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Camden News - By DAN CARRIER
Published: 10 April 2008
Friends, comrades and family gathered to pay their respects to a man who 'fought to change things'
Friends, comrades and family gathered to pay their respects to a man who ‘fought to change things’
Farewell to Jock, driven by faith and political beliefs

FRIENDS, family and comrades gathered yesterday (Wednesday) to pay their last respects to Jock Stallard.
The Labour peer, who died last week aged 86, served as a councillor for St Pancras and Camden councils and then as MP for St Pancras North.
The funeral, at Our Lady of Hal church in Arlington Road, Camden Town, saw Labour colleagues, fellow church members and Chalk Farm neighbours join his family to honour the memory of a socialist stalwart.
They heard eulogies from Father Dominic McKenna, Lord Clarke of Hampstead, Lord Graham of Edmonton and Somers Town Labour councillor Roger Robinson.
Lord Graham described how Jock’s efforts as a party whip had kept the minority Labour government alive during the 1970s by collecting Northern Ireland MPs from Heathrow and ensuring they got to the Commons to vote on crucial issues.
“He would meet them at the airport and often they would be worse for wear by that time – but he got them in the lobby to vote,” he said.
Lord Graham quoted poet Hilaire Belloc and spoke of Jock’s many political battles, including his campaign to overturn the 1824 Vagrancy Act, which criminalised the homeless.
“He knew about life,” he added. “He fought to change things. He knew people could be victims of a system that punished those at the bottom of the pile.
“For Jock, Workers of the World Unite was not simply an idealistic phrase, it was a battle cry. He stood up for what he believed in, from being against the Vietnam War and the Falklands conflict to fighting the proliferation of nuclear weapons.”
Lord Graham added that he had first met Jock when he lived in Tottenham – his family’s decision to move there from Scotland made him a lifelong Spurs supporter. “He was a Lillywhite through and through,” he said.
Cllr Robinson described Lord Stallard as a father figure to Labour colleagues.
“He gave us all hope,” he said. “He gave us the feeling we should all fight for society. We will always remember the work he put in to fight for people living in poor conditions and his legacy will live on.”
Father Dominic spoke of how Jock’s Catholic faith, coupled with his political beliefs, created a man who did not seek public acclaim but wanted to make a difference to ordinary people’s lives.
He said: “Jock fought the fight. He was a tough man who would take blows on the chin. He knew of dereliction and squalor and did not rest where he saw help was needed.”

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