Jim Benson has died peacefully at the age of 77. Jim was an active socialist all his life, working in the rail industry and living in Camden. He had a wealth of anecdotes, often told while rolling the thinnest cigarettes imaginable.
Socialist Worker’s recent article on housing battles (Fighting to keep a roof over our heads, SW, 18 June) had him recalling a number of incidents during the 1959 St Pancras rent strike, including a street battle between building workers and the police outside a pub he was drinking in.
Plain speaking and wanting no fuss, Jim was to the end a fighter who had no time for the Labour Party. For many years Jim sold Socialist Worker outside the Camden Royal Mail sorting office and he was well known to many post workers.
He was also extremely skilful at going on a demonstration and finding a betting shop on the route. On one occasion he lost where the demonstration was going— but his bet came in at 200-1.
He will be missed by all his friends and those who knew him in the SWP and Respect.