EARLIER this month the entire Trade Union movement was shocked to hear of the death of Bob Crow. Mr Crow, 52, had been the larger than life leader of the RMT (Rail and Maritime Transport union – which was formed in 1990 when the National Union of Railwaymen merged with the Seamen’s Union) since 2002. Under his leadership, the RMT’s membership increased by more than 20,000 to around 80,000.
He was probably loved and hated in equal measure: a typical ‘marmite’ figure. However, what’s not in doubt was his loyalty to his members. He fought tooth and nail for better wages and conditions – especially for those who worked on the London Underground.
Bob Crow (13 June 1961 – 11 March 2014) General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers.
Although Crow described himself as a “communist/socialist” some of his political analysis seemed almost progressive nationalist in tone. A case in point was his opposition to the EU:
“The disaster of economic and monetary union is now blindingly obvious and the time is absolutely right to kick off a proper debate about British withdrawal.”
Indeed, in 2009, Crow helped set up No2EU, sometimes described as a ‘left-wing UKIP.’ It too uses language similar to that of progressive nationalism:
“We want to see a Europe of democratic states that value public services and does not offer them to profiteers; a Europe that guarantees the rights of workers and does not put the interests of big business above that of ordinary people. We believe the current structures of the EU makes this impossible.”
With all this in mind, our question is simple – what will Bob Crow’s legacy be?
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