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Article by Abby Sale, and from an extract by Sorley MacLean, Craig Cockburn
and Jack Campin
John Maclean was born 14 August 1879 (died St Andrews Day, 30-Nov-1923).
He was Scotland's great turn-of-the-century labour leader. He is mentioned
in two Hamish Henderson songs - Freedom Come all Ye and of course
The John MacLean march. He was a schoolteacher and member of the Social
Democratic Federation, who believed passionately in workers' education
(his teaching of 'Marxian economics' attracted classes of over 1000 at
times). He was anti-militarist, and was imprisoned four times between
1916 and 1921. His position as a socialist and a nationalist is unequalled
in Scottish politicial history. Some history books fail to mention him
at all and they can be judged on that. John MacLean has a street named
after him in St. Petersburg.
The lyrics of the John MacLean march are at
Maclean's triumphant return to Glasgow from Peterhead Jail was 3 December
1918. See The biography by James D. Young, _John Maclean: Clydeside
Socialist_ (Clydeside Press.) It's still available from AK Distribution,
who have a US office: http://www.akpress.org/
Sorley MacLean wrote of John MacLean
Chan e iadsan a bhàsaich
an àrdan Inbhir-chéitean
dhaindeoin gaisge is uabhair
ceann uachdrach ar sgeula
ach esan bha'n Glaschu,
ursann-chatha nam feumach,
Iain Mór MacGill-Eain,
ceann is fèitheam ar sgeula.
Not they who died
in the hateur of Inverkeithing
in spite of valour and pride
the high head of our story ;
but he who was in Glasgow
the battle-post of the poor,
great John MacLean
the top and hem of our story.
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Q-HTML V3.4 by Craig Cockburn created this page on 19-Jun-2012 at 08:06:28