Bob Crow’s untimely death last night is one of those unfair, deeply sad and tragic events that has devastated workers throughout the world. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends. He will be so badly missed.
If you spoke to workers in many other countries about the British trade union movement Bob’s was the name they knew and they loved his constant truthfulness and loyalty to his class.
He had all the qualities of a good class leader: humour, selflessness, hardworking, honesty, toughness, courageousness, modesty, a collective approach. He cultivated a strong media image in the interests of his members and the movement. He hated capitalism and social injustice with a passion. He loved workers and their families and was one of the most effective leaders of organised workers. For many he was a genuine hero fighting for his members and our class despite threats and derision. His union The RMT remains one of the strongest most independent, viable and effective, loved by its members who own and control it in a deeply democratic manner.
The RMT union was one of a handful that has been consistently clear about the class nature of the European Union. It opposed the Treaty of Rome and when in 1988 most other Unions started to pretend that the EU had answers the Thatcherism, the RMT remained strong and in recent years Bob was at the forefront of warning the whole movement that social progress was impossible while Britain remains in the European Union. He was a great patriot, a great socialist and a tremendous internationalist busy this last weekend for example supporting the Miami Five Commission in London.
We should celebrate Bob’s life of struggle and his clarity of thought and political analysis and ability to make socialist ideas appear normal in place of the abnormal and bizarre economy and politics of capitalism.
When we lose a great leader we have every right to mourn and cry and deepen our resolve to fight for a socialist Britain and a socialist world.