02/2003 – Denis MacShane

Denis MacShane

PGF honors Denis MacShane, Member of Parliament representing Rotherham, England.

The Honorable Mr. MacShane has been a constant advocate for labor on a global scale. His efforts and work have touched people from the United States to Europe. This work included smuggling funds, fax machines and photocopiers to Poland’s Solidarity (Solidarność) movement in the early 1980s. He was arrested and imprisoned by the Communist secret police for that work. We particularly honor Mr. MacShane for his international perspective. We see in him a person whose solid credentials, work, assumption of personal risk for the sake of others, and family background embody the ideals PGF advocates for.

Mr. MacShane is a former BBC journalist and labor union official. His father came from Poland to fight for Britain during World War II. Mr. MacShane is multi-lingual and carries impressive academic credentials including a MA from Oxford and Ph.D from London University. He has a deep knowledge of the economic and social policy frameworks of other countries, and has advised British and American Unions on European and international affairs. He founded the European Policy Institute.

Mr. MacShane first ran for Parliament as a Labour candidate in 1974 in the safe Tory seat Solihull and was elected MP for Rotherham in 1994, aged 45.

As an MP, he has concentrated on economic, manufacturing, fiscal, labor market and European policy issues. He has written on modern political theory. In June of 1997, he was named Parliamentary Private Secretary to Foreign Office Ministers.

Since 2001 Mr. MacShane has been chair of the Fabian Society, a left of center think tank. He writes regularly for national newspapers and political journals as well as for European newspapers.

Mr. MacShane’s publications include a political biography of Francois Mitterand, studies of Poland’s independent trade union, Solidarność and of black workers’ movements in South Africa.

Recently, Mr. MacShane was appointed Britain’s Minister for Europe.

Mr. MacShane was born in Glasgow in 1948. He and his wife Natalie have four children.

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