The Real Source of Wealth

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Ant-war march in Manchester, 2006

By Mike Small

RIP Tony Benn, a great orator and a man who believed in something. It’s extraordinary to think that the reason that he became that terrible cliche ‘a national treasure’ is that he stood out from the crowd as someone who actually had a value system and a political philosophy, making him unique in the major parties of Westminster.

In the video talk below he gives an important history lesson about the true source of wealth for those who have been persuaded it comes from ‘entrepreneurs’. He’s an echo from a distant era where the Labour Party had individuals of true character and principle.

He backed the miners when Kinnock abandoned them, he backed the anti-apartheid movement, he was a consistent voice of moral dissent against weapons of mass destruction and against Blair’s illegal warmongering. He favoured support for workers co-ops as an alternative to closure and continued to articulate alternative economic and workplace models throughout his life. He was monstered by the press in life and will no doubt be patronised and sanitised in death.

If Milliband or Clegg talks without notes for 15 minutes now the media goes into a frenzy. Benn did it for 50 years.

“People in debt are slaves to their employers” – cutting analysis of Thatcherism now swallowed wholesale by Labour and the Liberals:



Categories: Commentary

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17 replies

  1. He always turned up at interesting fringe meetings, and because he believed in some basic principles, he could answer questions on anything, whether it was fishing, nukes, or global politics. You’re right . . . patronised and sanitised in death . . . avoid the media for a few days I say, and remember that feeling of passion he could instil if you saw him speak in person . . .

  2. Surprised Milliband with his deep and searing sincerity didn’t just call him ‘the people’s princess’.

  3. The end of an era.
    The last socialist in the British Labour party has just died.

  4. Wasn’t he the Minister of Energy who suppressed the McCrone report?

  5. Indeed may he rest in peace but he was no friend of Scottish independence and perversely probably didn’t even understand the bottom up dynamic motivating the trend. He was a classic style, English patrician socialist after all; ineluctably one of them, not one of us. The system he rightly challenged is already beginning the process of beatification.

  6. Like most politicians he did some good stuff, he did some bad stuff, he said some good things, he said some bad things. He was a socialist who believed (and I’ve just listened to a recording of him on Radio Scotland this morning saying so) that it was better for Scotland to be ruled by any Westminster government than to have socialism as an independent country. He was contemptuous of the SNP regardless of any good they may or may do for the people of Scotland.

    So let’s not go overboard because he died.

  7. Hid the value of oil from the Scots to stop independence, campaigned as a British nationalist in his last interviews – good riddance.

  8. He was virulently anti EU on the grounds of democratic deficit and against Scottish independence because he was a UK nationalist. He failed to recognise the fact that Scottish independence also fulfils his democratic defict argument.
    He was pretty sound on the neo-liberal society though…

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