BBC turns down Bob Crow tribute poem

Last Updated: March 14, 2014By Tags: ,


Apparently Auntie had a problem with “balance”, as explained in the preamble to this poem, by ‘Attila Stockbroker’, on Facebook last night.

“Radio 4 asked me to write a poem in honour of Bob Crow for their obit programme, so I did. I could sense the dilemma in the producer’s voice: he liked the poem, but I knew he was worried, I knew they wouldn’t run it, and they’re not. It’s not the first time that has happened to me

“Funny how ‘balance’ is always a problem for the BBC, but not the Tory press. Democracy, eh?

“If you like it, share it! Let see if we can get it to reach more people than if it was on Radio 4!”


There was a man who held his ground.
Fought every inch, and won the day.
His legacy, his members’ lot:
Good work conditions, decent pay.
By Tories and their tabloid dupes
And those who seek more than their share
Just like Millwall, his favourite team,
He wasn’t liked, and didn’t care.

But those who worked in transport knew
Their leader stood right by their side.
No management could lay them low:
They wore their union badge with pride.
He spoke for passengers as well:
Safety, not profit, always first.
Opposing fatal funding cuts –
Paddington, Potters Bar the worst.

Bob Crow. A boxer’s grandson, he:
Led with the left and packed a punch.
The bosses knew he’d take them on:
No smarmy smile, no cosy lunch.
We need more like him, that’s for sure:
Upfront and honest to the last.
He bargained hard and kept his word.
A union leader unsurpassed.

As zero hours contracts grow
And bosses offer Hobson’s choice
Let us not mourn, but organize:
Get off our knees and find our voice!
This man worked hard for workers’ rights:
A fair wage, a safe, steady job.
So join a union and stand firm.
That’s the best way to honour Bob.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. Barry Davies March 14, 2014 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Excellent Mike.

  2. And I'll Remember March 14, 2014 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on andillremember.

  3. pippakin March 14, 2014 at 11:59 am - Reply
  4. beastrabban March 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog.

  5. Guy Ropes March 14, 2014 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    As a prospective voter I would like to find any politician who would fight their corner for those who elected them. No one in Parliament is able to do that as they are beholden to their party whip (they are not inclined to either). Bob Crow was the closest I’ve seen to that ideal. He was the template for an excellent Parliamentarian – a true role model.

  6. Atos Miracles March 15, 2014 at 3:46 am - Reply

    I would love to share but it’s an AWFUL poem! Can’t we have a halfway decent one in memory and tribute?

    • Mike Sivier March 15, 2014 at 8:55 am - Reply

      I thought it was good!
      (But then, I haven’t really been good with poetry since I had my affinity for it knocked out of me by an unsympathetic teacher, back when I was 12 or thereabouts.)

    • Pete Jordan (@perlmonger) March 15, 2014 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      It’s of a piece with its author; it helps to hear Attila reciting it in your head :)

  7. pelj March 16, 2014 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    Seems to me that the BBC shouldn’t have asked Attila the Stockbroker to write a poem if they didn’t then use it. They must know that his writing would hardly be in line with the status quo. Let us hope that he was paid.

  8. [email protected] March 18, 2014 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    Cheers Mike. Atos Miracles, what constitutes ‘good’ poetry then? Maybe give us an example? (I thought you were a Tory troll, but you appear to be real and just don’t like me. Fair enough :)

  9. Walton Andrew April 15, 2014 at 9:34 am - Reply

    “The revolution will not be televised” – and it won’t be on Radio 4 either by the looks of things. Great poem Attila!

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