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Obituary: Tribune

Ken Coates

From: Tribune, 16th September 1983

The death last week of Peter Sedgwick will touch a whole generation of socialists, of most factions and none.

Only 49 years of age, and a lecturer in politics at Leeds University, he was a member of the Communist Party until the Hungarian invasion in 1956 and later joined the International Socialists.

A contributor to New Left Review, he was also a keen satirical observer of the Left and would roll student conferences into stitches of laughter with his socialist realist ballads sung or declaimed late into the night in between punishing bouts of asthma

I last saw him at a Yorkshire nuclear disarmament meeting a couple of years ago weighing in with the same mixture of fervour and wry self-deprecation that he had always shown 20 and more years earlier.

But some of his early writings have flashed into mind far more frequently. Nowadays our polemic exchanges are not so deft and that is not the least of good reasons that we shall all miss Peter Sedgwick.