Jan 21 2015

BOB PURDIE, 1940-2014

 

D.R.O’Connor Lysaght of Socialist Democracy (Ireland) has written the following obituary to Bob Purdie. Bon was onetime member of the International Marxist Group and influential in establishing their position in the Irish struggle for Irish self-determination in the 1970’s. Later a member of the SNP, he recently wrote Hugh MacDairmid: Black, Green, Red and Tartan

Obituary: Bob Purdie 1940-2014

Bob Purdie's 'Ireland Unfree' written for the IMG in 1972

Bob Purdie’s ‘Ireland Unfree’ written for the IMG in 1972

 Bob Purdie was always dedicated. Whether as a Marxist revolutionary or an academic, he gave himself 100% to his calling. He came to show equal dedication to Christianity and to the Scottish Nationalist Party. The change in his allegiances cannot be said to have been a tragedy for him; his last letters to this writer were those of a contented individual. Nonetheless, it was a misfortune for the left.

The writer met Bob first in 1970 when he opened the door of his flat to him. He came with a letter from Gery Lawless proclaiming him to be “one of the good guys“.  For once Lawless was making a strictly accurate assessment.  Politically. Bob Purdie was one of the good guys at that time; personally he remained so to the end.

It was in these early seventies that the writer knew him best. There were at first certain mutual suspicions on both sides. In particular, like many others, Bob tended to assume that the fact that the Official Republicans had more obviously socially enlightened, even socialistic policies than the Provisionals left them open to real Marxism. The writer warned him that their movement’s progress thither would be hobbled disastrously by the fact that its political mentors had been
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