The 1972 Builders strike and the Shrewsbery 6.

White man in the Hammersmith Palais
White man in the Hammersmith Palais

September 30th, 2016, 11:49 pm #1

This is a very important piece of film about the 1972 Builders Strike as well as the conspiracy trial that came out of it.

There is a rare appearance (I believe) from the dreadful Pete Carter as well as some interesting footage of a march and speeches as well as UCATT activists getting a chance to put their case.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI_QmOnYbFs
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Joined: March 7th, 2015, 8:29 pm

October 1st, 2016, 10:08 am #2

I know nothing of the man bar the wiki entry, what made him dreadful?
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White man in the Hammersmith Palais
White man in the Hammersmith Palais

October 1st, 2016, 6:35 pm #3

Bear in mind I was never in the CPGB or the CPB, so I may be doing him wrong.

Carter was a building workers activist in Birmingham and the midlands in the late 60's and early 70's - I can't comment on his record at that time, however there is every indication that he was in the National Front before he joined the communist movement. In some cases (like Ricky Tomlinson) people made up for early mistakes like that many times over, but I'll leave others to comment on that.

Carter worked his way up through full timers positions ending up as Industrial organiser - unfortunately at the time of the 84/5 miners strike - which he opposed.

He wrote a highly critical analysis of Scargill and the strike for the CPGB which wasn't published at the time. I imagine that he headed the opposition to solidarity during the strike. Afterwards he was very critical of trades unionists and trades union struggles.

Politically he was a euro communist and I suspect that CPB comrades would be fairly antagonistic to the role he had in the last years of the CPGB.

Whichever way you look at it, the last person I would have chosen to be an industrial organiser.
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Kim Philby
Kim Philby

October 1st, 2016, 9:52 pm #4

Carter's youthful involvement with fascist and racist movements is discussed in this Graham Stevenson article:

http://www.grahamstevenson.me.uk/index. ... &Itemid=99

Stevenson suggests that, given the information from his own unnamed sources, Carter was more likely to have been involved with Mosley's Union Movement rather than the National Front.

His later record was the topic of an earlier "formers" discussion at the time of his death. It is useful to recall it:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/393207/t ... arter+obit

if only to read the comments of "Perry Striker" who may not be the same as the neo-nazi who has used a similar pen-name in more recent contributions to this forum...

pip,pip,


H A R Philby
(Col.ret'd)
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Harsanyi_Janos
Harsanyi_Janos

October 2nd, 2016, 1:29 am #5

I know nothing of the man bar the wiki entry, what made him dreadful?
Dreadful seems excessive. Carter had an important role in abolishing the Lump in the West Midlands and in saving much of Victorian Birmingham from the wreckers' ball
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 7:50 am

October 2nd, 2016, 8:44 am #6

Carter's youthful involvement with fascist and racist movements is discussed in this Graham Stevenson article:

http://www.grahamstevenson.me.uk/index. ... &Itemid=99

Stevenson suggests that, given the information from his own unnamed sources, Carter was more likely to have been involved with Mosley's Union Movement rather than the National Front.

His later record was the topic of an earlier "formers" discussion at the time of his death. It is useful to recall it:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/393207/t ... arter+obit

if only to read the comments of "Perry Striker" who may not be the same as the neo-nazi who has used a similar pen-name in more recent contributions to this forum...

pip,pip,


H A R Philby
(Col.ret'd)
Thanks, very interesting. The contribution from Perry Striker that your link leads to just does not sound like the same person who has been posting anti-semitic comments on this site. People do change, but rarely that much. And even the prose style seems different.

And the fulsome tribute to a CPGB member from someone in the SWP is something of a rarity, too. Clearly Carter was a complex individual.
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Palmiro Togliatti
Palmiro Togliatti

October 2nd, 2016, 9:33 am #7

This is a very important piece of film about the 1972 Builders Strike as well as the conspiracy trial that came out of it.

There is a rare appearance (I believe) from the dreadful Pete Carter as well as some interesting footage of a march and speeches as well as UCATT activists getting a chance to put their case.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI_QmOnYbFs
As well as his work in the West Midlands, we should also recall his role in the People's March for Jobs. His energy and organising ability was critical to one of the left's big set-piece events that still remains as a spiritual source of inspiration.

Also, I wonder if the 83 march, with its pathetic turnout at Hyde Park, was a turning point for some, including Carter, in which the MT line on the end of the proletariat - anchored by Lane and Hobsbawm - started to resonate at a recognisable pitch.
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Joined: October 20th, 2015, 9:04 pm

October 2nd, 2016, 11:47 am #8

Dreadful seems excessive. Carter had an important role in abolishing the Lump in the West Midlands and in saving much of Victorian Birmingham from the wreckers' ball
The comments about Pete Carter in this thread are complete and utter rubbish:

1. Pete Carter was indeed a fascist before the joined the YCL. He was fond of telling the story about how he was converted by CP building workers - as an illustration of how anyone could be won to the cause of socialism.

2. In the 1970s he was a fantastic rank and file leader of building workers. His campaign against sexism on building sites was legendary. I remember during the 1972 strike going to meetings attended by hundreds of building workers and hearing Carter argue - quoting Lenin! - that the struggle was not just about wages but the liberation of mankind.

3. Carter did not oppose the 1984 miners' strike - he opposed Scargill's disastrous tactics which led to defeat and hastened the destruction of mining communities all over Britain.

4. I don't know whether he self-identified as a Eurocommunist but - to his great credit -he was certainly on that wing of the part.

5. Jeremy you really have to do something to control the abuse and slander of dead people that so often features - usually by anonymous contributors - on this site.


Geoffrey Roberts
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Francis King
Francis King

October 2nd, 2016, 6:02 pm #9

Dreadful seems excessive. Carter had an important role in abolishing the Lump in the West Midlands and in saving much of Victorian Birmingham from the wreckers' ball
The problem with Pete Carter was that he didn't fit his critics' 'ideal type'. Here was a working-class communist, a trade union militant and organiser with an impressive record in taking on construction industry bosses, who did not subscribe to the cult of the infallibility of either the CPSU or Arthur Scargill. Obviously, he must have been a wrong 'un.
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 7:50 am

October 2nd, 2016, 7:58 pm #10

The comments about Pete Carter in this thread are complete and utter rubbish:

1. Pete Carter was indeed a fascist before the joined the YCL. He was fond of telling the story about how he was converted by CP building workers - as an illustration of how anyone could be won to the cause of socialism.

2. In the 1970s he was a fantastic rank and file leader of building workers. His campaign against sexism on building sites was legendary. I remember during the 1972 strike going to meetings attended by hundreds of building workers and hearing Carter argue - quoting Lenin! - that the struggle was not just about wages but the liberation of mankind.

3. Carter did not oppose the 1984 miners' strike - he opposed Scargill's disastrous tactics which led to defeat and hastened the destruction of mining communities all over Britain.

4. I don't know whether he self-identified as a Eurocommunist but - to his great credit -he was certainly on that wing of the part.

5. Jeremy you really have to do something to control the abuse and slander of dead people that so often features - usually by anonymous contributors - on this site.


Geoffrey Roberts
The only control I have over what gets posted is to post my own comments. I am not the webmaster, don't know who he/she is even. My personal view is that there is line with racist and anti-semitic comments over it, and personal abuse (just) this side of it. Not that I approve of personal abuse, just that once you start censoring criticism of individuals, alive or dead, very soon you end up suppressing views you don't like. I think that this thread is a good example. Pete Carter was criticised, and then defended. I think that that's fair debate, even if he isn't here to speak for himself.
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