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R.I.P. Tony Benn


gcarth e2
10 2.3k 1 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2014 8:57AM
I never met Tony Benn, but I feel saddened to hear of his death, not only because I think he was a great man, but because he was one of those rare politicians who actually meant what he said.

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seahawk e2
7 616 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2014 9:15AM
Agreed! Didn't support his political stance but he was a great Parliamentarian and he stood by his principles.
collywobles e2
10 3.4k 9 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2014 9:18AM
Was always full of admiration for this man. I did not necessarily agree with his politics but he was always honest and sincere. Pity there isn't more of his character about.

Colin
cuffit e2
8 190 2 England
14 Mar 2014 9:37AM
Hear, hear to the above (gcarth). When I listen to most politicians these days, it is rare to hear anything but the party mantra and 'on message' views derived from a committee or such like. Like him or loathe him, Tony Benn was true to his beliefs and values and everyone knew where he stood accordingly. His comment along the lines of 'I am leaving Parliament so I can concentrate more on politics' was telling.
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2014 9:53AM
When talking about constitutional affairs, and in discussion since his retirement from party politics, he was one of the most astute, thoughtful and knowledgeable politicians I have heard talk. A brilliant political intellect.
It sounds like a contradiction but I agreed with a lot of his basic principles, just not his politics. When in government he was as partly political as they come and would toe the party line like the best of them even when it contradicted what he genuinely believed - it is so long since he retired that people tend to eulogise and forget this part of him. But that is all part of party politics and I do not let that overshadow my respect for him. As one of the true guardians of democracy he will be sorely missed.
wasper e2
8 532 1 Ireland
14 Mar 2014 10:17AM
I always found him to be honest with his convictions. He was against the war. He will be sadly missed.
gcarth e2
10 2.3k 1 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2014 10:34AM
I find it very gratifying to hear such respectful comments so far on this topic.
I agree with Colin: I think we need more of his character in politics - and across all parties.
I'm not sure if Tony Benn actually changed a lot of what goes on in politics or if any changes he might have made can be easily quantified but I think maybe his integrity and questioning of authority inspired others indirectly.
Some within the Labour Party accused him of destroying the election chances of Labour but he simply always knew, I think, that his Labour Party (Old Labour) could only be true to its roots if the party didn't move to the right.
I happen to think that he was correct because New Labour is in no way a Socialist Party - regardless of what party one supports. Smile
Hallie e2
1 166 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2014 10:48AM
A man of principle and conviction who campaigned tirelessly for the rights of ordinary and oppressed people everywhere.

A genuine rarity in the political class.
14 Mar 2014 11:04AM
I was so sad to hear this news, a great politician who I admired greatly, he always said what he meant and stood by it. One of the few honest politicians who understood and could relate to his constituents. He will be sadly missed.
Kako e2
8 143
14 Mar 2014 12:06PM
15 or 20 years ago I despised the man and all he stood for although even then I recognised that he had true conviction and personal integrity
to a degree rarely seen in politics. Over the years I have come to question my own beliefs and question the very notion of our 'democracy' to the extent that I came to really respect Tony Benn and realise that he had been right and I had been wrong all along. It s a sad day indeed for British politics..may he Rest In Peace and condolences to his family.
thewilliam e2
6 4.9k
14 Mar 2014 1:45PM
A great man indeed! I never did like his politics but I had great respect for him as a man. A brilliant after-dinner speaker!
parallax e2
5 121 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2014 1:47PM
There are fewer and fewer people left in parliament with his level of integrity and intellect.

Whether you shared in his viewpoint or not, Benn really stood up and fought for his beliefs.

Not like the weak, vacillate examples of politicians we have today with their spin and media obsessions.

RIP Tony.
searlem e2
7 38 1 England
14 Mar 2014 8:36PM
Always remember when I lived in Chesterfield seeing him cycling around the town, puffing on his pipe and waving to and chatting with his constituents. One of the few politicians I have ever spotted in the constituency except at election time when they want your vote. A genuinely nice bloke.
td1556 e2
8 13 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2014 8:37PM
I only saw Tony Benn once at a sort of School Question Time back in the early 1980's. I think it says a lot about his skill as a speaker that he is the only one of the 4 or 5 politicians taking part in the event that I can remember.
15 Mar 2014 7:30AM

Quote:There are fewer and fewer people left in parliament with his level of integrity and intellect.
Whether you shared in his viewpoint or not, Benn really stood up and fought for his beliefs.
Not like the weak, vacillate examples of politicians we have today with their spin and media obsessions.



One of that increasing rare breed - a conviction politician.
Very few of them left now, most have been supplanted by the career politicians.

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