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Chris Davison

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Issue 2410

Chris Davison was a very important member in the early days of the International Socialists, the forerunner of the Socialist Workers Party. 

The rise of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and the formation of the Young Socialists in the Labour Party in the 1960s, gave the small group around Tony Cliff the chance of building among young people. 

We produced a rather miserable little paper called Young Guard, which Chris took over and turned into a splendid journal. 

I remember during a period of the Cold War when the two world super powers conducted nuclear tests. 

Chris produced an issue of Young Guard with the headlines half way across the page reading “Mad, Bad, Sad”. 

Many on the left saw Russia as anti-imperialist and defended the tests and the Russian bomb. 

We in the IS fought hard and with success in the Young Socialists against this nonsense. 

Chris’s leadership was crucial in this fight to win young people to an internationalist position and build a layer of revolutionary socialists. 

The other area that Chris worked in was with bus workers. 

The Communist Party had always been very strong in the London Buses. But in the 1970s they neglected the organisation they had built. 

Chris helped to rebuild the popular rank and file magazine the Busman’s Punch and helped to build other rank and file initiatives. 

The lasting memory I have of Chris is his extraordinary kindness to all the comrades, always generous with his time and more. A wonderful friend. 

Our condolences to Jenny, his wife and children, Sally, Joe and Owen.

Roger Cox

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