Friend of Cuba
Bob Crow Marxist-Leninist
Challenge - YCL March 11 2021 BOB CROW: WORKING CLASS HERO AND COMMITTED MARXIST-LENINIST ☭🚩
There will be many tributes for the legendary Bob Crow who died seven years ago today — but how many will mention the real politics of the man who kept busts of Marx and Lenin on his desk and photos of Fidel Castro on his walls? Crow was a Marxist-Leninist, and in his own words, the political education that made him what he was, came from the Communist Party.
In the 1980s, around the same time as becoming active in the National Union of Railwaymen he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain. “He was a Protege of Kevin Halpin who was on the Stalinist wing of the Party” recalled Jeff Porter. Despite the influence of Bennism and Trotskyism around him and the general decline of the CPGB (now the CPB), Bob embraced the Communist Party.
“I used to go to their lectures, I used to read their theory — they weren’t just revolutionary phrase-mongers — they actually had science,” said Crow. “My communist party membership provided me with all my political understanding — it was a university education on its own.”
He also met Mick Rix, who was to become a lifelong friend and leader of ASLEF through the Communist Party, meeting him on a delegation to the German Democratic Republic in 1984 — remembering fondly that “Beer was 10p a pint and we were given £2 a day pocket money.” On the same visit he took offense at the treatment of a female delegate and punched punched the culprit.
He kept up his Party membership as he rose in the ranks. In 1994 The Independent newspaper wrote: “Two of the most left-wing executive members represent London Underground. One is Bob Crow, a 32-year-old self-proclaimed Marxist-Leninist and a supporter of the ‘Stalinist’ Communist Party of Britain.”
Crow would go on to lead the RMT from 2002 pushing Tube drivers’ basic pay up to £44,000, and was rewarded by an increase in the size of his union from 50,000 to 80,000, bucking the trend of declining union membership. On his death today seven years ago, despite clashing with him during his tenure as London Mayor, Ken Livingstone reflected: “The only working-class people who still have well-paid jobs in London are his members.”
Friend of Cuba
"Breaking the right wing agenda"
Morning Star "Breaking the right wing agenda".
- Richard Bagley Morning Star
- Lynn Collins TUC
- Bob Crow RMT
- Paul Kenny GMB
- Len McCluskey Unite
- Roger McKenzie UNISON
Chair Bob Oram.
21st Century Marxism
Communist University 2009
The Crisis of Working Class Representation
Trade Union and Political School
February 2009 - Trade unionists from across the country gathered at the Communist Party of Britain’s headquarters in Croydon over the weekend to debate the impact of the current capitalist crisis.
A broad platform of prominent figures in the labour movement addressed the CPB’s Trade Union and Political School event at Ruskin House on Saturday.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow called for maximum support for the new People’s Charter, supporters of which are seeking one million signatures.
He said that the charter gave an opportunity to ‘put forward a powerful alternative which also combats the inroads the right is able to make by exploiting the crisis situation, scapegoating non-white and foreign working-class people.
‘By acting as a class and bringing everyone forward together, the People's Charter will form the basis of a movement leading a progressive way out of the current crisis.’
Speakers also discussed the fight against unemployment and insecure work.
Young Communist League of Britain women’s organiser Joanne Stevenson said that a wide campaign with imaginative and militant efforts to defend and create millions of jobs could inspire a new generation of activists to engage with trade unions.
Left Economics Advisory Panel co-ordinator Andrew Fisher argued that, ‘as the British economy is heavily reliant on consumer spending, higher wages and better workers’ rights are part of the solution.
‘Not only do wages and conditions need to be defended, they also have to be improved further.’
Attendees vowed to step up the fight against the neoliberal agenda and work for broad co-operation on national campaigns for public ownership, in defence of the NHS and Royal Mail and against the new Welfare Bill, which advocates privatisation of services.
The People's Charter
Morning Star rally/LP conference
Latin America 2012 Conference
Over 400 delegates attended a packed Conway Hall for the eighth annual Latin America Conference.
Frances O'Grady, TUC General Secretary designate, welcomed delegates from Latin America to cold austerity Britain. She praised the huge social and economic advances made across the continent and the “spectacular re-election of Hugo Chavez”. She spoke of her pride speaking at the Vigil for the Miami Five outside the US embassy with Che’s daughter Aleida, and noted that Cuba still defies US might and economic power to put its people first.
Journalist Victoria Brittain spoke about Cuba’s role 40 years ago at the heart of African liberation and drew lessons for Latin America now. Describing the hope encapsulated on Cuba’s Island of Youth, meeting African children who had arrived skinny and traumatised but who grew to be confident and positive, she praised Cuba’s enormous support for African liberation, especially the MPLA in Angola. Reflecting on the strategies employed by the US to topple progressive post-colonial regimes - assassinations, funding ‘oppositions’, smear media stories, economic attacks and corrupting elites - she saw hope today for Latin America in the fact that the ruthless undercurrent of the cold war is no longer prevalent and the internet makes us more aware of what is happening globally.
Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary, praised Cuba and all the countries defending their sovereignty and independence in a world dominated by capital. The Bolivarian alternative demonstrates “a world can be built based on need and not greed” he said to cheers from delegates.
Steve Ludlam, Sheffield University, asserted that this is not a change in the system but a change in political culture that is defined by high levels of participation.
Guardian writer Seumas Milne highlighted the democratic nature developments across Latin America. Openings in media, advances for indigenous populations, economic integration and independent foreign policies are all signs of a 21st century socialism in the making.
Jeremy Corbyn MP rounded off a great day by calling on George Osborne to learn lessons from Ecuador, Jeremy Hunt to visit Cuba’s health service and for the government to take advice from Bolivia on climate change and Venezuela on elections.]
Latin America 2011
- Alberto Juantoreno Cuba
- Egle Sanchez Venezuela
- Prof. Ernesto Laclau
- Frances O'Grady TUC
- Dr. Steve Ludlam
- Richard Gott
- Sally Hunt UCU
- Bob Crow RMT
- Ken Livingstone
Cuba/RMT Garden Party
Burton School Strike rally, 2009
Communist University 2006
Among the speakers at the Communist University 2006 at Ruskin House in November 2006 were Labour MP John McDonnell, RMT general secretary Bob Crow, CND chair Kate Hudson, Communist Party USA vice-president Jarvis Tyner, French Communist Party economist Paul Boccara and Palestine Liberation Organization ambassador Dr Noha Khalef.