Obituary: Tim Hart


Tim Hart discovered the Socialist Party only after he had retired, when he saw an advert for it in a newspaper. He was originally from Sussex but at that point was living in South Wales and soon became a member of Swansea Branch (now South Wales Branch) of the Party. He quickly became convinced by the Party’s case and also took a keen interest in its history and development. He often said he only regretted that he’d come so late to his political home and the clear, rational understanding of the world it gave him. He’d been involved in various causes and organisations but inevitably became unsatisfied with the illogicalities and inconsistencies of their ideas and actions and above all with their ‘single-issue’ approach to things according to the particular issues and circumstances of the day. He found the ‘all-round’ approach of the Party – the way it took on capitalism as a whole and not just its symptoms – a far more satisfying way of looking at the world.

Once in the Party he quickly became involved in various activities, including being its Assistant Treasurer, a member of its Executive Committee and writing articles for the Socialist Standard. So interested did he become in the Party’s history that he had plans for making sure that knowledge of all its activities and publications could be made available electronically for future record and reference. A project that he had in mind but didn’t come to fruition was to interview some of the Party’s longest-standing members, so that the interviews could then be published in the Socialist Standard.

Yet, though he espoused the Party’s ideas for the explanation they gave him of history and the current world, he never lost his ‘doubt everything’ mindset and was never anything if not fiercely independent. In his life he had changed jobs and occupations a number of times (e.g. banking, management consultancy, law, teaching, landscape gardening), often because he found it impossible to tolerate the submission to authority and frequent abuse of power inherent in employment. And indeed, even while agreeing with the fundamental tenets of the Party’s case, he differed, for example, from the Party’s view that the liberal democratic type of capitalism represented an advance on the more ‘backward’ one-party state forms, considering them all at bottom equally authoritarian and oppressive. He also had a more draconian view of the climate crisis than usually expressed by the Party, considering that it was probably too late now, whatever action was taken, for the environmental situation to be rescued.

He was a kind person to have a discussion with and you always knew that anything you said, whether he agreed with it or not, would be responded to in a comradely and tolerant way. He was a keen swimmer and cyclist, activities he continued with even during his short final illness. He was also a marvellous grandad to Luke and a devoted father to Elaine and Della, to whom we convey our sincere condolences.

Howard Moss

South Wales Branch

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