Bob Crow - a City commuter's view


'Bob Crow, bye bye', came the somewhat disrespectful comment from a mate on a Bloomberg chat box as the Union leader's death was announced earlier this week.

Here's the latest from Our Highly Placed Professional:

This is a time honoured, cynical City and Wall Street way of bidding farewell to the lately departed, especially if they are well known figures with a bit of form. Now anyone who has travelled around London, or commuted up from the Shires, has had to endure the occasional wildcat strike or other industrial action, and as I described in my recent piece, this can be at once highly frustrating and surprisingly amusing. 

What surprised me in the outpouring of comments about Bob Crow this week, however, was that he was both liked and described as being a very kindly and honourable man. So all at once the public perception of him some uncouth rabble-rouser was replaced by that of a much more thoughtful and complex character. He was tough as old boots, but was a man with a plan, who fought authority - and consistently won. 

The problem with reading the Red Tops, of course, which concentrate on the sensational - the holiday in Brazil, the expensive cruise, the high salary and the council flat seemingly at odds with his 'up the underdog' mentality - is that they only tell the side of the story that supports their agenda. 

Bob Crow was no one trick pony - unlike Alex Salmond - and, as a country, we’re the poorer for his passing. Now when I was shuffling along the platform in the pouring rain last month, waiting for a non-existent train to arrive, I never thought I’d end up thinking that!

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