Obituary: John Seymour Powell
Remembering John Seymour Powell (16th Jan, 1934 – 21st July, 2015), known to many as “Joe The Comm” – a rebel from an early age. Born in poor circumstances in a poor area, his father died when John was 6 years old, leaving John’s mother to raise 8 children on little money. John was very bright in school, and won a scholarship to a grammar school where he did well. In 1958 he joined the then CPGB and was an active member of it and of his trade union CPSA. When the CPGB was collapsing John supported the Communist Campaign Group which led to the establishment of the CPB of which he remained a member until his death.
There was little activity in Swansea CPB so John would attend CPGB-ML meetings and events, regularly buy both Proletarian and LALKAR and in addition made many contributions to CPGB-ML party funds as he was supportive of its political stance. Most recently John attended a CPGB-ML study session in Cardiff which discussed Lenin’s ‘Three Sources & Three Component Parts of Marxism’ and a public meeting where Harpal Brar gave a presentation on ‘Anarchism or Socialism’.
Last year at the 1911 Llanelli Railway Strike Commemoration John marched with the CPGB-ML contingent carrying its party flag for the duration, and the party was looking forward to marching beside him at the event again this year. His death prevented this and he was sorely missed. John’s membership and support for the Stalin Society was also well known.
Why did he remain in the CPB? John was always optimistic that maybe things would change and we would have one CP-ML with a revolutionary policy to fight our class enemy. Communist to the end he had respect, admiration, friendship and loyalty. His support for the cause was unshakeable,