Les Kennedy 1927-2001
LES KENNEDY, who died recently, was a member of the Socialist Workers Party for the last decade in the north east of England. Les's political views were very much shaped by his wartime experiences. He was conscripted at the age of 16, and then Les trained as an engineer in the RAF.
He was proud of his work on the Spitfire. He was clear that his war was against Hitler and the Nazis, to rid the world of fascism. After the war Les joined the Communist Party and was a member through to the early 1970s. He left the Communist Party but never lost his commitment to socialism. Justice
He threw himself into support for the miners during the 1984-5 strike, and made great personal sacrifices to support the struggle financially. About this time Les came into contact with the SWP and finally joined about ten years ago. He would always leave meetings with his copies of Socialist Worker saying, "Well, here's me reading for th'night." Everyone will remember Les for his laughter and fun, but we all knew that beneath that was someone passionate about freedom and justice.
Les was unable to vote on 7 June, but if he could he would have been out on the streets with the rest of us campaigning for the Socialist Alliance in Tyne Bridge.
- TONY DOWLING, Gateshead SWP and Tyneside Socialist Alliance