12 links on Bob Crow, and how to get the look

1: Houses have got stupid expensive. You may have noticed

Here’s a great chart from James Plunkett of the Resolution Foundation, making the point that it will take you your life to save for a deposit. Note that the curve takes off like a homesick angel in the mid-90s, when prices start back up again, but also, when wages…didn’t, much.

2: What if we counted them in wages, not prices?

If you want to measure prices a few years ago in today’s money, you usually scale up or down by the inflation rate in the meantime. This assumes that wages keep up with inflation. A big part of the problem is that although general inflation hasn’t been very bad, wages suck, so housing has got much more expensive in terms of hours of work. And, y’know, the CPI and RPI-X inflation measures don’t count housing costs. Because reasons.

Fortunately someone else did the sum. Shelter.

Shelter analysed house prices and earnings across England for the period between 1997 and 2012 and found that while the average price of a home had increased more than threefold, from £75,762 to £253,816, average wages had gone up by much less, from £16,500 to £25,932.

Had earnings risen at the same rate as house prices, the average salary would have been £55,296, or £29,000 more than it was.

Or to put it another way, you’ve sucked up a £29k pay cut in terms of house. NICE decade, indeed.

3: And who did this to us? The rich.

3: Meet the one guy who knew what the hell was going on


Here’s the late Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, wearing the shit out of a Fred Perry. We’ll get to that later.

4: RMT members just…didn’t have to go through with that

It’s like he had some sort of “plan” or “strategy”. Let’s call it a plategy? Or a splan?

5: One of the ways he did this was by dressing *sharp*


Note the panels of different cloths, leather, and tweed on the hat. Also, the jacket, and the knows-just-where-the-camera-is projection. Here’s the whole outfit:


6: I mean it.


Contrast with the backdrop. And another polo. The message: Look where I am. I have every right to be here.

7: I really mean it.


Again, the combination of the backdrop – the books – with Crow and what was obviously a favourite. Look where I am; I have every right to be here.

8: No, I really mean it


Prince of Wales check.

9: He’s not taking RT seriously…


Is he now. Same jacket, deployed less formally.

10. A more haute touch


Kitsuné does a very similar jacket to this one.

11. Why Boris Johnson fails

What we’ve seen in the last 10 items is a story about successful political resistance articulated through the visual language of being a serious Millwall fan. It’s a cliché that the genuinely posh and the working class understand each other in a way the squeaky-bum exam passers never will. Although Boris Johnson managed to be in this photo:


he never even tried to play a theme that has resonated in Britain since the times when Winston Churchill stood on a double-ticket with a Socialist candidate in Rochdale. Clown.

12: Bob Crow scared all the right people

Yes, you, clown, the person who takes the tube every day but can’t get on a bus without delaying everyone around you, as RMT industrial action amply demonstrated. Yes, you, Johnson. Yes, you, Tony. And indeed you, Gordon – Bob Crow eventually won the Tube PFI war, although it took years.

Of course, he had advantages, having his foot on London’s neck. But everyone thought that was true of Arthur Scargill.

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