RIP Bob Crow: Principled British Trade Unionist And Genuine Socialist

Countercurrents 13/3/2014

British trade union leader Bob Crow died suddenly at age 52 on Tuesday of a suspected heart attack. He had been leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union since 2002. Once described as a ‘dinosaur’, a relic from a different period, he stayed firm to his left wing principles and fought tooth and nail for his members’ rights. On hearing about his passing, former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said:

“The only working-class people who still have well-paid jobs inLondon are his members.”
Scottish Labour Leader Johann Lamont paid tribute by saying:
“Bob would take on anyone when he thought it was in the interests of working men and women and the confidence and certainty in which he made his arguments had to be admired. He had become a giant figure in the trade union movement and will be sadly missed by the many trade union members who held him in high esteem.”
The convenor of the RMT parliamentary group, Labour MP John McDonnell, said:
“In Bob Crow we have lost one of the finest trade union leaders and socialists our movement has known. I am devastated by this tragic news.”
Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, a member of the RMT parliamentary group, said:
“He was a brilliant fighter for working-class justice and rights and a very dedicated opponent of racism and fascism whenever it reared its head. It was a pleasure to work with him on anti-war campaigns as well as railway and trade union issues. I have never forgotten travelling to San Francisco with him to speak to the longshoremen’s union or his coming to an event in Islington North to mark my 30 years as an MP. Solidarity and sympathy to his family.”
As with most effective and principled figures of the left who fight for the rights of ordinary working people, Bob Crow was demonised and ridiculed by the Establishment and its mouthpieces. But Brain Reade from Britain’s Mirror newspaper provided a more fitting comment as to who Bob Crow was and what he stood for:
“He was such a brilliant and tenacious fighter had he run one of our disgraced, taxpayer-owned banks the way he ran the RMT, he’d have done it so well they’d have offered him a knighthood. And he’d have told them where to stick it. RIP Bob. In this beige world of spineless fudgers and careerist yes-men you will be sorely missed.”
Author and political commentator Owen Jones said on Twitter:
Bob Crow refused to accept the mantra of the “race to the bottom” and he was hated for it. Honour his memory: join a trade union.” 
Bob Crow was a self-described communist/socialist and represented in word and deed the finest principles of the Labour movement.