Socialist Worker

Mike Riley 1957-2003

Issue No. 1872

Mike was the son of a Liverpool docker and while at school and university he was a committed Labour Party supporter.

A determination to fight for social justice and equality shaped his life. Years of discussion and the experience of the 1984-5 miners' strike led Mike to join the SWP.

By this time he was living in London and he and his partner Chhaya were active in a range of political and union campaigns. In the late 1980s they moved, first to St Helens and then to Preston.

The demands of work and family life meant Mike was less active in recent years-though politically he never moved from the traditions of the SWP.

The growth of the BNP in the North West and the Socialist Alliance project reignited his energy and involvement.

Tragically last year Mike was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and on Monday of last week he died.

Mike will be sadly missed. Our thoughts, sympathy and solidarity at this moment are with Chhaya, Clare, David and Peter.
Michael Lavalette, Preston SWP

I WAS at Aberystwyth University with Mike from 1975 to 1978 and, in those heady days when we had grants and didn't have to work all hours in Pizza Hut, a group of us would spend hours arguing about everything in the world.

Mike argued you had to be in the Labour Party. I was a member of the Liberal Party.

Mike's patient but passionate arguments for socialism and working class politics did not lead me to join Labour but it was an important part of winning me to the SWP.

It was a great day when I also heard that Mike had joined. He was great fun to be with, to drink with and to be 18 with. He was also far too interested in Everton Football Club.
Charlie Kimber

Article information

Sat 11 Oct 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1872
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