nina bw med resNo one had more layers than Nina Fishman. She would arrive at any meeting at any time of the year decked in waistcoats, coats, overcoats and then her whole cycling regalia. As soon as these wrappings were off she would be off: “You see Neal it’s the same as the problem in the 1940s when Arthur Horner was General Secretary of the NUM…” And she would sweep through the historical significance of this or that event as it related to today.

Nina was always finishing yet another labour history book – deep in research and thought. Her political passions were electoral reform and a social Europe, and when I say passions I mean passions. She never gave up on either, no matter how slow the progress, always earnest, always positive and always looking for answers.

Nina was a great friend of Compass. She prodded, pushed and backed us. She opened doors to others and actively supported what we did. She believed in us in a way that gave you the strength and determination to go on even when things got rough or difficult. We couldn’t let people like Nina down. She was always “so pleased” to hear good news or help you through harder times.

She had been ill with cancer but still Nina died unexpectedly and peacefully. Our thoughts are with Phil and her family. We grieve with them because we feel the loss too – of a friend and a true comrade.

Nina Fishman had lots of layers and those of us who were lucky enough to know her loved all of them.

Neal Lawson

Nina Fishman’s Arthur Horner: A Political Biography was published in 2010.
For more information on the book see