Bob Crow grew up on a council estate in the East End of London: his father was a docker and his mother was a cleaner. He left school at 16 without any qualifications with dreams of becoming a professional footballer, and when this failed he got a job working for the London Underground.
He came from a political background: his father was part of that radical tradition of dockers who were communists, read the Morning Star, and active in their Union. Like my father who worked in the building trade, they were highly politicised workers who knew what side they were on and, as Bob says “When we used to come home at 6 o’clock at night, the news was always on and old man had an opinion about everything. All the big industries were unionised. All my mates’ dads’ families were in unions. It was just a fact…
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