First Minister pays tribute to Jimmy Reid who has died aged 78

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Today a nation is in mourning after the loss of one of its best loved and most respected political figures.

Jimmy Reid was the Trade Unionist who stood for all that was decent in the working class Scotland of the seventies. 

Mr Reid rose to international prominence when he led a “work-in” of thousands of ship-builders on the Clyde during 1971 and 72; the workers won their battle when the Westminster government climbed down.


Today a nation is in mourning after the loss of one of its best loved and most respected political figures.

Jimmy Reid was the Trade Unionist who stood for all that was decent in the working class Scotland of the seventies.

Mr Reid rose to international prominence when he led a “work-in” of thousands of ship-builders on the Clyde during 1971 and 72; the workers won their battle when the Westminster government climbed down.

Jimmy Reid’s speech to the assembled shipyard workers in the early days of the work-in typified the discipline and dignity of the man himself.

“Nobody and nothing will come in and nothing will go out without our permission. And there will be no hooliganism, there will be no vandalism, there will be no bevvying because the world is watching us.” 

First Minister Alex Salmond paid the following tribute:
“I am deeply saddened at the passing of Jimmy Reid.  He loved Scotland and her people – it was this commitment that drove Jimmy to defend the jobs and communities of the upper Clyde when he first shot to prominence nearly 40 years ago, with his inspirational and successful leadership of the UCS work-in.  It was the consistent mark of the man in all the years since – Jimmy’s depth and calibre were amply demonstrated in his unforgettable address as Rector of Glasgow University.
 
“Jimmy Reid was Clyde built.  He has been Scotland’s great rallying figure over the last four decades, and was one of the few Scottish political figures who can genuinely say that they provoked real change for the better in society – always addressing both a Scottish and international audience.  Above all, Jimmy was a warm, humorous, and generous human being.
 
“Scotland produces few people of Jimmy’s character and calibre – I was honoured to know him, and proud that he found his lasting political home in the ranks of the Scottish National Party.  Jimmy’s political journey to embrace the cause of Scottish independence was hugely influential in promoting further change in Scotland.  He became a kenspeckle and much loved figure at party conferences, and inspired a new generation in Scotland with his wisdom, eloquence, wonderful sense of humour, and above all the conviction that people coming together in a common cause can make change happen.  Jimmy believed that nothing was impossible, and it was this spirit and sense of optimism that I loved most.
 
“Jimmy will be missed not just across the political spectrum, but throughout Scotland’s national life.  I will miss his wise counsel, while Scotland has lost a commanding figure of great humanity.
 
“My condolences go to Joan, their three daughters Eileen, Shona and Julie, and three grandchildren.  Their grief is shared by the nation.”

A kenspeckle is a well known Scot.

Read Kenneth Roy’s tribute to Jimmy Reid.

Jimmy Reid:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCrCWINPd0k&feature=related{/youtube}
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dHNAE0UTSY&feature=related{/youtube}
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0wSoRu-Sko&feature=related{/youtube}
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5813MjCHah8&feature=related{/youtube}

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