Stephen Maxwell

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stephen MaxwellAlthough Stephen Maxwell's death came after a long illness, it was still a shock to all of us that such a bright mind and a constant and supportive colleague should no longer be with us. Stephen was a founding member and an office-bearer of the Scottish Independence Convention to which he brought many years of experience in the SNP and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. His steely integrity, his incisive intellect and his quiet charm and courtesy were greatly appreciated.

He was one of a new generation of nationalists who emerged in the late 1960s and 70s, strongly encouraged by the late Billy Wolfe, and he became the SNP's press officer in 1973. There were some at the time who thought he might be too honest and too intellectual for the job but, in fact, he was successful in the post largely because even the cynical press corps respected and trusted him.

He went on to become a vice-chair of the SNP and an Edinburgh City councillor. His politics were always based on a strong commitment to social justice and a genuine internationalism.

He went to work for SCVO in 1985 and continued there until his retiral, starting as social policy officer and later as Associate Director with particular expertise in anti-poverty work and social enterprise.

In this crucial historic period for Scotland, Stephen's intellect and experience would have been so valuable in the campaign to come. We will miss him. For his wife, Sally, and their three children it has been a cruel loss.