Reid was the champion orator, galvanising meetings with mesmerising, almost biblical, conviction. Tommy Sheridan has, generously, acknowledged Reid's influence on him.
It's interesting to see the plaudits from the mainstream media, always suspicious, even as belated testament.
The reason, no doubt, was Reid's later 'softening' and turn towards the Labourite fold, coinciding with his reflective rejection of Soviet communism, his criticism of the Militant Labour 'entryists' and, more specifically, Arthur Scargill's handling of the 1984/85 miners strike.
There's no real point trying to paper over Reid's attack on Scargill at the critical height of the strike. There may have been valid arguments over aspects of the NUM's strategy, though, not, in my opinion, the decision to avoid a divisive, establishment-rigged ballot.
The key issue was unity, something Thatcher and the British state - through the infamous Ridley Plan - had done everything in its collective power to destroy. As Seumas Milne has charted, every underhand trick in the book was deployed to break not just the NUM but the entire trade union movement. It was nothing less than a showdown class battle.
Reid's incautious interjections denouncing Scargill as a "kamikaze" leader only served Thatcher's agenda, pulling vital public and union support away from the strike.
And that, alas, will always be a sad stain on Reid's political character.
Later, there was also some soul-searching and rationalising from Reid about whether to write for the mainstream media, most notably the Sun.
Yet, for all that, there remains Reid's more humanist legacy: a passionate belief in the possibility of a better society; a society where human beings are not trampled underfoot by the permissive demands of capitalism.
Beyond even his famous "no bevvying" speech outside the UCS yard, Reid's rectorial address at Glasgow University denouncing the insane capitalist "rat race" should be made part of the educational curriculum.
Why, we needn't wonder, is such vital political history and denunciation of capitalist society only noted on these passing occasions?
Reid's university speech on the theme of alienation included this ever-relevant reminder of how we're encouraged to value competition and selfish gain, to the detriment of others:
"Society and its prevailing sense of values leads to another form of alienation. It alienates some from humanity. It partially dehumanises some people, makes them insensitive, ruthless in their handling of fellow human beings, self-centred and grasping. The irony is, they are often considered normal and well adjusted. It is my sincere contention that anyone who can be totally adjusted to our society is in greater need of psychiatric analysis and treatment than anyone else."RIP Jimmy Reid.