Anarchist Communist Federation
Obituary: Robert (Bobby) Lynn
The Glasgow anarchist Bobby Lynn has died aged 74. As a engineering apprentice in the shipyards, he came in contact with the anarchists who were organising open-air public meetings and factory gate meetings many of which attracted audiences of up to a thousand. The anti-war stance of the anarchists and their support of workers struggles at a time when the Communist Party dominated the Glasgow workplaces through the unions and the shop stewards’ committees and actively sabotaged strike action in line with their support for the war effort, attracted Bobby to libertarian ideas. Just after the war, his agitation in the workplace attracted the attention of both bosses and Communist union officials. As a result he was blacklisted and took a job in the Merchant Navy and spent some years at sea.
Returning to Glasgow in the early fifties, he joined the Glasgow Anarchist Group. He was active in reviving the group in the seventies and initiated many activities as well as writing a number of pamphlets like Vote: What For? In the nineties it was he who started the Glasgow Anarchist Summer Schools which continue to this day. He was determined to attend the one this year but was cheated by death by a few days. His anarchism was heavily influenced by two speakers who had come into the Glasgow movement, Jimmy Raeside and Eddie Shaw, who bizarrely twinned the individualist ideas of Stirner with those of anarcho-syndicalism. So as Conscious Egoists they were able to explain anarcho-syndicalism as “applied egoism” and anarcho-syndicalist organisation as “unions of egoists”. Bobby Lynn remained true to this strange fusion right up to his death.