Knightrose who is in the AF, is a revolutionary of longstanding and who posts here, as well as being a good friend of mine, has gone into hospital today for emergency surgery.
Please feel free to send messages of support through this thread.
admin update: sadly, Bob passed away on the night of 17 June. Please feel free to post any messages or recollections here.
Get well soon comrade
Get well soon comrade Knightrose!
Very sorry to hear this, get
Very sorry to hear this, get well soon Knightrose.
Sorry to hear this. Get well
Sorry to hear this. Get well soon KR
Very sorry to hear this, hope
Very sorry to hear this, hope it all goes well.
Knightrose, of the excellent
Knightrose, of the excellent AF North, good luck.
I wish him a successful
I wish him a successful operation and a speedy recovery.
Get well soon knightrose!
Get well soon knightrose!
that's bad news. best wishes
that's bad news.
best wishes for a complete recovery!
I hope all goes well and I'll
I hope all goes well and I'll buy him a pint next time I'm in Manchester.
Best wishes, get well soon!
Best wishes, get well soon!
Hang in there, Knightrose! Be
Hang in there, Knightrose! Be back here soon, comrade!
Fraternal greetings and best
Fraternal greetings and best wishes for a speedy recovery.
courage and strength!
courage and strength!
Hope you get well soon
Hope you get well soon Knightrose!
Hey Knightrose. Sorry to hear
Hey Knightrose. Sorry to hear about this. Hope you get well soon mate.
Speedy recovery comrade from
Speedy recovery comrade from across the pond
get well knightrose!
get well knightrose!
Hope everything goes ok and
Hope everything goes ok and get well soon comrade
Yeah, that's terrible, all
Yeah, that's terrible, all the best for a speedy recovery! Please keep us updated
All the best and get well
All the best and get well soon
B On behalf of the CWO (all
On behalf of the CWO (all the cyber-truant comrades who know you from the Subversion days) we wish you a rapid recovery.
Thinking of you from over
Thinking of you from over here, best wishes for a speedy recovery!
Get well soon Knightrose &
Get well soon Knightrose & all the best.
Yes, hope it goes
Yes, hope it goes well,
Best wishes from far away,
Best wishes from far away, hope you get well soon!
Thanks everyone. I'm
Thanks everyone. I'm currently waiting in hospital to see a doctor. They are gong to tell me if the surgery is today or not. I'm having part of my bowel removed. The only positive thing is that I'm floating on painkillers. 8000
Get well soon. At least
Get well soon. At least you've got internets in hospital!
Best wishes, comrade.
Best wishes, comrade.
Get well soon comrade!
Get well soon comrade! :a:
Get well soon Knightrose, all
Get well soon Knightrose, all the best!
speedy recovery and don't
speedy recovery and don't forget to give out copies of resistance to the workers in the hospital ;)
Knowing him, he probably
Knowing him, he probably will! :)
Surgery is today.
Surgery is today.
Break a leg mate
Break a leg mate
Quote: Break a leg mate
Surely one operation is bad enough without having to endure a second......
Best wishes, of course.
Good luck with the surgery.
Good luck with the surgery.
Hope you are feeling okay. It
Hope you are feeling okay.
It was copies of the Subversion publication that I picked up in the late 90s which helped me realise that there was something beyond Bolshevism and Anarchism ( neither which I really liked all that much at the time.)
Get well soon.
Get well soon.
Best wishes, Knightrose...
Best wishes, Knightrose... Hope it goes well.
Aye, all the best for a
Aye, all the best for a speedy recovery.
Any update on how the surgery
Any update on how the surgery went?
Quote: Any update on how the
TOIL & FELICITY! I look
TOIL & FELICITY!
I look forward to the day you arrive again once more in the streets. It is a speedy recovery we are hoping for and I will do everything I can out of support for this aim. In solidarity, comrade...
best wishes Knightrose!
best wishes Knightrose!
Get well soon and
Get well soon and solidarity.
I have to sadly report that
I have to sadly report that my longstanding friend and comrade, Bob (knightrose), died last night having been belatedly diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Bob was a very committed member, organiser and activist in the Anarchist Federation who's skills, persistance, insight and humour will be missed by everyone who new him whether in the AF or amongst the many other friends and comrades who new him.
His death marks a particular and painful break for me as we have shared an almost continuous friendship and communist likemindedness from the days of our common involvement in an informal rebelious faction of the SPGB when Bob was just 17, through the group 'Social Revolution', 'Solidarity (forSR)', the 'Wildcat' and 'Careless Talk' cooperation and then 'Subversion'. Although I declined to follow Bob into the AF we continued to share very similar politics and some practical work together from time to time.
Bob's ability to maintain a consistent communist politics but without dogma or any display of sectarianism was something I always admired even if I haven't always practiced it myself.
Those of you who knew Bob and perhaps also know his wife, daughter and son will I am sure wish to send your sympathy to them in their untimely loss.
Others will I'm sure also wish to add something here of their own memories of Bob.
A small crack has appeared in the 'thin red line' but those of us remaining should continue to do our best to fill it as Bob would have wished.
Really have no idea what to
Really have no idea what to say as I never met Bob in person, knowing him only as Knightrose over the internet, but his contributions were always highly respected and mulled over by me and the others in the libcom group.
My condolences to the family in this difficult time..
I never met Bob in person but
I never met Bob in person but I enjoyed and respected his contributions on line.
My condolences to his family and friends.
my condolences to all family
my condolences to all family and friends.
i've admired those who keep the commitment over the decades, knightrose's posts showed his long experience and were always of interest.
Compared to Spikymike I
Compared to Spikymike I didn't know Bob (Knightrose) for all that long. When I moved to Manchester in 2009 bob was the first political person I met. He went out of his way to make me feel welcome. For instance, I travelled with Bob and his partner to the London Bookfair that year, you really could not ask for better friends and comrades. I am sure others will have similar recollections.
Spikymike is absolutely correct about Bob non-sectarian approach to politics. Bob loved visiting Dublin, which he did every year except this year for the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair. Bob saw his task as fostering a better relationship with the WSM, which was at one point nearly non-existent from what I am told. Although WSMers apart from 'georgestapleton' do not post on here, he became friends with a lot of the WSMers that he first met visiting Ireland for the Shell2Sea stuff and continued with his annual trip to the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair. He did as was mentioned while maintaining his affinity to the 'thin red line' type politics. Which it should be noted he did more then his fair share in promoting through both scanning and publishing material.
It is also worth mentioning that Bob and his partner done gallant work in their job teaching English to asymlum seekers and invested themselves in their students lives.
Bob will definitely be sorely missed by his family, friends and comrades.
sorry to hear about that, Bob
sorry to hear about that, Bob sounds like he was an ace guy. his posts were always of interest, even when i was just a lurker on these boards with confused politics
When I first signed up to
When I first signed up to Libcom some 6 years ago, Knightrose was among the more prominent posters. While I didn’t always agree with what he said, he was knowledgeable, non-sectarian and measured and evidently engendered a good deal of respect on the boards. Sincere condolences to his family and comrades.
So sorry to hear this. I
So sorry to hear this. I believe I came across Bob in Manchester although I didn't realise it was him till after. Rest in peace Knightrose.
My condolences to his family
My condolences to his family and friends. Seems like I missed the change to know a lovely guy.
This is a real shock.
This is a real shock. Although I have known 'of' Bob for many years, it's only recently that I got to know him personally and it corresponded to a warming of political relations, especially through the work of the Manchester Class Struggle Forum. He had some very strong criticisms of my organisation but I always felt, both from direct discussions and exchanges on libcom, that he was genuinely open to debate. He had a self-depreciating sense of humour which was reflected in his very last posts on this thread, which also displayed considerable courage. Solidarity and sympathy to his family, friends and comrades from everyone in the ICC. We have also recently lost a comrade in Italy and have had too many encounters with cancer recently, so we know what they are going through.
Very sorry to hear this.
Very sorry to hear this. Condolences to family and friends.
Condolences to all his
Condolences to all his friends, family and comrades.
Like many on here I only knew him as Knightrose; despite only knowing him on an internet forum, he came across as a beacon of good sense, cutting across squabbles, bad temper and factionalism with some well-chosen words of wisdom. He'll be greatly missed I'm sure by those close to him; but he'll be missed by those who only knew him through forums such as this, too.
I met Bob through LibCom, and
I met Bob through LibCom, and when I went to Manchester in 2008 Bob (and the rest of his lovely family) kindly offered me a place to stay while I was travelling. I got to know him over the 2 weeks or so that I spent in Manchester and, like others in this thread have said, he was a kind, genuine, caring person and a committed and intelligent communist. Those experiences in Manchester were a direct and large contributor to my renewed push when I got back to New Zealand to try to set up an anarchist-communist group (which eventually became AWSM), and I don't know that that would have happened without my meeting Bob and his partner. I think that's a pretty solid testament to Bob's impact. He will be sorely missed, my thoughts are with his family, his comrades and his close friends.
Sadly I heard this evening
Sadly I heard this evening that our comrade past away.
When I broke from trotskyism in 03, Bob was the first person I had the fortunate pleasure to correspond with and his insight and patience have helped me greatly and although I declined to join the AF, he's single-handedly contributed massively to why I think highly of the group.
Having known the fellow to talk to face-to-face, I can say that he was a genuinely lovely and hospitable guy, motivated by the best of intentions.
The output and contribution of Bob and the groups he's been involved in sadly won't be able to be assessed for sometime, but the revolutionary movement has no doubt lost a stalwart.
My condolences go to his family.
The news of Bob's death is
The news of Bob's death is terrible! so sudden, and a comrade with such a vital energy and committment to struggle and life this news is truely deadening. My condolances to his family.
All of his comrades and friends have written here have talked of his great committment to the revolutionary movement and in particular the way that he was able to engage, to discuss, and keep a real integrity and never personalise or make anybody feel stupid, besides having a great sense of humour! no mean feat! no mean man!
I first meet Bob when he visited Liverpool as a member of Libertarian Communism to discuss with Workers Voice and although the discussions did'nt go all that well the two comrades of LC were animated with what was then very important discussions, (Russian Rev, Unions, Shop Stewards etc) But Bob's commitment and revolutionary passion shone through.That was 38 years ago and we have to salute the class commitment that perseveres that long.
Likewise in the Manchester Class Struggle Forum although we had many disagreements I don't think I heard him say a mean thing once. This was the mark of a great comrade and friend and he truely expresses the way forward.
The international proletariat has lost one of its best militants.
RIP Bob, you were fasntastic
RIP Bob, you were fasntastic and I feel privileged to have known you. My sincerest condolences to his friends and family.
Terrible news... I didn't
I didn't know Bob well but I met him a number of times and he was a permanent fixture on my political map as my politics developed in the 1990s via environmentalism, anarchism, council communism and ultimately the ICC. A small group of us in Cardiff used to eagerly await packets of Subversion and I first met Bob at a AF / Subversion day school in Sheffield. I also have fond memories of an AF NDM at Bob's house in Oldham. One of the last times I saw him was at last year's Manchester bookfair where he was instrumental in allowing us a stall.
He was, as has already been said, a committed and passionate revolutionary for decades; no mean feat, many others don't / can't sustain their passion - he will be missed.
Best wishes to his family, friends & comrades.
In solidarity, Morven
Very sad news. I didn't know
Very sad news. I didn't know him as a militant but his posts here were always very knowledgeable and spoke of his long experience as a radical. Condolences to his friends and family.
Bob and his wife S-- were the
Bob and his wife S-- were the first people I met up with in Manchester since moving back here three years ago intending to get involved in anarchist politics. Since then I have come to count them both as good friends as well as close comrades.
Of the many attributes which made him a great person, the two which have have had a biggest impact on me politically are his commitment and his fundamental humanity. Bob had been continually involved in politics since he was a teenager, and had been involved in political organisations all through his adult life - from joining the SPGB as a youth, through to involvement in Solidarity, Wildcat, Subversion and the Anarchist Federation. He devoted a vast amount of time and energy to his political activities; as a workplace militant he had been a shop steward, and had recently been heavily involved in the anti-academies campaign in Oldham, and not long ago helped organise a mass meeting of teachers and solidarity action over a contract dispute stemming from this. As a lifelong libertarian communist, he devoted his organisational skills to the movement; he'd always be the first to volunteer to meet new people, organise meetings, do the thankless admin, and correspond with other groups. He was always willing to do the often tiring legwork of standing on the street fundraising or distributing literature, attending demonstrations and pickets, even when that meant saying unpopular things about the unions, the left or national liberation movements. I often felt that he did too much, and didn't bust everyone else's balls enough for not helping him out more. But despite this he never lost his commitment or conviction. Just weeks ago he was sending messages to the AF national delegate meeting from his hospital bed to get our act together and get better organised.
This was because his politics came from a place of fundamental humanity which was expressed in his relationships with other people. He was always offering people help and encouragement to people - offering to put his experience and skills as a teacher to use whenever anyone had exams coming up. He always gave continual encouragement to people to achieve their goals their personal lives and to pursue their passions, and I was lucky enough to receive this on numerous occasions. The best illustration of how his politics came from his fundamental decency that I remember is the tireless commitment he and S. showed in the campaign to support Rabar Hamad, an orphaned asylum seeker from Iraq faced with deportation.
I will miss Bob dearly, and he will live on in the memories of the many people he influenced, supported and befriended over the years. We have lost a friend, and the movement has lost one of its finest and most tireless members.
Can we have a proper obituary
Can we have a proper obituary for him on libcom news?
Condolences to Knightrose's
Condolences to Knightrose's family and to his comrades.
fleabite wrote: Can we have a
This would be a very good thing, if possible, and, for whatever reason, not unwise vis a vas his relatives, etc.
The news certainly saddens me, and I have passed it along to my comrades, many of whom no doubt knew him better than I got to.
Sad news. Condolences to his
Sad news. Condolences to his family and comrades.
I`m very sorry to hear about
I`m very sorry to hear about this. I always appreciated Knightrose`s posts and they definitely stand out among many contributions to these forums that have influenced me immenselve. My heart goes out to his comrades, friends and familly.
Gutting, such a nice fella
Gutting, such a nice fella and dedicated comrade. My thoughts are with his family and friends.
I met him a bunch of times at various bookfairs in London and Dublin but my first contact with him was when I was a student teacher 5 yrs ago and I asked for advice regarding some of the more coercive parts of the job. 'How can I tell kids to hand in homework if I am a FULL ANARKY?'
Among his thoughtful reply about the nature of teaching he reminded me that teaching is a job, and jobs are shit.
He also tried to get Organise! members to join the IWW around 2008, unsuccessfully, though we had a long comradely discussion ;)
A really nice guy, very approachable and always had time for a chat anytime our paths crossed.
Only knew him from here, but
Only knew him from here, but his contributions were ones I paid attention to. RIP
If I remember correctly, Bob
If I remember correctly, Bob authored this article; http://libcom.org/library/recollections-solidarity-louis-robertson
I only met you a few times
I only met you a few times Bob but your presence was always massive within our mutual organisation and will continue to be for a long time. When you spoke people paid attention. I didn't get a chance to say it but i always valued your wisdom, patience and commitment. You're one of the good guys.
I take a little solace that you got a chance to tell us to not be down but to go out and organise. It's trite to say it, but it really is the best way to pay tribute to you.
i only met Bob a couple of
i only met Bob a couple of times, but i'd echo the fact he was a solid comrade, acted with honesty and integrity and was an nice bloke to boot. my thoughts are with his family and loved ones. RIP.
Only met Bob once, but he and
Only met Bob once, but he and S let me stay at their house and were hospitable and lovely, as well as providing interesting conversation and an insight into a long amazing revolutionary life.
I hope everyone's doing ok, best wishes to close friends and family.
I met Bob last year during a
I met Bob last year during a stay in Manchester when him and S. were kind enough to put me up even though another family member was ill at the time. I really can't overstate my fondness for Bob and the rest of his family. Most days I would go with him to walk the dogs and we would have very long discussions, he told me about his days in the SPGB, the Poll Tax struggle, racism in Oldham and so on. He was a goldmine of experience and information.
My condolences to the rest of the family. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him, myself included.
am really saddened to hear of
am really saddened to hear of his passing, met him a couple of times at bookfairs and he was a lovely guy, much like his online persona which was always reasoned and polite, even if he was often telling me to wind my neck in.
learnt a lot from him politically and was always a poster whose opinion i valued even if I disagreed with it.
a great lose.
my condolences to his family and friends.
bring flowers for the rebel...
A long time ago, like 1979 I
A long time ago, like 1979 I was a young anarcho-socialist-IWW-something on the west coast of the US. It was incredibly hard to find non-leninist publications in Portland. Our little IWW group received a packet of Solidarity for Social Revolution magazines and publications one day in the mail. I stil have those publications today.
I think that is where I first came across Knightrose's writings. I have always read anything by him I ever came across. Although we have had kind of cross political trajectories, he was someone I leant I could could on for a clear discussion, esp of UK issues. I trusted him as a comrade, unmet and unknown from 6000 miles away.
I have, and evidently always will, regret not meeting the comrade who had informed my ideas so well and so memorably. So I can only imagine the great loss to the people who actually knew him.
I've only just heard of the
I've only just heard of the news of the death of my dear friend and comrade Bob.
I first got to know him in the early 1970s when the Social Revolution group ( still inside the SPGB) contacted the Anarchist Workers Association of which I was a member to discuss cooperation. I remember him coming around to the flat I shared with 2 other AWA comrades in North London for further discussion There was a joint day school, I seem to remember, held at the old Centro Iberico at Haverstock Hill.There was serious talk of a merger between the 2 groups, but this was not to happen and they ended up merging with Solidarity instead.
The next time I met Bob was when I was up in Manchester handing out an ACF leaflet on a Section 28 demo in early 1988. Bob and the comrades of Subversion liked the leaflet and the ACF and Subversion gradually began to work together, organising various joint events together. With the demise of Subversion Bob joined the ACF with 2 other ex-members including his partner. From then on we have worked together closely over the years. I cannot begin to tell you what a loss Bob is to the AF and to the movement in general. His hospitality, his non- sectarian approach,his political longevity, and his continuing revolutionary optimism were wonderful things.
I miss him very very much.
saddened and shocked to hear
saddened and shocked to hear that Bob is no longer with us. I know Bob from when he came to ICC meetings in Manchester as a member of Suversion in the late 1980s, early 1990s. In recent years, despite his differences with the ICC, he was always welcomed our comrades in meetings organised by the AF and he played an important role in the life of the MCSF at the start of 2010 which saw comrades communist and anarchist militants discuss in a fraternal manner. The last time I saw him was at an AF meeting on the Friday before the big student demo in Manchester last January. He was as passionate as ever for the struggle and reported on libcom the intervention he and his comrades made in central Manchester the following day. My sincere condolences to his partner, family and friends.
So sorry to hear this. My
So sorry to hear this. My condolonces to his family and friends.
Farewell and condolences.
Farewell and condolences. Life's so short.
arminius wrote: fleabite
Am in contact with his family and yes they'd appreciate it.
Goodbye Knightrose, although
Goodbye Knightrose, although we never met, your words touched and informed me over decades through different media.
My condolences go to his family and friends.
As a movement we could use this as an opportunity to collate writings by him (and those collectively written) and about him, to continue to share his politics and as a fitting tribute to his memory.
This is a sudden and very sad
This is a sudden and very sad loss. Bob was a great comrade and could work well with people of differing opinions. I appreciated his presence greatly during my time in the AF. He will be missed.
This was a big shock, and
This was a big shock, and such terrible news. My thoughts are with Bob's close friends and family (especially S---, his children, spiky Mike, Battlescarred), I can't imagine what they must be going through. It just seems so sudden.
I only met Bob a couple of times, and he was one of the few people to be as nice and personable on the internet as he is in real life. However, from his nearly 8 years and hundreds of posts on libcom (all viewable here - he was only our 215th user), I felt like I knew him quite well.
The texts he must have painstakingly digitised, or even typed up as most of them were done before the time of decent OCR software from groups he was involved in like Wildcat, Subversion and Solidarity had a really big impact on me, and others in the libcom group, and for that I am really grateful. Even if sometimes he did get annoyed at us for not crediting him with the versions on our site (although this was not our fault, as we inherited them from the endpage archive which didn't credit him!).
He was a big contributing factor to my decision to join the AF as well.
We would love to publish a proper obituary for him here - please let us know if you would like to write one.
I have been continuing with building the Subversion archive, which I intend to complete ASAP, but maybe we could credit him as the author of articles which he wrote personally, if anyone would like to or is able to identify them, if people think he would have been happy with that.
Again, my sincerest condolences to his family and friends. I hope it can be of some comfort that he affected the lives of lots of people in ways that few people do, and he will be missed by many.
Steven wrote: We would love
I would nominate Spikymike for that because they travelled the same political (and personal) journey for over 30 plus years and so would be in best position in my opinion to write one. Ultimately, it is up to him and others to decide on that though, but that is my suggestion.
I know from talking to him about it that he spent months getting all that material online. But he really did feel it was important to keep alive the history of the communist movement. I remember how he would love explaining to younger comrades the history of the small groups of people who kept these ideas alive in the period after WW2. Thus, he was very fond of Mark Shipway's book.
Bob was not only a committed
Bob was not only a committed revolutionary, he was also a truly fantastic bloke. I first met him and his partner S back in 1981, and it was he who first introduced me to anarchism. So for me, Bob really was a lifechanging person and I'll forever be grateful to him for setting me on the right track all those years ago. Although we hadn't been in contact for a while, I was fortunate enough to see him one more time just before he passed away, thanks to friends and family who took the trouble to find me. Bob will be greatly missed, not only by his family, who must surely be devastated, but also by his many friends and by the wider movement. He really was a lovely feller.
Shit. This is so sad. I'm
This is so sad.
I'm really gutted. I met him 4-6 times but often in those times I would spend the night arguing with him. Despite having 99% the same politics we always discussed that 1%. But it was never rancourous or sectarian, at least from him.
Jesus. I hope his wife and son are ok. I've only met them so if he had other kids, I hope they are ok too. He wasn't old.
I've worked closely with Bob
I've worked closely with Bob ever since I joined the AF. One of the smartest, most generous, most thoughtful people I've ever worked with. Those long walks with the dogs that other people have mentioned above stick in my mind just as strongly - there are little snippets of advice that still influence me and make me think. His advice was always important to me, his opinion always something that I sought out and wanted. The last time I saw him he was talking about how we should make everyone feel comfortable at his wake - thinking about his family, friends and comrades to the last.
I miss him horribly and it sucks that he's not going to be there with that wealth of experience and generosity in the years to come. We're all the poorer for it.
Much love and solidarity to his family.
So sad to hear this news. I
So sad to hear this news. I joined Manchester SolFed when I went to university at 18 so met Bob a few times in the course of my anarchy career. He was always a genuinely nice bloke and enjoyed a good discussion about politics. I don't think we would have agreed on everything but that's the beauty of politics. He will be a big loss to the AF and the wider anarchist movement.
My thoughts are with his family, friends and comrades.
Haven't been on libcom for a
Haven't been on libcom for a while but I thought I'd come by and add my condolences to this. Last time I saw Bob was in November when he and S. cooked a lovely dinner for me, hard to believe he's gone. He was a good man who led a conscious life, and his death is a great loss. Condolences to the family.
Don't think I ever met him in
Don't think I ever met him in person but Knightrose was always one of the best posters on here and I can't think of anyone ever having a bad word to say about him, condolences to his family.
Bob was a great person and I
Bob was a great person and I feel privileged to have known him. He was staunch in his opinions but at the same time incredibly kind and compassionate. Being one of the young 'uns of the AF, I'd always thought of him as something of a father figure, looking after us all but firmly keeping us right as well!
One of my favourite memories of him is from the anarcha-feminist gathering in Manchester last year. He had been tirelessly working away in background all weekend, making sure everything was going smoothly and was obviously pretty stressed. A few of us noticed this and hatched a plan to cheer him up, rushing over and enveloping him in a big group hug. :)
He was a caring and dedicated friend, husband, father, teacher, comrade and will be sorely missed.
This thread is heartbreaking.
This thread is heartbreaking. Like many others here, I never met him in real life, but he was one of my favorite posters. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
Sad to hear this news; a loss
Sad to hear this news; a loss to many people, on many levels. Condolences to his family, friends, and comrades.
The dozens of messages speak
The dozens of messages speak to what a person he was. I'm in the position of those who never met him, but were continually impressed by his cool-headedness, dedication, gentleness and political wisdom on these boards. He certainly was a political influence on me, both in interactions on the boards and the historical material he put up. When he had something to say, I always took the time to read it.
His dedication to preserving the 'red line' should be an inspiration to all of us to do what we can to preserving the history of our ideas.
Sincere condolences to his family and comrades.
I was very saddened to learn
I was very saddened to learn of Bob's death. I only met him a couple of times and he was a very good ambassador for our shared politics, both in real life and on line. The latter achievement should not be underestimated, given how easily so many of us become intolerant of others on the internet.
He was also able to discuss where we have differences, which is important.
My condolences to his family, friends and comrades in the AF and beyond.
There is a very touching
There is a very touching tribute to Bob on Facebook from his pupils. Not sure if we should link to it from here for confidentiality reasons
Can't help feeling someone in
Can't help feeling someone in the system let Bob down medically (but don't know) as this cancer is treatable. Since turning 60 I discovered I get monitored every year for it. A pity Bob did not reach 60. I hope, given the shocking speed of his death, he did not suffer much.
Condolences (particularly to Spikeymike and his family) from CWO comrades who knew him in the old Subversion days when he used to come over for Mike to the Sheffield study group or we would go over to Subversion meetings in Manchester, Jock (me), Joyce, Garry, Des, Kev, Salman. Its always the most valued we seem to lose first.
I think that Bob had an
I think that Bob had an excellent influence on my political outlook.
Soon after joining the ACF I heard about the history and theories of council communism. I met Bob as the group Subversion held joint meetings and organised day schools with the ACF. Over the years after he had joined the ACF I have seen him at many delegate meetings, national conferences and bookfairs.
Bob put a massive amount of time into the Anarchist Federation, his death is blow to our organisation.
Bob had a great manner — I just can’t believe that he’s gone.
I was just talking to
I was just talking to Battlescarred, and said that I thought it was possible that other libcom posters may like to go to his funeral. So if you would like to, just send me a private message for the details.
My deepest condolences to his
My deepest condolences to his family, friends and comrades many of whom I've met and shared good times with Bob.
It seems like only yesterday when I made the leap from Trotskyism to Libertarian communism. I was still in the socialist party of england and wales but began having serious doubts about the party's claims both past and present. At that time Bob administered a website on yahoo which hosted Subversion literature. It was a bright ray of sunshine at very dark time in my formative days as a revolutionist. I soon learned from Bob that the Subversion group I wanted to join no longer existed and that some members, including himself, had since joined the Anarchist Federation. It took me months trying to square how someone with a 'marxian' political outlook (council communism) could happily sit in an anarchist organisation. The Manchester AF website and material painstakingly put up by Bob was instrumental in helping me make sense of it all. I soon joined the AF and had the pleasure of spending countless hours talking to and working with comrade Bob.
Unlike the Organise comrades in Ireland Bob actually convinced me to join the IWW. We were both in the Education Workers Industrial Union 620 (IU620). Whilst in the IWW cde Bob spent a considerable amount of time trying to get us to take the threat posed by then Labour governments academy schools programme. Sometime in early 2008 some of us in London worked on producing a local London education workers rag called Working Classroom. It was soon suggested by Bob that the rag was good enough to be the national industrial unions and as always he supplied us with a healthy number of articles for the publication. Bob was absolutely right about the academy schools programme, myself and others deeply regret we didn't take his warnings a lot more seriously much earlier.
Cde Bob had many fine qualities. The awesomeness of Bob is hard to put in words but I have to I'd say the precision of his politics and his brilliant ability to succinctly articulate an argument was one key aspect. Bobs fearlessness in putting his political opinions in an honest ("no crossing your fingers behind your back" he'd like to say) and forth right manner was also refreshing (this is an excellent example and maybe the Manchester AF cdes can confirm if he was responsible for the text). Bobs finest quality imho ,unlike me, was being able to argue his corner in a cool headed and nonsectarian fashion and there are times I infuriated him with my approach. Bob refused to speak to me for a while over my sectarian efforts towards Solidarity Federation at the 2009 London Anarchist Bookfair despite our shared interest in council communism. Bob was right. It is with the above in mind that I've propose to dedicate a special edition of the IWW Education Workers newssheet the Working Classroom to the tireless work in opposition to academy schools that cde Bob had. But I now think it's only fitting to Bobs principled nonsectarian approach that this be a joint publication with SolFeds Education Workers Industrial Network publication the Education Worker (I'll set up a separate thread to look into the possibilities).
I am lost for words and heart broken at the passing of cde Bob. The workers movement has lost one of it's finest champions. It is only fitting that we continue the work of advancing social revolution that Bob correctly saw as "the only way to save humanity from catastrophe". So in Bobs words "comrades we must be as hard as steel, as clear as glass".
Yes, as BlackRainbow says the
Yes, as BlackRainbow says the best and finest tribute to Bob is to continue the struggle. I know Bob would have agreed with that and I can hear him say "we've got to continue the struggle, yeah?" with that endearing mannerism of his.
Quote: I can hear him say
I always used to pick up that little tic and the speech pattern every time I spent any time with him. I used to worry he'd think I was taking the piss, but I couldn't help it. Doing a sad now...
I'd only met Bob once, but
I'd only met Bob once, but really sorry to hear this news. What a loss; condolences to those who knew him well.
I met Bob several times when
I met Bob several times when I lived in Manchester and he seemed to epitomise libertarian communism, not just in his learned politics but in his everyday interactions. He struck me as an intelligent and gentle man, and his untimely death has shocked and saddened me.
Oh dear, just heard. Bad
Oh dear, just heard. Bad news. Sympathy and solidarity with Bob's family, friends and comrades. Bob was a fine comrade and friend. We go way back to Careless Talk, Wildcat, Intercom, Subversion days and in more recent times the AF. We also shared a love of pamphleteering and small press publishing and would often exchange notes. A tragic loss to the revolutionary movement.
Battlescarred wrote: I can
Sorry and alll my
Sorry and alll my condolences.
A couple of copy and pastes
A couple of copy and pastes from people's comments on Facebook:
very sad ... Bob presente!
very sad ... Bob presente!
My apologies, i just noticed
My apologies, i just noticed this sad news.
Please add my deepest condolences and i am sure also those of the many other SPGBers who engaged with him in comradely debate.
It was Bob's funeral
It was Bob's funeral yesterday, in Manchester. It was unbelievably sad, but as funerals go it was the biggest one I have ever been to, and was a real testament to the effect that Bob had on so many people's lives.
The Facebook page set up by people in his old school in his honour is viewable here:
by the way, does anyone know why he chose the name "Knightrose"?
Steven. wrote: by the way,
Yes... or at least, this is how I remember it...
Years ago, Bob occasionally used the pseudonym R. Knight, other times Louis Robertson. In fact, the old Careless Talk group in the Potteries always had its postal address as c/o R. Knight. Bob once told me it stood for Red Knight, also sometimes for Rosa Knight (as in Rosa Luxemburg, I believe). I think Rose Knight was also used occasionally. He may even have been using R. Knight in the earlier Solidarity group. So, his email persona Knightrose is just a variation of R. Knight... and an identifier to anyone who knew him. It worked because, when I joined Libcom and saw a post by a writer called Knightrose, I automatically assumed it'd be Bob before I even read it.
300 people at the funeral
300 people at the funeral with about 50 of them AF members. It was an unbelievably sad and gut wrenching experience.
Never met Bob, but
Never met Bob, but communicated with him via email as he was running the AFED publications email when I was ordering pamphlets for the first time a couple of years ago, when we were setting up the Adelaide group Organise!. He was very nice and helpful. He asked if I could tape some SANFL (South Australian league of Aussie rules footy) games for him because he used to live in SA in the sixties. I videotaped a few games for him, and swapped them for some pamphlets. Not sure if rest of AF would have approved of swapping pamphlets for footy tapes! Comrades in Adelaide thought it was really funny that he wanted SANFL games.
Bob i first met in the
Bob i first met in the aftermath of the Brixton Riots – where else? in Brixton, of course, where he had made his home then. Our common friend and comrade Spikey Mike had given me his address, and i passed a few days with him en route from Manchester to Greece. He kept just one room in a flat, and he habitually provoked the ire of his more conventional flatmates with his generous hospitality. I arrived, carrying a huge suitcase and accompanied by a total stranger who had recounted to me the riots while walking all the way from the Brixton tube station, in the small hours of the morning; Bob did not bat an eyelid. His goodwill bridged our differing cultural codes, and he showed particular tolerance to my lax sense of responsibility. In the next few years we talked a lot –about anarchism and situationism, about his love to Sally, about the secrets of british cuisine. And he taught me the intricacies of The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, to which he listened every morning in the radio. He was perhaps the first to instill in me a sense of history –my teenager anarchism was closer to a religion rather than to the nuanced sense of the possibilities offered by history, that Bob by then combined with his strong moral strain. Of course, we were lucky to grow up in the seventies. The earth, we knew, was to be ours; huge political and cultural movements attacked capitalism in the West and state capitalism in the East, and world revolution would come at any moment. This feeling gave us strength; Wordsworth describes it well, talking about the generation who lived the French Revolution.
On the other hand, the belief in an easy victory did not aid our critical understanding of the world. Bob was different though. He was still in his twenties, but not so naive, not at all. Just a few years older than me, he proved much more mature in his thought and personality. As i understand it now, his mind was sharpened by his constant effort to integrate and balance his various theoretical inspirations. He taught me, among many other things, that Marx’s insights could be reconciled with the anarchist insistence on liberty; that revolutionaries must learn history before they try to create it; and that feeling must never be divorced from analysis. Mike, the first to give me Edward Thompson to read, helped too. But then, i could only see that their thought was much more complex than mine, and i tried hard to understand what they were talking about. In the end, spurred by them, i became a historian myself.
In the meantime, Bob had come with Sally to teach english in a town near mine, in northern Greece. We lost contact, and the fault was mine, after their return to England. Last year, thanks to Libcom, i contacted again Mike, and he gave me Bob’s email. I found it entirely natural that Bob would still be in the struggle, and i was more than happy to learn he was doing well. But i postponed again and again writing to him and Sally, and to Mike for that matter. I wanted to send a lengthy letter to them all, about old times and new, and these things that changed in me since we were close and those that stayed the same, and the hopes and disappointments of these last thirty years, from the polish Solidarity movement, whose birth we witnessed together, to the Zapatista uprising. I never found the time and concentration to send it.
Bob gave selflessly, and he gave to me a lot, even when he was not nearby. His playful, direct eyes and his warm and wise speech have stayed alive in my memory for more than a quarter of a century, and will stay till the end. His more recent literary tastes might or might not include Romanticism -his chosen name Knightrose obviously alludes to it- but the historical figure he brings to my mind is Percy Shelley. The Bob i so vividly remember was intelligent and good-hearted, decent and sensitive, tender and tenacious, understanding and sincere like the revolutionary poet, full of enthusiasm and free of malice; focussing on the important things, he dedicated his life to labour and love. He forged a life worthy of his goodness and kindness and courage; this is obvious from the way family, comrades and friends mourn him. Bob was a messenger from a better world, a future world of human humans, to thatcherite England and our neoliberal Europe. We should have him around now, that this horrible era of ours closes; he might enjoy the spectacle of its fall, to which he dedicated his life. He is not here any more, but we can prove ourselves, in the coming struggles, worthy of him.
Thanks for that post,
Thanks for that post, Experimentalis. It says so much about Bob and the effect he had on so many of us.
My condolences and sympathy
My condolences and sympathy goes to all Bob's family, friends and comrades.
Sounds like quite the
Sounds like quite the revolutionary, wish I could of met him.
My deepest sympathy for his family, friends and close comrades
It's interesting you should
It's interesting you should mention Shelley. Shortly before he died I sent him these lines from Shelley's Prometheus Unbound, which Sally said that he appreciated. It bears witness to his revolutionary steadfastness
To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory
Sad news indeed. Farewell
:( Sad news indeed. Farewell comrade :rb:
Was this Bob speaking? rip
Was this Bob speaking? rip x
wojtek wrote: Was this Bob
yes it was
What a great man, I'm so
What a great man, I'm so happy I knew him.
I will say upfront that I do
I will say upfront that I do not share the political views of members of this forum. However, I went to school with Bob (in those days we nicknamed him as Aussie as he and his sister plus parents had just returned from an unsuccessful attempt to emigrate to Australia). In about the 3rd form his political views shifted far to the left and they stayed that way. This is what I admired about him - his political/idealogical commitments never wavered over 40 plus years. I also understand that he was a committed and very effective teacher who undoubtedly would have made a huge difference to the lives and prospects of many of those he taught. Apologies for the late posting but I only found out about Bob's death today.
It's not so suprising to me
It's not so suprising to me that Bob had such a wide and positive influence on many people over his lifetime - cut short though it was - and your post JohnD comming in even at this late stage is testament to that. We are all more than our politics of course important though that is to many of us here.
I knew Bob almost continuously since his teens as a close friend and comrade and still miss him so much.