The myriad of articles in the papers today, which report the death of former union boss Jack Jones, seem to have built him up into an almost God-like figure. For those of a younger age, he was leader of the Transport & General Workers' Union from 1969 to 1978 and later became a spokesman for the elderly (a role in which he was very effective).
I hold a very different view of Jack Jones. He was part of a group of union leaders in the 1970s who exercised their power in truly disgusting manner, calling strikes on a whim (and without a proper ballot) and intimidating those who didn't agree with them. It was Jack Jones and his ilk who brought Britain to its knees and rendered much of our manufacturing sector totally uncompetitive. Because of people like him that Britain became known as the sick man of Europe.
It was Jack Jones who signed the Aldington-Jones agreement in 1971 which guaranteed dockers a job for life and enshrined restrictive practices into law, thereby blighting ports like London and Liverpool for nearly two decades.
No, Jack Jones was not a hero. But I guess we do owe him a debt of gratitude. For it was the behaviour of people like him who made Margaret Thatcher's election inevitable.