Friday, 14 March 2014

Farewell Tony Benn

What an awful week for the labour movement. The shocking passing of Bob Crow and now our well-loved comrade, Tony Benn. Tony, in many ways, was the ideal-typical politician of yesteryear. Patient and polite, persistent and principled. He was the embodiment of a rare breed of MP, a man who entered Parliament out of conviction and after a 50 year career in the Commons left it "to spend more time on politics". As such he commanded respect from across the political spectrum and was one of the few political figures who was readily recognisable outside the Westminster bubble long after his retirement.

It's easy to speak in cliches when you write about the passing of - yes - a labour movement and Labour Party legend, so far be it for me to challenge that. Tony Benn enjoyed a long, full life fighting for working people, democracy and socialism. And by far the best way of honouring that memory is doing the same.


Lou said...

Nicely put.

Phil said...

For an alternative take, see Dominic Sandbrook in Saturday's Mail. He thought Benn was our very own Kim Il Sung in-waiting,

Gary Elsby said...

I couldn't agree more.
I met him a number of times and stood on the stage by his side at the Miner's rally in London during the strike.

That day was phenomenal.

When the left on its knees (?) needed someone up there doing the speaking and fighting for us on our side as they fought us on their side, Tony did the honours.

There are a few on the left hand side of politics busily doing today's rounds claiming that Tony was the one who kept Labour out of office during the 80's.
They aren't worthy of tying his shoelaces.
(although that is a claim worth investigating).
I believe they miss the entire point of left vs right and eventual Blairism which succeeded in being successful, depending on your point of ruin.

Tony knew he had a friend in Stoke-on-Trent regardless of the shite we have weeping into their hankies.

Robert said...

Letter in today's Times

"If Labour had won the 1979 Election, Benn was to have been the minister responsible for putting the North Sea oil revenue into a sovereign wealth fund. By that means Norway has acquired the highest per capita income in the world.

That could have been Britain. Benn's Britain."