A Tough Week for the Far Left!

Posted on March 16, 2014

It has been a tough week for the Far Left of the political spectrum these week, with the premature demise of Bob Crowe and the natural passing of Tony Benn, one of the great political heavyweights of Britain in the 20th century and a fantastic writer, orator and campaigner in the 21st century, right up until his passing.

It’s quite remarkable that Crowe, a working class Millwall fan from South East London and Benn, a privileged hereditary blue blood, would carry the same ideology of how the human race should be treated, but it is also proof that class needn’t be a barrier when fighting for a common cause.

A friend of mine (Richard) a former active socialist said to me a while back that, in his opinion, Bob Crowe was nothing but a common thug. This theory was reflected in the media with pictures showing Crowe at his snarling worst, on a beach in Brazil or drinking outside a London wine bar.

Crowe was also viciously targeted for choosing to stay in a council house rather than jump on to the mortgage ladder, thus denying someone more needy. It is an understandable assessment, but what was he supposed to do, buy a house in Chipping Norton and go horse riding with David Cameron and Rebekah Brooks?

I am ashamed to admit, I also thought Bob Crowe was a bit of a yob until I read an interview in The Independent a few months ago that showed him as an uncompromising figure with an immense, self taught,political brain that many people would not dare to believe or even want to comprehend; that’s why the right wing media tried to destroy him.

Imagine yourself as a media target, and imagine what they could do to you to demonise and assassinate your character; it’s not difficult to destroy someone via the media, as we have found out in the ongoing inquiries into press legislation.


Crowe: Major Target of the Right Wing Media Groups

Ideologies such as Communism, Socialism and Marxism have been demonised British media, so much so, that anyone who dares to extol any of their virtues is immediately crushed into oblivion and targeted mercilessly by mega wealthy media tycoons like the Murdoch’s (News International) the Rothermere’s (The Mail Group) and the Barclay’s (The Telegraph).

Trade Unions also get lambasted wherever you look, particularly the RMT who caused great inconvenience to thousands (including me) with the tube strikes. However, Bob Crowe was just doing his job (and getting well paid for it) and doing it bloody well.

It is easy for any of us scream at Unions and many of them have had poor leaders who fail to represent their members and have been a  pain in the arse to the average man in the street; however without them (the Union’s) none of the following would exist:

Two-day weekends

Eight-hour working days

Maternity leave

Retirement ages

Occupational health and safety

Workplace pensions

Paid holidays

Funnily enough, none of these apply to me but that is because I chose to go self-employed but they are statutory right of workers in big organisations because of the Unions; if some people had their way and Unions were non-existent we would be still sending kids to work at the age four and slinging their parents into work houses.

Without the Unions there would have been no Labour Party either, I don’t mean the modern New Conservative mob under Tony Blair, I mean the Labour Party that introduced the NHS on a tidal wave of popularity after the Second World War. It is conveniently not mentioned in the history books that our great leader, Churchill, was among many Conservatives who didn’t want such a luxury bestowed on the undeserving masses.

Without the NHS, I would have probably died of bronchitis in the Christmas 1967 and many of you reading this would probably not be around now either. Either that or you may have suffered the trauma of the death at birth of one of your children, something that was as common as the London smog just after the war.

Although Bob Crowe and Tony Benn came from opposite ends of the wealth spectrum, their cause was the same and that was to fight for the rights of the common man, something that somehow, we have been convinced is not the done thing in a world of aggressive boom and bust capitalism.

What I really hated this week were the tributes that came in for Tony Benn from the Conservatives who despised him. They were laced enough spin to make the listener think that all Tony Benn was, was a loveable buffoon, detached from reality, with a brain that was full of fanciful ideologies that were only worthy of raucous lampooning.

Tony Benn was better than that, much better.

Without fighters like Benn and Crowe, the wealth distribution in this country would become dangerously extreme, so whatever you political persuasion it is worth remembering that, unless of course you are a millionaire with an account in the Cayman Islands.

When I went to London the other day, within a minute or two, I left a half built penthouse flat marketed at £10-15 million. I followed this by almost tripping over a young woman who was comatose in a sleeping bag; God knows what had happened in her life to get to that point?

It then dawned on me that I was a Hell of a lot closer to being like her than I was to the individual buying that penthouse.

I see it that 99% of us are working class; a £75 k per annum job at an IT firm, a house in suburbs and a copy of the Daily Mail means fuck all when an American giant asset strips your company, steals your pension and chucks you out on the street via constructive dismissal. I know personally, two people who are having that done to them as I write this blog.

That’s what happens when workers have no rights, it is an American thing, so whilst we enjoy the benefits of Capitalism, it is worth thinking about the benefits that Socialism gave to the masses and the rights that activists dedicate their lives fighting for.

Tony Benn and Bob Crowe spent their lives being ridiculed by the right wing press for doing one thing, and that was fighting in the corner for people who could not afford to defend themselves; they annoyed people enough to shake them from their apathy and for that alone they deserve respect.

One thing is for certain, the Murdoch’s and The Rothermere’s wont be there for any of us in hard times; they will be busy in Monaco spending the money they have stolen from the tax man….Legally of course.




2 Replies to "A Tough Week for the Far Left!"

  • Dave Perkins
    March 17, 2014 (4:34 pm)

    I think you need to research your facts. I would point out that one of Tony Benn’s greatest adversaries, who openly said that he despised him was Denis Healey; only in later life did they become friends. Many of Tony’s right-wing opponents admired and respected him as a statesman and politician; they didn’t necessarily agree with him.

    I met Bob Crowe as a member of a joint working party on engineering apprenticeships; unfortunately, he was, in my view, an ignorant bigoted man who would not countenance any view other than his own, which was often based on trite left-wing propaganda. Bob enjoyed his aggressive profile and saw himself as the last great union man; unfortunately, he failed to appreciate that jaw-jaw is always better than war-war. While he may have got the employees of Transport for London substantial pay rises, he did virtually nothing for seamen (The M in RMT).

    Finally Constructive Dismissal is when you feel you have no option but to resign from your employment; unfair dismissal is when you are “chucked out on the street”.

    • Stewart Withey
      March 19, 2014 (9:17 pm)

      Neville Chamberlain didn’t make much headway with jaw jaw and couldn’t really complain when he was dismissed constructive or otherwise.
      I don’t claim to know what Bob Crow achieved or did not achieve for his maritime membership but I do know he managed to keep the living standards of his rail workers afloat.

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