Like many people on the Left, The Cat was shocked and saddened to hear about the sudden death this morning of Bob Crow at the relatively young age of 52. When I first heard the news, I refused to believe it and thought it was another Tory wind-up. It wouldn’t have been the first time.
Bob Crow was loved and respected by the members of his union, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (the RMT) and was admired by many outside the RMT. Many of us wished he could have been our union leader instead. If you look at Unison, for example, you have to ask yourself “What good is Dave Prentis”? How does he fight on behalf of his members”? The answer is, he doesn’t. He sells them short all the time.
The Right were fond of describing Mr Crow as a “dinosaur” and frequently claimed that he belonged to a past era. The Right’s use of this kind of terminology is deliberate: the Tories and their friends want to consign trade unions to the past and with them, workers’ rights. This suits them perfectly, because the neoliberal world that we are currently forced to inhabit has no need for such fripperies as civil liberties and human rights. Such things get in the way of profits.
What this country needs are more Bob Crows, not less of them. But then, there was only one Bob Crow. He will be a hard act to follow.
Here he is in action a few weeks ago on The Sunday Politics. Andrew Neil wasn’t prepared for this.
Farewell, Comrade Bob.