I first met Robin in the 1970s, campaigning in Haringey against school mergers and closures. As a teacher himself, Robin was absolutely committed to the principle of an inclusive and rounded education to allow the talent of every child to flourish, whatever their background.
He was a committed socialist and a ceaseless opponent of imperialism. He was around right from the early days of the Stop the War Coalition and was a very important player in the anti-war movement.
At the height of the opposition to the Iraq War there were something like seven Stop the War local groups in Haringey alone, largely down to Robin’s efforts. But he was more than just an exceptional organiser, he was a strong advocate of the cultural side to the anti-war movement, using music and poetry to draw people in.
Our media routinely ignores the impact of social movements. It’s a world they don’t understand. But the truth is people coming together can change history. The anti-war movement that Robin was so central to changed politics in this country, revived the left, and set the scene for the re-emergence of socialist ideas that we see today. I know Robin would be rightly proud of the part he played in that.
Robin was a good friend and a wonderful comrade who dedicated himself to creating a peaceful world. He will be a great loss to our movement. It was a privilege to know him, and through him to become friends with Manuela and the children.