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Sunday 10 July 2016

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From the archives but so relevant: Bob Crow at the Durham Miners Gala

The organisers of last weekend's Durham Miners' Gala made headlines by withdrawing platform invitations for the annual 'big meeting' to all Labour MPs who have joined the coup against Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. Jeremy himself spoke to great applause to one of the largest trade union gatherings in Europe, organised by the Durham Miners' Association.

Three years ago the late Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT and a co-founder of TUSC, gave a rousing speech at the Gala (see video below), calling for "an alternative party of Labour" after the then Labour leader Ed Miliband had launched a new attack on trade union influence within the party.

In his speech Bob refers to "good friends in the Labour Party like John McDonnell", now the shadow chancellor, and of course Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour leader changed the political situation compared to when Bob was speaking in 2013. But now a coup is underway to unseat Jeremy, showing that the distinction Bob made between those who fight for socialism within the Labour Party and those who defend capitalism and its policies - and the choice that places before the trade unions - is more pertinent than ever.

And listen out for his comments on the European Union too - there is no UKIP-style 'little Englander' opposition to the EU bosses' club here! The speech may be from the archives but it is still so relevant to events today.