Bob Crow, who leads the RMT union, representing vast swathes of Underground and National Rail workers, popped up as a guest on this afternoon’s Ken Livingstone programme on LBC 97.3.

He actually came across as rather more reasonable than he usually does, although I suppose that is a bit of a (deservedly) backhanded compliment.

He was asked about Boris’s proposed no-strike deal, and once again made it perfectly clear that the RMT would never sign up to any such voluntary agreement. (He said that actually they are operating a voluntary no-strike agreement – on every day when they’re not striking! Knowing the RMT as Londoners do, perhaps we might agree that’s a pretty good description of their attitude… :) )

He called striking a “human right” and it was abundantly clear (as it always has been – even the Standard agreed!) that Boris would never get a no-strike agreement through on his watch.

An interesting moment came when Ken played Bob a clip of Boris answering a question at some point recently about the deal, and saying that discussions were under way, but no-one had ever suggested he would be able to “expedite quickly” (nice bit of tautology from the supposed master of the language) a deal.

Bob responded that “he must have been speaking to all the other unions then”, because he hadn’t been speaking to the RMT. Indeed, pressed further, he said he hadn’t heard from the new Mayor at all yet, two months into his Mayoralty. No wonder he won’t be expediting anything quickly. Or was this not one of his umpteen “number one priorities” to be undertaken in “act one, scene one, day one”? Easy to lose track.

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