The announcement of the death of Bob Crow on Tuesday this week came as a complete shock. A man of very strong principles - and I may not have agreed with all of them! - but someone who looked after his union members, stood up for justice for so many other causes such as Football against Racism. I remember listening to Boris Johnson blustering and puffing on a radio station before the last scheduled train strike when Bob Crow 'phoned in because that was the only way that he could get Boris to talk to him. Pure Genius. He will be sadly missed and the photograph below of the tribute to him by his members at Convent Garden Tube station says it all:
Tony Benn's death was not so unexpected but still very sad for those who had loved and maybe also known him for so many years. I was furious when I found out some years ago that he used to visit my father's house when I was a child tucked up in bed! - but made up for it by meeting him later in life. There are many wonderful obits out there so I will just say that when I awoke to the very sad news of the passing of Tony yesterday I realised that we had all lost a true Socialist, a Gentleman in all senses of the word.
The last time we saw him was at Kings Place theatre in March 2013 where he was due to appear in his 'Writing on the Wall' show which he shared with Roy Bailey. Unfortunately at the last minute Tony had to cancel due to his poor health and Roy carried on on his own. Just toward the end of the evening, Roy was called off stage and returned with a very frail Tony who had not wanted to let his audience down. Roy was crying and Tony got a standing ovation. He looked so frail but when he spoke his voice and words had all his usual strength and conviction. So many of us had tears streaming down our faces that night.
Thank you Tony for so many things - you will be sadly missed but you have left us all with great memories and many good quotes.
Tony & I at a peace rally in Trafalgar Square.
I had just given him a great smacking kiss
and he laughed and said 'That was very nice'!