Tuesday, March 11, 2014

As the Crow flies...


I think that Dave Prentis (in the link above) strikes precisely the right note in acknowledging that the untimely death of Bob Crow, General Secretary of the RMT union, is a loss to our movement as a whole.

In the years before the office successfully clamped down upon the attendance at the annual Trades Union Congress of all members of our National Executive Council I sat through Congress on numerous occasions.

The annual "Parliament of the organised working class" has not been an exciting experience in my time - but the hall awoke when Bob got up to speak. Always.

And the only excitement was often offered by the question of whether other unions (motivated either by politics or jealousy - or both) had managed to bump Bob off the General Council.

Bob Crow was a character in a movement which too often lacks character. Like many socialists I did not agree with him on every question (and feel that the best tribute that the "No2EU" candidates could make would be to abandon their bizarre and ill-advised political project) - however Bob Crow stood out as a trade union leader who was both effective and inspirational.

The RMT faces an enormous challenge in replacing such a towering figure. The movement as a whole will be watching this important choice.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.

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