Paul McGoay, who died this week, was a true socialist. He was a working class intellectual and a real friend to many who sought his help.
In the struggle against injustice Paul led the charge—a reliable and hard-working man with a warm manner.
Paul graduated from Cambridge University, where he mentored younger students. It was an early act of the generosity that prevailed throughout a life sadly cut short.
When we first met he would regale me with stories of lightning walkouts while working at Royal Mail.
Here was a comrade in the making—and I’m happy to say that he later joined the SWP.
From 2000 onwards Paul earned a deserved reputation for defending members within the PCS trade union at the Passport Office. He played an important role in the union and was Group President for nearly a decade.
Paul was touched when offered the role as treasurer for two of Mark Serwotka’s re-election campaigns.
Paul was central to a series of strikes that challenged office closures in Newport and Glasgow.
A dedicated anti-fascist, he was also instrumental in getting PCS backing for demonstrations against the EDL outside the Home Office and in Peterborough.
When I retired from the Passport Office in 2009 I was so proud of Paul. He had shown that a strong union could help deliver a first class public service—where people not profits came first.
With the austerity-driven Tories in office, Paul didn’t give in.
As recently as 2014 he was driving forward the campaign for pay parity with workers at the Home Office.
I shall miss him.
His love of books and his admiration of Bob Dylan made him a truly wonderful human being.