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December 05, 2012


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RIP James

Beautiful obituary Paul


RIP James.

Thank you, Paul.


Excellent Paul, this put a smile back on my face after hearing the news.

RIP James

Darren Redstar

Thank you Paul, the world is a smaller, greyer place without James.


That's a very moving obituary.


Cheers Paul - you've done him proud.


That's great Writing.
Last time I saw James he came to have a drink with me in my day release from my hostel about a year ago and a few months before that he had travelled about 100 miles to visit me in prison because I was a political prisoner and James was also a close friend of my uncle.

I used to see James over the years at anarchist bookfairs and gigs, this is how I first got to know who he was, then it turned out he was close friends with my uncle in Luton... Small world?? Or maybe not?
Last I heard a few weeks ago James was in hospital...I was going to visit him as he did me, but he was released before I got the chance. I would often get updated from my uncle of how James was doing.

He will be missed by many, obviously not from the right, but James wouldn't want anyone from the right to miss him.
The world will be a much quieter place without James now.


Sean Cregan

Nice tribute Paul. Filled in a lot I never knew about James. R.I.P.

Mark H

Sounds like an interesting man, I enjoyed reading about him. Thanks for doing this.

Larry O'Hara

wonderfully evocative: very moving

Bekki May

Thank you for this Paul, it's beautifully written and something for me and the kids to read and remember.

He has lots of papers and essays at his house, I don't know if you would like to come and help us go through them one day. Perhaps we could get something in shape and self publish it - I think it was always the aim with what he was working on.


i am gutted , me and rick and stan are going out for a pint sunday to mourn him ,you are more than welcome, i hadnt known him as long as you but we had had some cracking nights out , i miss him big time , he was flawed but beautifull and sensitive , its a real shame


Paul an impressive and easy to digest, graphic synopsis. Brought him back to life - with a tear and a smile - so no change there then!!


Tony Heywood

A very moving and apt tribute to a principled and equally hilarious friend. "What do you know, you northern bastard?" and "stop talking bollocks, you northern bastard!" were regular interjections during our fat-chewing. Struggling to comprehend that you're gone now you're eternally asleep... lazy sod :-) Rest in peace, friend

Oliver May

Thank you for this, Paul on behalf of all of my family.

Barry Knowles

What a great obituary. I've known James since our childhood in the seventies, I'm going to miss him hugely, he was a great friend and very inspiring. Just shocked and devastated.


Some of you may also of known Comrade Terry Liddle who also unfortunately past away recently and whilst James and Terry did not agree on everything (well who did James ever agree with) Terry wrote a most touching poem I will post the first verse below . . .

James would of said it's Bollox but despite that i like to think that Terry and James will be somewhere debating utter Bollox somewhere safer than here . .

"Comrades when I’m dead and gone, no more than dust on the breeze
I beg you grant me one last wish, comrades do this for me please
Raise a glass of the blood red wine or a mug of the barley brew
Bid farewell to your comrade, one of the foolish few
Who thought we could rearrange the world, dreamed we could make all things new.”

May the world always have dreamers x

Oliver May

For those who knew James May: James' funeral is on the 18th December at 1.45 at Stopsley crematorium, and afterwards we will be at the Moat house function room playing a selection of anarcho-punk from his collection. Everyone who knew him is welcome to attend. If you have any music you want played that he would have liked, bring it along on CD and we'll have it at the reception.

Oliver May

Christie Drabwell

This brings James into such clear focus again, well done on a very fitting tribute. It reminds me of many a good combative conversation with him over the media, politics and punk. Some years ago, when all our children were quite small, James arranged for us to go to see Where the Wild Things Are at a Bedford theatre. Not surprisingly one of his favourite books and our's too. It was superb and the kids were mesmerised. Just one of the many memories of the inimitable James. Paul and I shall miss him very much.

Julie Young

Lovely obituary, thank you so much. You've made me smile and painted such a clear, vibrant picture of James

Chuck Wilson

Only knew him through MATB but that was a wonderful orbituary for both James and MATB

Robbie C

I did not know James May and so can say nothing about him. But there are some inaccuracies in this obituary which, by accident or design, put the CPB in a bad light.
Firstly, the Leninist/Weekly Worker group have never been in the CPB, and so could not have split from it because CPB members were supposedly desperate to hang onto their positions in the trade union bureaucracy.
The Leninist/WW group had its origins in the NCP (a breakaway from the old, original Communist Party of Great Britain). Some entered the CPGB and then broke away again, while trying to steal its name. The CPB was set up in 1988, in rebellion against the old CPGB leadership. At no time has the Leninist/WW group entered or broken away from the CPB.
Secondly, the remark about making "shibboleths" about gay or abortion rights (made by Lindsey German, then of the SWP) had nothing to do with the Stop the War Coalition, in which the CPB participated. It was made in the context of one of the battles around Respect.
So, on both counts, the criticisms being made have nothing to do with the CPB. Sorry.

Robbie C

I should add that no CPB members that I know of have ever headed towards or into a New Labour think tank. Further evidence, I think, that the writer of this obituary has confused the CPB with the original CPGB which dissolved itself in 1991/92.

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