Chris Bambery

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Chris Bambery
Known for Politics

Chris Bambery is a Scottish political activist, socialist, author, journalist, and TV presenter and producer, most recently with the Islam Channel. Prior to the 2017 UK General Election he was the Parliamentary Assistant to Scottish National Party MP George Kerevan.[1] A leading member of the International Socialist Group, he was a member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers Party until 2011 when he resigned from the party.[2]

Political activity[edit]

Originally from Edinburgh, where he was educated at Daniel Stewart's College, he began his political career as a member of the International Marxist Group in 1972. After leaving Edinburgh University, where he had been Vice President of the Students Representative Council, he became a full-time organiser for the IMG in Glasgow in 1978-79 but left that organisation in May 1979, joining the Socialist Workers Party seven months later. In 1981, he became the SWP's Glasgow organiser.

In 1983, he moved to London as an organiser for the SWP, was elected a member of its Central Committee in 1987 and became its National Organiser shortly afterwards, a position which he held to 2004 when he replaced Chris Harman as editor of Socialist Worker.

In 2001, he led the International Socialist Tendency at the Genoa Group of Eight Summit protest in Italy with fellow SWP member Alex Callinicos.

After considerable political tension within the SWP regarding the party's response to the economic crisis, Bambery made public his resignation letter to SWP National Organiser Charlie Kimber on 11 April 2011. His resignation was joined by 38 other party members, based in Scotland, who shared Bambery's analysis that the SWP had retreated from building a political opposition to austerity and the recession along the lines of the highly successful Stop the War Coalition which the SWP was heavily involved with in its first decade.

Following his resignation from the SWP, Bambery was a founding member of the International Socialist Group, an organisation set up by the 39 former SWP members to formulate a united front approach to the recession and to develop a Left argument for Scottish independence in the 2014 referendum.[3]

During the referendum campaign, Bambery supported the Radical Independence Campaign and is today a supporter of Rise, the new Scottish radical left coalition.

In 2014 his A People's History of Scotland and his The Second World War: A Marxist History were published. The review of the former in The Scotsman stated: "In telling the stories of the ordinary footsoldiers in the Radical War of 1820, of the cotton spinners’ strike of 1837 and of the miners’ struggles from 1840 to 1984, in describing the lives of such as Mary Brooksbank and James Connolly, Bambery offers a Scottish version of EP Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class" [4] Brian Morton in The Herald described its "relentless populism" as "tiresome" but concluded that it was "pamphleteering of an attractively old-fashioned sort, but on an ambitious scale... It's to be hoped that Bambery's steady insistence on social justice as a higher political end, above party or nationalism, remains audible." [5]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Office". georgekerevanmp.scot. Retrieved 26 May 2017. 
  2. ^ Toby Young "Crisis in the SWP: Is this the end of the People's Front of Judea?" Daily Telegraph (blog), 13 April 2011
  3. ^ Michael Theodoulou, 'Iran lambasts UK's 'lavish' diamond jubilee celebrations', The National (Abu Dhabi), 6 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
  4. ^ Roger Hutchinson (31 May 2014). "Book review: A People’s History of Scotland". The Scotsman. 
  5. ^ Brian Morton (7 June 2014). "Scotland from the ground up". Herald Scotland. 

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Chris Harman
Editor of Socialist Worker
2004–2009
Succeeded by
Charlie Kimber