RIP John Gouriet 1935-2010

John Gouriet died last Saturday evening. I met him in the 1970s, when I was a naive schoolboy who thought Margaret Thatcher had come to save England by enacting J.S. Mill’s essay On Liberty into law. John did explain very gently that I was not entirely correct in my belief, but welcomed me into the Freedom Association as one of its youngest members. I never did that much in the movement. But it was John who indirectly led me to Chris R. Tame and the newly-founded Libertarian Alliance.

I lost sight of him after about 1985. But we renewed our friendship after 2004 on various conservative and Eurosceptic distribution lists. I was shocked to hear about the heart attack he suffered a few years back while he was speaking in a debate on the climate change scam. I think we are all diminished by his passing last Saturday evening.

Sean Gabb

Monday, 06 September 2010
John Gouriet (1935-2010): The Freedom Association’s greatest campaigner.

DSC_0105 We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn that John Gouriet, The Freedom Association’s first and greatest Director, died on Saturday evening, 4 September.

Simon Richards, TFA’s Director, said, “He was a delightful man as well as a brilliant one. Our young team here loved him and his wicked sense of humour. John was The Freedom Association. He was a great man and it was an honour to have known him. I am only pleased that I had an opportunity, at the Stanway Summer Party on 31 July, to pay warm tribute to him and his achievements. John was – and will remain – an inspiration to me and to all at The Freedom Association. We honour and revere his memory and give thanks to him for a lifetime dedicated to fighting for freedom. Our thoughts are with his widow and his family at this sad time.”

John was a campaigner of genius. Back in the 1970s, he masterminded Operation Pony Express, which defeated an illegal trade union move to crush the Grunwick photo processing company. He took on the unjust trades union closed shop and won. He paved the way for the great reforms introduced by Lord Tebbit and the Thatcher Government, which brought an end to the excessive trades union power which had brought Britain to its knees.

Right to the end, John was campaigning, with his usual style, panache and wit, for Britain to regain its freedom from the European Union.

7 responses to “RIP John Gouriet 1935-2010

  1. We shall all be impoverished by his passing.
    As a person who was privileged to work with him I can only say Mr Gouriet gave valuable support to all those who were for liberty.
    He was always helpful and encouraging during the campaigns for freedom during the 1970s. A time when the clouds of oppression were spreading over Britain.
    His sincerity and unassuming style enabled him to substantially achieve his goals in the never ending battle against tyranny.
    May his example and style inspire us in this new, darkening age.

  2. Didn’t John Gouriet go to live in Rhodesia after he parted company with the Freedom Association?


  3. He it was who made possible the meetings between Chris Tame, Sean, Tony, myself and others such as Peter Richey and many too numerous to recall right now (I’m old and will have to think hard) that gave rise to the LA indirectly as it now is.

    I always thought John G never quite had the Churchillian gift-of-the-insprational-gab (no pun there Sean!) that he really wanted to have. But he was very brave, and would never give way to angry StaliNazi hecklers, who always seemed to know where the FA’s meetings were, and packed them out. There’s leftist ineptitude for you…they know, knew and will know always, exactly what they are doing.

  4. He was a brave, brave man, and All The Trumpets Will Have Sounded for him, on the Other Side.

  5. That would have been difficult, Tony.
    Rhodesia ceased to exist at about that time.
    One thing he was all set to do:

    Fr Arthur Lewis, a British citizen living in Rhodesia, was campaigning fairly successfully for Rhodesian independence from British subjugation aimed at turning Zimbabwe-Rhodesia into a Marxist state. He was due to speak at a meeting we had organised but was banned from entering Britain by the Labour Government at the last minute.
    John Gouriet was all set to arrange a clandestine flight across the Channel from France if we could just get him there. Plans went ahead but were eventually abandoned for various reasons.
    Ah, the missed opportunities!

  6. Dave Davis:

    Gerald Hartup (who worked at Head Office) was instrumental in introducing me to Chris Tame and getting me interviewed for the post of TFA HQ (Logistics). Chris was leaving to start up the Alternative Bookshop, where I lived with Beeper for several years. I never really knew John Gouriet personally. After returning from Canada I lived in a friend’s house six miles outside Ashford until moving to the Bookshop. I was a Deputy Chairman of the Kent Branch of TFA. Gerald and I were in continuous communication, having met in 1969.

    Interesting milieu.


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