Sunday, April 06, 2008

RIP Greg Tucker

It was with shock and sadness that I heard about the death of Greg Tucker socialist and RMT militant at an unspeakably early age due to throat cancer.

Greg was a very impressive and serious individual. When I first met him he was in the process of fighting against victimisation by his employers (a fight which he eventually won). He also had the privilege of being red baited by the Evening Standard with pieces like this one attacking his union activities. It's not often that rank and file trade unionists become front page news and Greg was more deserving than most of the hatred of the employers.

He stood against Jimmy Knapp for the General Secretary post (in 99) as a clear and unequivocal socialist and won around a third of the votes (8776 votes to the 4535). I'm of the opinion that this helped pave the way for Bob Crow, with Greg's assistance, wresting the union away from the right and helping the union get onto a stronger footing.

It was frustrating for me on those rare occasions when we had political disagreements because not only was he impeccably polite and political in those disagreements it also became a barrier to getting to know him better when we went separate ways organisationally. It's this excessive reasonableness that made any attack or sectarianism against him seem wholly unjust.

It's my impression that many socialists that have worked with Greg over the years have a great affection for him, no matter what grouping or tradition they might come from. He is a great loss both to the left and to those who knew him personally.

Janine has also put up an obit over at Stroppy blog
plus Bristol RMT's tribute

1 comment:

Mikey said...

I liked Greg Tucker. He recruited me to the IMG/SL in either 1982 or 1983 I am not sure that I recall which year.

He was one of the left's all round good guys.

I was in the same group as Greg from 1982/3 to 1991 when I left the USec.

It is indeed a sad day.