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Friday 11 March 2016

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Remembering Bob Crow, 1961-2014

March 11th marks two years since the passing of Bob Crow, the inspirational general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) workers' union from 2002 until his death.

Bob was also a co-founder of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in 2010, which he saw as an important step towards a new vehicle for working class political representation.

He sat on the TUSC national steering committee, initially in a personal capacity but, after the decision of the 2012 annual general meeting of the RMT to be officially represented within TUSC, as one of the union's official nominees.

Bob made clear his support for those in the Labour Party fighting for working class interests and socialism but always distinguished between them and the defenders of capitalism in the party, whom he was scathing about.

This comes out clearly in a video we are re-posting today (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj6IMjVLzMw) of Bob giving the RMT's official backing to TUSC candidates in the 2012 elections.

In this speech Bob refers to Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell and Jeremy's election as Labour leader has changed the political situation compared to the first five years of TUSC's existence. There will not be TUSC candidates standing against Labour councillors who vote against cuts in the council chamber. But the distinction still needs to be made between those who fight for socialism within the Labour Party and those who defend capitalism and its policies.

In early 2014 we asked Bob for a quote to support TUSC candidates in the local elections that year. He came back with, "the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition does what it says on the tin - without any of the baggage and big-business agenda of the main political parties. Who else you gonna vote for?".

Those Labour councillors who did not support Jeremy Corbyn for leader and still continue to vote for cuts, unfortunately a big majority of the party's representatives in this year's elections, should remember that if they find themselves facing a TUSC challenge at the ballot box in May.