK that explores the past, present and future of British democracy – into a situation in which it is having to appeal for donations. To donate visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/futurephm

The Early German Social Democratic Party
The German SPD was the first million-strong political party and the main force for democratisation in pre-World War I Germany. Andrew Bonnell’s Red Banners, Books and Beer Mugs: The Mental World of German Social Democrats, 1863–1914 examines the party and its mainly working-class membership: https://brill.com/view/title/20145?language=en. The same author’s The People's Stage in Imperial Germany: Social Democracy and Culture 1890-1914, is out now in paperback: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-peoples-stage-in-imperial-germany-978… and a video of the author talking about the pre-1914 SPD is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtT1U00chDQ&feature=youtu.be
Any items for future newsletters should be sent to admin@scottishlabourhistorysociety.scot