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140311crowIs anyone else just a little uneasy about the sudden death of RMT Union leader Bob Crow?

He died early this morning (Tuesday, March 11), according to the union, at the age of 52. Apparently he had suffered an aneurysm and heart attack, and passed away at Whipps Cross University Hospital.

Only yesterday, he had been widely reported as having spoken out in support of the controversial plan for an 11 per cent pay rise for MPs.

He said they should be “paid adequately” so they could have “decent accommodation”, and to ensure that those who are not independently wealth are not deterred from public service, according to the BBC.

Mr Crow was rumoured to earn £145,000 himself, against which the MP pay rise to £74,000 seems meagre. He has been criticised by the Conservative Party for continuing to live in council accommodation instead of buying his own house and, taken in this context, his words yesterday take on extra meaning.

Was he commenting on the way MPs who have been exposed after committing financial irregularites have continually excused themselves by saying they needed the money? Our Parliamentary representatives have been in the news almost constantly since 2009, accused of expenses fraud, or discrepancies to do with their second homes. Even part-time Chancellor George Osborne had a flutter – using taxpayers’ money to make £1 million on a house and land in his constituency, that he claimed he was using for professional purposes (this claim has never been substantiated).

He was definitely saying that people with pupblic service responsibilities need the wherewithal to carry out those duties without exposing themselves to financial hardship – and it would be hard for MPs to criticise his own living arrangements after he had spoken up for theirs.

Also, it is entirely possible that he was looking ahead to a post-2015 Parliament with far fewer Conservative MPs. In this context, it would be a (rare) unselfish act for the current ruling parties in Parliament to approve a pay rise for their opponents!

Now he is dead, and perhaps there is nothing suspicious about it.


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