Ant-war march in Manchester, 2006


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: