Comrades in the west of Scotland were saddened to hear of the death of our friend and comrade John Maclachlan on 15 June after a long illness.
John was a remarkable individual. Like many young working class men, he joined the army in the 1970s to escape the unemployment endemic in the Greenock area where he lived.
Posted to Northern Ireland, John refused to accept orders that said he should fire on those resisting British rule.
As a result he ended up in the “glass house”, the Military Corrective Training Centre at Colchester.
Colchester failed to break John’s spirit of resistance, however.
In 1976, by then out of the army, John joined the International Socialists, forerunners of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP).
He gave a remarkable interview to Socialist Worker discussing the reasons why he and others join the army and the difficulties of resisting military discipline.
John remained an active member of the Greenock SWP branch for many years.
Although serious illness in recent years curtailed his political activities, he still attended meetings when he could.
He was active in the campaign against benefit cuts.
Our thoughts go to his family including son Garry, who is chair of Inverclyde Anti Bedroom Tax Federation and carries on John’s legacy.