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l'angelo mysterioso

TONY BENN

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He wanted to let 2 blokes who killed someone because they didn't like the perectly acceptable choice he made in how to live his life get away with it? Beneath contempt.

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He wanted to let 2 blokes who killed someone because they didn't like the perectly acceptable choice he made in how to live his life get away with it? Beneath contempt.

it was

although as Martin said he knew the bill would never get anywhere

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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.

That says a lot more about the naked ambition, and unprincipled utilisation of patronage within the party, of Straw than it does Tony Benn. Straw was a predecessor of mine as Chair of Leeds University Union Labour Club and I have spoken to a number of his contemporaries who confirm that his ability to groom support for his rise to the top, through the NUS to Member for Blackburn and Cabinet, showed little in the way of principled stance. It could be argued that he is the very model of a 'modern' Labour politician.

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That says a lot more about the naked ambition, and unprincipled utilisation of patronage within the party, of Straw than it does Tony Benn. Straw was a predecessor of mine as Chair of Leeds University Union Labour Club and I have spoken to a number of his contemporaries who confirm that his ability to groom support for his rise to the top, through the NUS to Member for Blackburn and Cabinet, showed little in the way of principled stance. It could be argued that he is the very model of a 'modern' Labour politician.

Hence you are an close minded person when it comes to other people's view's on other forum's.

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Hence you are an close minded person when it comes to other people's view's on other forum's.

YOU are accusing ME of being closed minded?

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You come across as labour till I die type.

I've just slagged off a Labour grandee. I left the party after 12 years membership 20 years ago.

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I've just slagged off a Labour grandee. I left the party after 12 years membership 20 years ago.

Opps…sorry

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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.

 

 

Great post Martyn.  

 

I like your point about the class and the deference shown to posh people.  Going way off track, I think we witness this in RL whenever somebody from RU says anything positive about RL there's almost a frenzy to recognise it.  Why do we as people need a mark of endorsement from those we consider to be further up the social ladder than ourselves?

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Great post Martyn.  

 

I like your point about the class and the deference shown to posh people.  Going way off track, I think we witness this in RL whenever somebody from RU says anything positive about RL there's almost a frenzy to recognise it.  Why do we as people need a mark of endorsement from those we consider to be further up the social ladder than ourselves?

see thread about one of the Mountbatten extended family presenting the world cup

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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.

This incident was an appalling outrage. But in wars, and this was a war outrages happen and are committed by both sides. It's funny though how these outrages by the striking miners are focussed upon and yet the outrages by "Maggie's thugs in blue" are passed over. It's only since the cops have tried to frame a Tory politician that the veracity of everything the police say has suddenly been cast into doubt. As for Tony Benn, he more than most was probably responsible for keeping Labour out of power for a generation. You have to give him credit though, he's roughly the same age as the Queen and has said that, should he still be alive when she dies, he'll attend the Privy Council meeting that proclaims her successor and oppose the proclamation. He seems to be of the opinion that this will prevent the succession, who am I to argue?

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This incident was an appalling outrage. But in wars, and this was a war outrages happen and are committed by both sides. It's funny though how these outrages by the striking miners are focussed upon and yet the outrages by "Maggie's thugs in blue" are passed over. It's only since the cops have tried to frame a Tory politician that the veracity of everything the police say has suddenly been cast into doubt. As for Tony Benn, he more than most was probably responsible for keeping Labour out of power for a generation. You have to give him credit though, he's roughly the same age as the Queen and has sais that, should he still be alive, he'll attend the Privy Council meeting that proclaims her successor and oppose the proclamation. He seems to be of the opinion that this will prevent the succession, who am I to argue?

 

I recently read an as yet unpublished biography of somebody involved in the strike.  The description of the relationship between the police and the miners, and some of the tricks that the boys in blue were up to was as good as anything that I've ever read.  Now if only the lazy author would take the time to proof read it, edit it and get it published..... Anne Diamond needs to get a copy too.

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This incident was an appalling outrage. But in wars, and this was a war outrages happen and are committed by both sides. It's funny though how these outrages by the striking miners are focussed upon and yet the outrages by "Maggie's thugs in blue" are passed over. It's only since the cops have tried to frame a Tory politician that the veracity of everything the police say has suddenly been cast into doubt. As for Tony Benn, he more than most was probably responsible for keeping Labour out of power for a generation. You have to give him credit though, he's roughly the same age as the Queen and has said that, should he still be alive when she dies, he'll attend the Privy Council meeting that proclaims her successor and oppose the proclamation. He seems to be of the opinion that this will prevent the succession, who am I to argue?

The thing being that it wasn't a war and even in a war there are laws and consequences for breaking them.

I think the idea that the British police are always honest and decent went away with the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four cases.

As a young man, it was incomprehensible to me that the claims of duress and planting of evidence were true. I'd have quite happily seen them all hang.

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The thing being that it wasn't a war and even in a war there are laws and consequences for breaking them.

I think the idea that the British police are always honest and decent went away with the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four cases.

As a young man, it was incomprehensible to me that the claims of duress and planting of evidence were true. I'd have quite happily seen them all hang.

Thatcher certainly thought it was a war speaking of "the enemy within" and using MI5 to combat the strike. And as I say the dubious tactics used at for example Orgreave certainly convinced the miners that they were in a war. As you say wars have rules, but soldiers break those rules, look at the court martial going on at Bulford now. As for the cops, you may have stopped believing them, but most of the right leaning media (especially the Sun) treated their word as gospel, especially where the Miners' Strike and Hillsborough are concerned,right up to the recent Downing Street shenanigans. They and the Tories seem to have now changed their tune somewhat.

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Thatcher certainly thought it was a war speaking of "the enemy within" and using MI5 to combat the strike. And as I say the dubious tactics used at for example Orgreave certainly convinced the miners that they were in a war. As you say wars have rules, but soldiers break those rules, look at the court martial going on at Bulford now. As for the cops, you may have stopped believing them, but most of the right leaning media (especially the Sun) treated their word as gospel, especially where the Miners' Strike and Hillsborough are concerned,right up to the recent Downing Street shenanigans. They and the Tories seem to have now changed their tune somewhat.

None of this excuses murder.

Thatcher may have considered war to be an appropriate metaphor, as did people on the other side but it was just a metaphor. There was no excuse for violence on the part of the strikers nor much of the time by the police either.

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I think Benns problem was that his upbringing (which he couldn't help) and continued lifestyle (which he could) made a lot of none political people think of him as a champagne socialist.  I remember on the news once down here, he had been speaking at a rally in Trafalgar Square that was calling for large houses, business premises etc to be used for homeless people.  He got a bit shirty with the reporter who had questioned the idea, who then asked him "Now the rally's finished Mr Benn, are you going back home to your four story mansion in Holland Park?"  If looks could kill.

(Just in case you don't know, Holland Park is one of the most expensive areas of London).

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I am too young to assess his career and as I am aware that he is on the far left of Labour I am doubtful that I'll agree with him on everything. Nevertheless I did hear him speak once in London in 2009.

He came across as caring, intelligent, constructive, and most of all passionate. He also seemed to have two things: a backbone, and morals and views that are above money or the worship of money.

For that reason I respect him. Also the Labour Party have another old MP who is very socialist called Dennis Skinner, he too seems to be more passionate than their entire front bench.

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None of this excuses murder.

Thatcher may have considered war to be an appropriate metaphor, as did people on the other side but it was just a metaphor. There was no excuse for violence on the part of the strikers nor much of the time by the police either.

~Where did I excuse it? Don't forget that miners were killed whilst picketing too.

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~Where did I excuse it? Don't forget that miners were killed whilst picketing too.

How would you feel about a proposed amnesty for their killers?

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How would you feel about a proposed amnesty for their killers?

the men who dropped the concrete block were murderers pure and simple, their actions had no connection with the NUM or its members.

there needs to be a proper inquiry into the conduct of the police during the strike: but it will be difficult because of the number of police forces involved.

I believe that the involvement of the army is a myth.

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I know it to be fact.

I have a vested interest in you saying more about this.

I have eheard many miners make the allegation, but never come across any evidence in my research

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I too would like our comrade from York to give more detail. I read an emotional account of the situation recently that alleged army involvement but even that was misted by both time and ambiguity.

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