Beware of Tories bearing gifts. Beware of their MPs and their media hatchet men and women bearing words of consolation when working class heroes die.
Bob Crow is dead. When I heard that I literally couldn’t believe it. When I saw he was trending on twitter, I checked out what this was about. I responded to the first tweet I saw that referred to him, saying he “was a working class hero,” I tweeted back, assuming this was a typo, “you mean is, not was”. Then I read another tweet. Jesus Christ. Is this a sick joke. I had to read so many more tweets to realize that if it is a joke, then a hell of lot of others have fallen victim. Eventually, I realized this was no hoax. I felt gutted, I felt a similar shock to how I felt when a much less radical figure died: John Smith, whose death paved the way for Tony Blair.
How do socialists honour Bob Crow? Firstly, we don’t do that by falling for the hollow sentiments of Tory MPs and broadcasters. Just a few hours ago one of them was smearing him: the Daily Mail’s Andrew Pierce on Sky Papers, for example, accusing him of being a parasite for living alongside us plebs, rather than cut off from the people like the metropolitan elite who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing, who don’t live in real world, unlike Bob Crow.
Bob Crow was proud of being elected. His authority was entirely legitimate, unlike most of his critics. Andrew Pierce and Andrew Neil never even bother to try to win votes. Andrew Pierce is a man who demanded Harriet Harman apologize for her refusal to distance herself from PIE four decades ago, which I agree would be a good idea, but in the same breath as he was smearing Bob Crow he was defending the Tory Party leadership for supporting one of his friends despite serious allegations of his being heavily involved in sexual criminality. Andrew Pierce smears Bob Crow for fighting for his members after they win votes to go on strike, but refuses to apologize for his paper’s support for the British Union of Fascists, and supporting Adolf Hitler, who gassed six million Jews. One refugee from Hitler’s totalitarian nightmare was Ralph Miliband, who Andrew Pierce happily smeared. Andrew Pierce is a pin up boy for everything that is rotten about Tory Britain, for everything that Bob Crow fought against.
The power of Andrew Pierce and co was not delivered by any democratic mandate. No, it was handed to them on a plate via unaccountable multimillionaires. Their ‘talents’ reside exclusively in being overpaid glove puppets for the top one percent, union-busting, asset-stripping, corrupt cop-loving bastards.
Bob Crow wouldn’t rule out standing for London Mayor. I can easily see him having won the next London Mayoral contest by a landslide.
Bob Crow was proud of having stood for his principles. He won votes. He won strikes. He won good wages and conditions for his members by means of exercising industrial muscle, knowing that if you don’t fight you can’t win, but if you do fight you at least stand a chance, or at worst inflicting enough pain to teach the bullies that you are no pushover.
Bob Crow and his RMT members fought for those with less industrial muscle than themselves. That is what solidarity is all about, and he had it in spades.
Bob Crow was not a sectarian. While he wouldn’t surrender to corrupt war criminal Tony Blair, and he and his RMT members were expelled for standing up for themselves, he was not sectarian towards Labour Party members as such. He was proud of the RMT donating money to MPs who backed his members’ policies, including many Labour MPs, Caroline Lucas and others. And his stance was the correct one for socialists.
There is nothing wrong in principle with the organized working class donating money to decent Labour Party members like Jeremy Corbyn, to name but one. Having said that, Labour MPs whose politics run directly counter to the interests of the employees, to the interests of all the exploited and the oppressed must be shown the door.
The time has come for the real left, for the anti-capitalist left, to disaffiliate from Ed Miliband’s omnishambles of a party. The time has come for all socialists to take a leaf out of Bob Crow’s book.