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l'angelo mysterioso

TONY BENN

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talking to Jeremy Vine on radio 2 right now.

sounding very frail and mindful of the end of his life approaching

but still as sharp as a tack and still as radical

 

an inspiration to me throughout my life.

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He may be as sharp as a tack still but he's been left long behind in his political idealism on many areas and is firmly stuck in the early 1980s in much of his thinking.  Far too many inappropriate ideas for the 21st century.

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I heard that. Quite moving and I have respect for such a fine old gent.

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preferred him when he used to pop into the fancy dress shop and have adventures.

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A great man but unfortunately he has been relegated to the position of the dotty old uncle who you may love but consider to be bonkers for his belief in aliens. An example of how you can be very well informed, a thoroughly decent bloke but still wrong about almost everything.

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He certainly stood by his principles in renouncing his hereditary peerage and driving the change in the law.    Blessed with the finances to support himself as he opposed virtually everything, he was able to benefit from the confidence and eloquence drummed into him at his private school. 

 

He certainly was able to represent his Labour left views more clearly and incisively than his less privileged like minded colleagues, and to this day  is worth listening to, at least as a reminder of what not to do.

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He certainly stood by his principles in renouncing his hereditary peerage and driving the change in the law.    Blessed with the finances to support himself as he opposed virtually everything, he was able to benefit from the confidence and eloquence drummed into him at his private school. 

 

He certainly was able to represent his Labour left views more clearly and incisively than his less privileged like minded colleagues, and to this day  is worth listening to, at least as a reminder of what not to do.

Whereas every Tory MP has come from a council estate? :rolleyes:

 

So what if he had a good start in life, IMO it makes him a better person for thinking that not everyone else has such luck.

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Exactly what I am saying. the fact that he was able to start at the top rather than at the bottom gave him the opportunity to shine..   He was able also to extend this to son Hilary  for quite a while, too, whilst his academically bright granddaughter was forced to rely on a selective grammar school education.

 

Of course, Wedgie is undoubtedly passionate about his political beliefs and is eloquent in his expression of them...more so in fact than his modern-day counterparts. We should not hold his background against him.

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Whereas every Tory MP has come from a council estate? :rolleyes:

 

So what if he had a good start in life, IMO it makes him a better person for thinking that not everyone else has such luck.

 

He also married a millionaire.

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He also married a millionaire.

and?

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Yet another privately educated ex Oxbridge politician. Wheeled out by the likes of Owen Jones at every available opportunity like he's some sort of oracle.

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Yet another privately educated ex Oxbridge politician. Wheeled out by the likes of Owen Jones at every available opportunity like he's some sort of oracle.

he didn't choose to be privately educated

personally I prefer to judge people on their personal qualities rather than how rich or poor  they are, their social class, which school they went to or whether they went to university(Oxbridge or otherwise)

I've admired Tony Benn since I was about 12. There are things he's done and said-his advocacy of Concorde for instance-especially with it being built in his own constituency that I havent gone along with, but on balance over the last half decade he gets my admiration and respect

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Tony Benn was rich enough  and eloquent enough to set himself up as the leader of the Cult of Tony. He seduced union leaders and their members in droves and got enough votes at the Labour Party Conference  to ensure recurrent appointment as a government minister or shadow government minister. However, his 'socialist' principles didn't lead him to accept corporate responsibility and the leadership never trusted him. It's hard to recall one significant achievement that is directly attributable to his being in charge of a government ministry.

 

The only time that he was ever effective was as a voice of opposition to Thatcher, when Fot was completely useless as Labour leader. In fact Foot was arguably only elected as leader to placate the warring Benn and Healey factions.

 

http://www.richardheller.co.uk/2011/09/journalism/yp-30-years-ago-denis-healey-saved-the-labour-party-for-tony-blair/

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4132603.stm

 

 

http://quartetbooks.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/tony-benn-the-great-survivor/

In the volume 1980-1990 Neil Kinnock is vilified again and again as someone shallow, ambitious and a traitor to the left of the Party. Wouldn’t you allow that there is a good chance that history will come to judge him as the man who reformed the Party for its own good, something which had to be done to avert disaster? 

I don’t know how many times you have to be defeated to prove you’re unelectable. To be candid, nobody believed a word that was said. Election policies were made on the hoof, but I’ve blamed Neil for this; I’ve only commented on his contribution. The people who accepted Neil were the National Executive, the Shadow Cabinet, the Parliamentary Party and what interested me about the recent conferences of the Party was that the delegates were cheering because they thought Neil was going to win, and the media people were cheering because they knew he was killing Socialism because it’s alive, and that he would not win.

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It's hard to recall one significant achievement that is directly attributable to his being in charge of a government ministry.

Gentleman's postage stamp designs, post office tower, girobank, concorde ....

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Never liked the guy as he did nothing for the KIDZ.

A Labour old Fart.

That's gratifying to hear, reassuring too

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Tony Benn was rich enough  and eloquent enough to set himself up as the leader of the Cult of Tony.

 

Which Cult of Tony are we talking about? ;)

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Cheers mate  ;)

You are not my mate

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talking to Jeremy Vine on radio 2 right now.

sounding very frail and mindful of the end of his life approaching

but still as sharp as a tack and still as radical

 

an inspiration to me throughout my life.

 

Interesting you should say that.
 
Benn, like a lot of politicians, has Jekyll and Hyde elements to his personality.
 
He can be immensely charming, thoughtful and gracious.
 
But he was probably the most ruthless major politician in Britain since the Second World War. His ambition was an incredible driving force and made him extremely unpopular with many other leading politicians in the Labour Party. He was also a brilliant manipulator of the media and he was incredibly image conscious.
 
Jack Straw, for example, voted for him in the 1981 Deputy Leadership election, but only because of the poisonous atmosphere that had been engendered within the Party at that time. Straw admitted that he may have had to fear deselection if he hadn't voted for Benn.
 
As he said: “My vote for Tony Benn was really out of cowardice. I was ashamed of it. I still am. Benn was ruthless. I know there’s this upper-middle class veneer – utterly ruthless in pursuit of his own ambition.”
 
The upper-middle class thing is quite interesting. I always felt (and I was a member of the Labour Party at the time) that many members of the Party were actually quite deferential to posh people who expressed their ideas in a refined way. We saw it later with Blair, although the views he expressed were admittedly quite different to those of Benn.
 
Benn's focus on his own image was apparent in June 1985, when he introduced the Miners' Amnesty (General Pardon) Bill into the Commons. It proposed an amnesty for all miners imprisoned during the strike, including the two men convicted of murder (subsequently reduced to manslaughter) for the killing of the Welsh taxi-driver David Wilkie, who was taking a non-striking miner to work in South Wales during the strike. They dropped a massive concrete block on his car from a bridge, killing him instantly.
 
Benn knew perfectly well that his Bill could never be enacted, particularly when it proposed an amnesty for two people who had committed a crime that had horrified the nation. It's very difficult to see what the miners gained from his support during that conflict.

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Interesting you should say that.
 
Benn, like a lot of politicians, has Jekyll and Hyde elements to his personality.
 
He can be immensely charming, thoughtful and gracious.
 
But he was probably the most ruthless major politician in Britain since the Second World War. His ambition was an incredible driving force and made him extremely unpopular with many other leading politicians in the Labour Party. He was also a brilliant manipulator of the media and he was incredibly image conscious.
 
Jack Straw, for example, voted for him in the 1981 Deputy Leadership election, but only because of the poisonous atmosphere that had been engendered within the Party at that time. Straw admitted that he may have had to fear deselection if he hadn't voted for Benn.
 
As he said: “My vote for Tony Benn was really out of cowardice. I was ashamed of it. I still am. Benn was ruthless. I know there’s this upper-middle class veneer – utterly ruthless in pursuit of his own ambition.”
 
The upper-middle class thing is quite interesting. I always felt (and I was a member of the Labour Party at the time) that many members of the Party were actually quite deferential to posh people who expressed their ideas in a refined way. We saw it later with Blair, although the views he expressed were admittedly quite different to those of Benn.
 
Benn's focus on his own image was apparent in June 1985, when he introduced the Miners' Amnesty (General Pardon) Bill into the Commons. It proposed an amnesty for all miners imprisoned during the strike, including the two men convicted of murder (subsequently reduced to manslaughter) for the killing of the Welsh taxi-driver David Wilkie, who was taking a non-striking miner to work in South Wales during the strike. They dropped a massive concrete block on his car from a bridge, killing him instantly.
 
Benn knew perfectly well that his Bill could never be enacted, particularly when it proposed an amnesty for two people who had committed a crime that had horrified the nation. It's very difficult to see what the miners gained from his support during that conflict.

 

I agree with you

the amnesty bill was ridiculous. The men who dropped the concrete block were acting entirely on their own account. Their actions had as one would expect no connections with the actions of the union(although you wouldn't have thought it if you listened to the government and the media). Quite simply they were murderers and deserved all they got.

 

There were vplenty of things that Benn said and did that I wasn't keen on-I have given an example already.

I was a labour party member in the eighties-in Wakefield and Norfolk. I don't recall any deference to posh people, because there weren't any-Colin Croxall was about as near as it got.

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