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Harry McShane - Radical

Harry McShane was just a marvel. It wouldn't have mattered if he had been a rich kid devoted to Tory polities, or a dancer, or a captain of industry, he would still have been the total incarnation of the honest man, one who cared about people and never lost his temper
except when he encountered injustice. He wanted the ideal society, one where people cared for each other; in his way, he was that society.

He was the last of the Red Clydesiders (he died in 1988 at the age of 96). The Red Clydesiders were the left-wingers who saw the New Dawn just over the horizon, in the last year of the First World War. Liberals, socialists, communists - they all knew that capitalism was wrong, that war was wrong and that the people would soon rule for themselves. Harry was a Communist.

No half measures for this caring man. A Clydeside engineer, Harry loved his work and was very good at it. He was a passionate trade unionist, he was still the chairman of his trade union branch when he was over 80.

But Harry could not stomach hypocrisy. When Hungary decided it would leave the Soviet bloc in 1956, and tanks were sent in to crush the revolt, he abandoned the Communist party in disgust, because Ins real passion was freedom. He wrote to the papers all the time about anything that struck him as unjust; he talked and talked about the ideal society to anyone who would listen. When he talked people did listen.

He always dressed well. The new world of Harry's vision would always be nice to look at, and in his clothes he was predicting it. Nobody could dislike this warm, gentle revolutionary. With little education, he was an intellectual, scholar and a philosopher. And unlike many left-wing enthusiasts, he was actually a worker.

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