He started by ordering an audit of the union’s properties. Discovering that Prescott was just about to purchase his subsidised union flat under “Right to Buy”, Crow vetoed the deal, saying the deputy prime minister could afford the market price.

Prescott and Scargill, eh?

21 thoughts on “This is fun”

  1. How did “right to buy” apply to a union-owned flat? It only applied to public-sector landlord housing? Was the union a Housing Association under the Housing Act 1974? Does the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 play some part?

    If it did apply (and it may well have done), how did the owner’s head honcho get the power to veto it?

    Is this a whole load of bollocks? Not, obviously, Two-Jags demanding a discount. That passes the sniff test without difficulty.

  2. Bob crow was elected and paid to represent his members; not the London commuting public and certainly not John Prescott. He was alright in my book.

  3. Ironman, I agree. Plus it was the public monopoly on the Tube that gave Crow his clout.

    And I’m not sure that the Two Jags/Scargill behaviour is different from Rand claiming benefits. Her reply to the charge of hypocrisy was that it was her duty to denude the public treasury. It seems to me that T-J and Scargill could make a sort of equal and opposite claim.

  4. Given her philosophy it would have been hypocritical of Ayn Rand to leave money she was entitled to (and had been taxed to pay for many times over) in the hands of Uncle Sam.

    I have nothing to say about Bob Crow except that I wish the inconsiderate bastard hadn’t popped his clogs at such a young age.

  5. Did you also spot:
    “He opposed the EU and the monarchy (wanting Tony Benn for president as a “true representative of working people”), and believed in the death penalty.”

    That would be the former 2nd Viscount Stansgate, as a “true representative of working people”!?

  6. “How did “right to buy” apply to a union-owned flat? It only applied to public-sector landlord housing? (etc)”
    Allocation of public sector housing is criminally bent.
    You have people in control of billions of pounds worth of highly desirable assets, largely accountable only to themselves.
    What do you expect it to be?

  7. Crow could afford the market rates for rent or purchase too, but instead continued to occupy a subsidised public property while those in more need waited.

    There’s more than one hypocrite here.

  8. The obit in the Tel reveals that Crow appointed his wife head of the union’s Credit Union. And as everyone knows he lived in a house subsidised by the taxpayers, including taxpayers a good deal poorer than him.

  9. I don’t think Crowe had a ‘Right to Buy’ on the Clapham flat, although he was on an old protected tennacy
    From this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/movinghouse/3316119/Hes-the-Deputy-Prime-Minister-get-him-out-of-here.-.-..html
    “Unlike most tenants in London these days, Mr Prescott has the advantage of an old-style, “protected” tenancy which gives him the right to remain in the property for as long as he keeps his furniture at the address – although the landlord does have the right in certain circumstances to move the tenant to alternative accommodation.
    Mr Prescott also benefits from a highly subsidised rent of £220 a month, which can only be increased with the agreement of the local authority rent officer. The market rent, according to local estate agents, would be close to £1,600 a month.”

  10. The Obit also included a picture of the house; nice enough but we’re not talking palace here. No, he wasn’t a PCS exec living out in the Surrey stockbroker belt, or a lefty songwriter living in a fine modern country house near to Lyme Regis or even a loony blogger who pontificates on everyone else’s choices whilst telling you that his own choice of rural Norfolk idyll is nobody’s business except his and his wife’s.

    Yes, the wife as head of the credit union is interesting, but there were far, far bigger hypocrites around than Bob Crow.

  11. @Rob

    Why was he a hypocrite? At what point did he say that people shouldn’t live in council houses? He’d have been way better off if he’d taken his right to buy.. but he didn’t. Seems to me that he was someone who believed in council housing, believed it should be available for all, and that it was good enough for all, and he backed that up with his actions. Fair play, surely?

    And who was missing out on somewhere to live because of him living in one? If he moved out then would a new house have magically appeared somewhere else? Or would we still have had the same number of people and the same number of houses.. we’d just have moved one person from council to privately owned, and someone else from (presumably) a private rental to a council house. Woo-wee!

  12. TTG: so you see no merit in the notion that housing subsidies should go to the poor rather than the rich?

    “Yes, the wife as head of the credit union is interesting, but there were far, far bigger hypocrites around than Bob Crow.” The twentieth century saw two far, far bigger mass-murderers than Hitler. Would you excuse him for that reason?

  13. On “right to buy”, the Indy obit had him chucking Prescott out of the flat for failing to renationalise the railways.

  14. “The twentieth century saw two far, far bigger mass-murderers than Hitler. Would you excuse him for that reason?”

    No. But if all Hitler ever did was get Eva Braun a job at a Bavarian credit union then I would, yes.

  15. Ironman: so you reject your own logic, and yet adopt it again. What have you got against Credit Unions, or members thereof?

  16. @ dearieme

    I see plenty of merit in that notion.. but it’s what Bob Crow thought that matters. If, say, he thought that council housing should be available for all (rich or poor) then he would not be a hypocrite by availing himself of it. If he thought that his living in it and paying his rent to the council (and not taking his right-to-buy windfall) set the right example and gave his opinion that credibility not afforded to those who lecture on social justice from their Tuscan villas, then one can argue that the good that came from his decision far outweighed the ‘bad’ of one single poorer family staying on the waiting list.

    I figure that I can either call Polly Toynbee a hypocrite, or I can call Bob Crow one. But, on this issue, not both.

  17. Oh.. and doesn’t the Telegraph obit mention that nobody else applied for the credit union job? Isn’t that a point worth flagging up if he’s being attacked for it? Does anyone know if she was qualified? Did she do a good job? Was she paid market rate?

    I don’t especially have a desire to stick up for Bob Crow, but he does seem to attract a lot of the ‘soundbites first, facts later’ hatchet jobs that are really starting to bore me.

  18. My point is simply that getting your wife a job in your credit union, whilst it doesn’t sound strictly kosher, probably isn’t the most corrupt thing you could get up to.

    Getting your mistress a job as your “personal secretary” isn’t exactly kosher either, but, looking at her photo, I would!

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