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WELCOME TO another issue of What Next? Though the frequency of publication has not improved – we are still struggling, vainly, to keep to a quarterly schedule – the size of the journal is now greatly expanded, at least as far as the website version is concerned. The printed magazine is in fact a severely truncated version of the latter edition and, as in a previous editorial, I can only urge readers to read What Next? online. That way, you don’t have to buy it, and I don’t have to pay to get it printed – surely a mutually beneficial arrangement.

What Next? has a staff of exactly one – in addition to editing and writing for the journal, I’m also responsible for production and distribution, which obviously amounts to a lot of work – so, when a new issue does eventually appear, it is usually cause for celebration on my part. On this occasion, however, celebration is the last thing on my mind. For, since the publication of the previous issue, two of our oldest and most valued contributors, John Sullivan and Al Richardson, have tragically met their deaths.

John died after suffering a heart attack in Spain in September, and a tribute to him by Al appears in this issue. This, sadly, was the last piece that Al himself wrote before he too succumbed to a fatal heart attack in November.

As contributors to left-wing publications, John and Al were distinguished not only by their specialist knowledge of history and politics but also by their characterful and humorous writing. Even when you disagreed fiercely with what they wrote – and both of them sometimes took a distinct glee in provoking disagreement – you couldn’t help but be entertained by the way they wrote it. In a literary genre unfortunately not lacking in ignorance and pomposity, their witty and well-informed articles always stood out.

Both Al Richardson and John Sullivan will be sorely missed by all who knew them. We offer our condolences to their families, comrades and friends, and we dedicate this issue of the journal to their memory.

Bob Pitt, editor