Monday, 28 June 2010

Ken Coates

Ken Coates died on Sunday. This came as something of a shock as I had received a request for a review copy of one of our books for his excellent journal The Spokesman on Friday. The last few times we spoke he railed against the Blairite destruction of the Labour Party, not seeing a great deal of hope. Indeed Ken spoke at Lowdham two or three years back, a rare public meeting, and he was mobbed. It was a bit like an old time socialist revivalist meeting. Ken said he was steadily losing his eyesight. I replied that it must be difficult, given his life in books. He replied that the biggest problem was that he could not cross the fucking road on his own any more.
Broadsheet and labour movement obituaries will cover his life fully, but in Nottinghamshire he was responsible for Spokesman Books, Russell Press and the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, all of which will continue as important parts of the left. Ken plays more than a walk on part in our forthcoming re-issue of Ray Gosling's Personal Copy at a time when there was all to play for in the Labour Party in Nottingham.

1 comment:

David Belbin said...

Very sad to hear this. I bumped into Ken at Lowdham a couple of years ago and had a bit of a catch up with him, recalling his doomed attempt to win Nottingham South for Labour in 1983, the first general election I got heavily involved in. We couldn't have had a better candidate... or a worse result. Rest in peace.