Image of Hammer and Sickle

New Communist Party of Britain

John MacLean (1879 - 1923)


MacLean Memorial

MacLean Memorial Pollokshaws, Glasgow Scotland

In Memory of John MacLean
Born in Pollokshaws on 24th August 1879
Died 30th November 1923

FAMOUS PIONEER OF WORKING CLASS EDUCATION
HE FORGED THE SCOTTISH LINK IN THE
GOLDEN LINK OF WORLD SOCIALISM

Born in 18979 John MacLean was a Scottish school teacher who became one of the legendary leaders of Red Clydeside. Joining the Social Democratic Federation and later the British Socialist Party (BSP) MacLean devoted himself to teaching workers the principles of Marxism with classes that started in 1906 that laid the foundation for the Scottish Labour College.

During the First World War he was jailed several times for opposing the imperialist war and conscription. During the Russian Revolution MacLean was elected an honorary president of the Soviet Presidium and on 1st February 1918 Lenin appointed him Soviet Consul. Three months later he was re-arrested for sedition and sentenced to five years penal servitude. Mass protests led to his release but he was to be re-arrested in 1921 on similar charges and jailed for a further 12 months.

Though the  BSP was the major component of the newly formed Communist Party of Great Britain, Maclean never joined it. Instead he formed the Scottish Workers Republican Party which elevated the demand for Scottish independence.

But his years of imprisonment had taken a toll on his health. He died in 1923 from pneumonia.