London Underground are a far better organisation that in the days of old, although the obnoxious Marxist head of the RMT’s Bob Crow is determined to drag commuters back into the dark days of strikes and disruption.
Crow has few redeeming features. His self-publicising antics leave his members subject to abuse and held in growing contempt. He moans about working conditions, but where else could someone doing a similar job as his members earn close to £40,000pa. He actively seeks confrontation at every turn.
He was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and then the Communist Party of Britain after the CPGB’s dissolution, between 1983 and 1995, when he left to join Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party. He remains an admirer of Scargill, and in the 2005 general election, he endorsed Robert Griffiths, the Communist Party of Britain’s candidate in Pontypridd, calling him “a champion of workers’ rights”. Crow now advocates a new working-class political party.
Crow does have a role. His presence reminds us how far we have come since the 1970s and how much we have to lose by taking people like him seriously again. Crow’s support for Millwall, whose fans have a justified reputation for racial abuse and violence, sums the man up.
The latest industrial action will cause massive inconvenience and cost businesses, big and small, millions. Crow demands a pay rise above inflation, a reduction in hours and a guarantee of no job losses. That doesn’t apply to anyone else in the land in this difficult time. But Crow doesn’t care less.