It can sometimes stick in the throat to hear these politicians eulogising about "honour" when they seem so short of it themselves... Nick Clegg praised Tony Benn for being a "fervent defender of what he believed in", seemingly forgetting his own paltry commitment to defend students from a hike in tuition fees.
Do you want my alternative take on the reaction to Bob Crow's death; David Cameron's visit to Israel and meeting with Tony Blair; and the explosive allegations against Ukip leader Nigel Farage? Here's the political week in 60 seconds.
Bob Crow was the greatest trade union leader of his generation and his death came as a devastating shock to me and millions of trade unionists. I would like to send my union's heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. I can't imagine how they are feeling and I hope the media respect their request for privacy... Bob once asked why it should be just the bankers, the politicians and the idle rich who enjoyed the finer things in life. While some try to beat us by sowing the seeds of envy, Bob offered hope that a better world is possible.
Whether people like or loathe Bob Crow, his contribution to the industrial and political demographic cannot be diminished by partisan bias. Keep that contribution alive. Join a union. Fight for your rights as a worker deserving of respect and equity. Push for the alternative.
"Who will replace him?" These were the words that a colleague in education spoke when he heard about the sudden death of Bob Crow. Not an administrative enquiry, a question concerning who will put their name plate on his office, and who will take his place at meetings - no, this was in deeper meter, resonating with the feeling that "they don't make them like him any more".
There is much talk today that so-called "unspun" political figures - Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage - are the only ones to win significant personal popularity. But the apparent spontaneity and geniality of these two politicians is in fact carefully considered, and rehearsed. It is only skin deep. What Bob Crow displayed was that other, elusive quality of authenticity. What you saw was what you got.
Am I saying that the wealthy residents of the Thames Valley are deserving of the devastation that floods bring? Of course not. They are enduring a harrowing ordeal, and are firmly in my thoughts. Am I saying that the poor in those areas are more deserving of flood relief? Not at all.
Amid the boilerplate Tory bluster about militant trade unionists holding the public to ransom with unreasonable demands and threats to withdraw their labour comes a new and sinister campaign, led by the mayor himself, demanding the government legislate for a 50% turnout threshold for industrial action ballots... The most dangerous consequence of any new law on ballot thresholds would be for democracy itself.
Last I checked, the best and most successful strikes in history have been those that have caused disruption. RMT will not have voted to strike, with the aim of making commuters' lives more convenient. Explicitly, the strike has done exactly what it set out to do.
If the calculations show that a job is obsolete, let's do something about it. Yes we need jobs. We need people doing work that is relevant, useful and advantageous to the economy. But not just any jobs, not jobs for the sake of having jobs, or because Bob Crow, with his ideological blinkers and fat pay check says so. We need real jobs, not artificial ones.
One may disagree with the tube strike, but that isn't an argument against Unions. But banning strikes or condemning strikers is suppressing legitimate democratic expression. And that's much worse than making the train late.
My union has campaigned relentlessly for investment in London Underground, to upgrade and expand services, to replace the archaic fleet and infrastructure with the best available and to tackle backlogs of maintenance and renewals. Londoners deserve that. What we will not accept is a scandalous attempt to dress up savage, austerity-led cuts under the cloak of "modernisation". There is nothing modern about reducing the tube to a hollowed-out shell where a skeleton staff is stretched to breaking point.
Thank you comrade Crow for dragging us back to the 1970s and 80s. This morning as commuters fought tooth and nail to get on packed buses or some of the few trains that were actually running, I think many Londoners and visitors to the City genuinely hate Bob Crow for the massive disruption he has caused.
Time was in Primary School, students' pictures of February would be represented by snowdrops and whatnot. But that's unlikely to happen nowadays, as 1) Michael Gove would replace art with testing the shit out of everything if he had half a chance and 2) early Spring vistas more closely resembles a busy Saturday car park in Atlantis.
The type of politics that has been practised over the last four years is that of the smoke-and-mirrors variety; divert the public's attention to one over-inflated issue/persona while deflecting from what the core truth of the matter actually is...
There's a sad shift to not supporting any of our workers, in London. When teachers, lecturers and other key members of our society when they go on strike. It's like we think that people deserve bad pay, to lose their job, insanely long hours and little respect. And that's a disgrace.