MORRY was 50 when I first met him in 1968. I met Morry and the Socialist Current organisation at the same time, and the two ran together — meals and (lots of) wine and political chat on Saturday nights, and selling the paper together on Sunday mornings. The worst you can say about Socialist Current, which peaked with a membership of 10, was that it got nowhere in its 32 years. The best is that it introduced a few people to Socialist ideas.
And Morry was the comrade who could reach out. He was no theoretician, and his writings were idiosyncratic — he had a great fondness for acrostics — but they could ring bells, as when commenting on the bottomless purse of the state when it comes to repression, Morry said: ‘They won’t fix meters to water cannons.’
Morry had been active in what was then the Union of Post Office Workers. A few people told me that he had led the first ever postwar unofficial strike at the Mount Pleasant branch. He was active in the long, doomed strike of 1970, arguing that the strike should be spread: ‘Stop messing about: get the engineers out.’ After that he more or less gave up on the union bureaucracy, but he carried on selling the paper and arguing the toss at work. Morry could sell the paper to the most sales-resistant people in the Post Office and on the streets of Newham.
Morry’s anti-racist commitment has been mentioned. Just before I met him in 1968, he had helped to foil a possible postmen’s march for Enoch Powell. He let it be known that he, the black postmen and the left in general were arranging a counter-march. The boot of his car was filled with anti-racist placards which were shifted around ostentatiously to make the story credible. Management panicked, as they were intended to, and the would-be marchers for Powell were warned off, on pain of the sack.
Morry’s life revolved round Socialist Current, the Post Office and, especially after he retired, his holidays in Spain (Benidorm). He also saw members of his family regularly, but his comrades never heard much about them; Morry regarded them as lost causes politically. He never married, but in his early 70s he had a girlfriend of the same age whom he met in Spain; he wrote acrostics for her, and visited her in Scotland.
Morry sold his last Socialist Current at the age of 70. He was far away at the end, but whilst he had his mental faculties he never lost his faith in the workers and revolution.
Morry did not agree with ‘eulogising’ — his word — departed comrades. So I will just say that he was a good comrade and a good friend.