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  1. #1
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    Tony Benn Died Today

    Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88


    Former cabinet minister died at his home in west London surrounded by family members

    Press Association
    theguardian.com, Friday 14 March 2014 07.10 GMT


    The former Labour minister Tony Benn
    The former Labour minister Tony Benn smokes his trademark pipe during an anti-war rally in 2007. Photograph: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
    Veteran Labour politician Tony Benn has died at home at the age of 88, his family said.

    The former cabinet minister died on Friday morning at his home in west London surrounded by family members.

    In a statement, his children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua, said: "It is with great sadness that we announce that our father Tony Benn died peacefully early this morning at his home in west London surrounded by his family.

    "We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the NHS staff and carers who have looked after him with such kindness in hospital and at home.

    "We will miss above all his love which has sustained us throughout our lives. But we are comforted by the memory of his long, full and inspiring life and so proud of his devotion to helping others as he sought to change the world for the better.

    "Arrangements for his funeral will be announced in due course."

    More details soon ...





    remarkably decent fellow for a politician, but he was barking mad in a likeable eccentric english way.

  2. #2
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    In a statement, his children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua, said: "It is with great sadness that we announce that our father Tony Benn died peacefully early this morning ..."
    They preferred that he died writhing in agony?

  3. #3
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    R.I.P. Tony Benn.

    A massive British politician of the 20th Century. Whilst I did not agree with all of his policies, there was no doubting his commitment to the common man and his anti-war stance.

    A great controlled speaker who could quite easily bamboozle others during interviews.

    I can't say that I have ever been impressed by a member of the Labour Party but Tony Benn was a man with courage, integrity and principles, many of the attributes which seemingly prevented him from becoming leader.

    That interview with Ali G creased me up.

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    He was an honest conviction politician. Even his own party couldn't shut him up if he believed he was right.
    Not many of his kind around these days.

  5. #5
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    Yeah A multi millionaire champagne socialist who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who was a privately educated School boy of which he was so much against in later life , who later married a millionaire American women , who Harold Wilson (a week is a long time in politics) or (the pound in your pocket is still worth the same when he devalued the pound ) said of Benn ,"he Immature s more with age" what a fucking hypocrite.

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  • #8
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    Despite him being handicapped by being on the wrong side of the fence, a lot of what he said made sense. A man of convictions and integrity.

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    Always saw him as one of the good guys.

    RIP Tony.

  • #10
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    RIP a True believer, saw Life ass it was

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    Quote Originally Posted by piwanoi View Post
    Yeah A multi millionaire champagne socialist who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who was a privately educated School boy of which he was so much against in later life , who later married a millionaire American women , who Harold Wilson (a week is a long time in politics) or (the pound in your pocket is still worth the same when he devalued the pound ) said of Benn ,"he Immature s more with age" what a fucking hypocrite.
    What are you saying?

    That a person with a privileged upbringing should not have any socialist proclivities? That such ideology is reserved for the disadvantaged?

    Or, are you saying that his socialist tendencies were phoney, a pose?
    Last edited by The Ghost Of The Moog; 14-03-2014 at 09:56 PM.

  • #12
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    Tony Benn: A life in pictures

    Tony Benn, who has died aged 88, was one of the biggest - and at times most controversial - figures in Britain's Labour movement. Here is his story in pictures.

    Born on 3 April, 1925, into a political family - his father and grandfather both sat in the Commons - Anthony Wedgwood Benn entered Parliament in 1950 at a by-election in Bristol South-East




    He married Caroline, a theologian and educationalist, in 1949 and they had four children, Stephen, Melissa, Joshua and Hilary, who would go on to become a Labour cabinet minister



    In 1960, Benn was disqualified as an MP when he inherited his father's title, forcing him to sit in the Lords. He retained his seat in a 1961 by-election, but it took a change in the law two years later before he was able to properly renounce his Viscount Stansgate title



    As Postmaster General in Harold Wilson's cabinet, he oversaw the opening of the Post Office Tower (now the BT Tower) and closed down pirate radio stations, paving the way for Radio One - but he was defeated in his attempt to remove the Queen's head from stamps



    Benn, a wartime RAF pilot, also served as technology minister and was an enthusiastic supporter of Concorde, which was built in his Bristol constituency











    Benn had a long track record as a peace campaigner and supporter of nuclear disarmament







    Benn stood down as MP in 2001, but stepped up his campaigning and public speaking activities and in 2003 became president of the anti-Iraq war Stop the War coalition



    His nine volumes of political diaries are seen as a definitive record of Labour's time in and out of office and his one-man shows were usually sold-out



    Benn made his final public appearance in December 2013, at an event in Westminster Hall to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

  • #13
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    I always like Ali G's Tony Benn interview.



    Normally Ali G's spoof interviews were based on excessively stupid questions but in this one he is actually calling the welfare mentality on a lot of truths.

    Conversely a lot of Ali G's interviewees were concerned with accomodating his silly questions to look 'cool' on what they thought was a genuine interview for 'the kids' but Tony doesn't stand for any of it and calls him on every question and even has the good grace to laugh and shake hands at the end.

    RIP Tony!



    Quote Originally Posted by piwanoi
    Yeah A multi millionaire champagne socialist who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth
    How you are born is not your fault. It is how you choose to live that matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by piwanoi
    who was a privately educated School boy of which he was so much against in later life
    Receiving a private education while you are a child is not a reason to speak out against the concept as an adult.

  • #14
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    ^well put that, Looper...nice one!


    RIP Tony Benn

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    R.I.P. Tony.
    Loved to listen to you as a teenager, but always knew that you were going to fook the speech up!
    God, he came out with so many...Guffaws?

  • #16
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    Tony Benn, the veteran Labour politician, has died at the age of 88.


    The former cabinet minister, who served as an MP for more than 50 years, died at his home in west London surrounded by family members.


    In a statement his children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua said: "It is with great sadness that we announce that our father Tony Benn died peacefully early this morning at his home in west London surrounded by his family.


    "We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the NHS staff and carers who have looked after him with such kindness in hospital and at home.

    Related Articles


    "We will miss above all his love which has sustained us throughout our lives. But we are comforted by the memory of his long, full and inspiring life and so proud of his devotion to helping others as he sought to change the world for the better.

    "Arrangements for his funeral will be announced in due course."

    David Cameron was joined by politicians from all parties in paying tribute to Mr Benn.



    Tony Benn photographed in his office (Rex Features)


    "Tony Benn was a magnificent writer, speaker and campaigner," the Prime Minister said. "There was never a dull moment listening to him, even if you disagreed with him."

    Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, paid tribute to an "iconic figure of our age".


    Gordon Brown, the former prime minister, said: "Tony Benn was a powerful, fearless, relentless advocate for social justice and people's rights whose writing as well as speeches will continue to have a profound influence on generations to come.

    "My thoughts are with his family, whom he adored."

    Labour MPs also took to the social network to pay warm tributes.

    Former cabinet minister Peter Hain said: "Tony Benn was a giant of socialism who encouraged me to join Labour in 1977: wonderful inspirational speaker and person: will be deeply missed."

    Diane Abbott said: "Admired so many things about Benn: unwavering principles; always open to new ideas; stellar political speaker but unfailingly courteous."



    Tony Benn in 1979 (Rex Features)


    Barry Sheerman, who entered Parliament in 1979 and served alongside Mr Benn for many years, said : "Sad news of Tony Benn death. I had my differences with him but he was a "big beast" in our political life and party history."

    Former foreign secretary Dame Margaret Beckett, interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, said Mr Benn had been a "brilliant speaker"

    She said: "People who heard him speak up and down the country will never forget it... people may or may not agree with him but they would come out of a public meeting he had addressed saying 'I didn't agree with any of it, but it was wonderful'.

    "He had such clarity of expression, he opened people's eyes and he made them think.
    "He was fantastic (to work for). Delightful, friendly, very open minded and interested always in new ideas... a really charming, nice man.

    "He made enemies and kept enemies but on the whole I think most people regarded him with a good degree of affection, long before he got sufficiently old, as he said himself, he can't do any more harm."



    Tony Benn calls at 10 Downing Street in 1964 (PA)


    In a further tribute, shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves tweeted: "Very sorry to hear about the loss of Tony Benn. A towering figure in the Labour Party and in parliament. Thoughts go out to his family."

    Alastair Campbell tweeted: "RIP Tony Benn. A fighter all his life, fought death with the same courage he lived life. A large and loving family there with him to the end."

    Conservative MPs also marked Mr Benn's passing. Chris Pincher tweeted: "Sad news of the death of Tony Benn. A great parliamentarian and speaker and fine diarist. One of the Left's truly big figures."

    George Freeman said: "So Farewell Tony Benn. A true and great Parliamentarian of our times. A teenage political radical hero of mine as a teenager. Best wishes to Hilary and all family."

    Labour MP John McDonnell said: "Whether people agreed or disagreed with him they respected him for his views and as a man of principle, as someone who stood up for those views, sometimes against the stream, and exhibited courage throughout his life in that respect.


    "For my generation, he was our inspiration. He was a marvellous advocate for socialism and he gave people hope of a new society, a new fair and equal society, and for that I think he inspired my generation and many younger generations as well."

    Treasury Minister Sajid Javid said: "As young boy in Bristol, grew up admiring Tony Benn, despite politics. Very sad to hear he has passed away. A man of principle and compassion."

    Lucy Powell, one of the party's newest MPs added: "Very sorry to hear the sad news about Tony Benn. He was a political giant of the last century, principled and passionate."

    Mr Miliband said: "He will be remembered as a champion of the powerless, a great parliamentarian and a conviction politician.

    "Tony Benn spoke his mind and spoke up for his values. Whether you agreed with him or disagreed with him, everyone knew where he stood and what he stood for.

    "For someone of such strong views, often at odds with his party, he won respect from across the political spectrum.

    "This was because of his unshakeable beliefs and his abiding determination that power and the powerful should be held to account.

    "He believed in movements and mobilised people behind him for the causes he cared about, often unfashionable ones. In a world of politics that is often too small, he thought big about our country and our world.


    "Above all, as I had cause to know, he was an incredibly kind man. I did work experience with him at the age of 16. I may have been just a teenager but he treated me as an equal. It was the nature of the man and the principle of his politics.

    "I saw him for the last time a couple of weeks ago in hospital. He may have been ailing in body but was as sharp as ever in mind. As I left he said to me 'Well, old son.
    Let's have a proper talk when you have more time'.

    "As he said of his wife Caroline at her funeral, he showed us how to live and how to die.

    "All of my condolences go to his children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua and his wider family. In their own ways, they are all a tribute to him as a father, a socialist, and a most decent human being."



    Tony Benn of the cover of the Telegraph Magazine in March 1994

    Veteran Labour MP Paul Flynn said: "It was a heart sinking moment for lovers of parliamentary debate. We feared the worst. The best orator in the House announced that he was leaving to 'spend more time with politics'. The Commons was bereaved in 2001 by the departure of Tony Benn.

    "Twelve years after leaving the Commons, Tony's promise of ceaseless campaigning has been fulfilled. The Commons' loss has become a gift to progressive politics. His enthusiasm, curiosity and passion for noble causes are prodigious.

    "'A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine' affirms the longevity of hope and endless re-creations of idealism. May it long shine."

    Labour MP Dennis Skinner, who had known Mr Benn since 1970 and represents the Bolsover seat in Derbyshire neighbouring his former Chesterfield constituency, said: "I will remember him as a great member of parliament, a political activist, a great diarist, an MP who believed not only in parliamentary activity but also in extra-parliamentary activity.

    "He was a socialist colleague in a constituency next to mine for something like 17 years so we campaigned together and I well remember traversing the country with him during the miner's strike in 1984/85.

    "He was one of the greatest assets the Labour Party has ever had. He was a campaigner and a teacher. His whole idea was about trying to influence people, not just in parliament but outside too."

    Bristol South MP Dawn Primarolo, who knew Mr Benn for nearly 40 years, said: "I first met Tony when I was a 21-year-old Labour Party member.

    "He inspired a generation of young Labour activists with his passionate beliefs in democracy and social justice, and that party politics can change our communities for the better.

    "For much of his life, Tony was vilified by his opponents, but in recent years he had come to be respected for his principled opinions.

    "He was always extremely loyal to the Labour Party, despite well-known differences.
    "Tony will be remembered in Bristol as the Labour MP for Bristol South East for 30 years, a great campaigner for peace and a powerful advocate for equality.

    "Politics in Britain has lost a great man."

    Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil rights campaign group Liberty, said: "In the final decade of an extraordinary political life, Tony Benn was a great friend of Liberty and human rights.

    "He spoke to packed audiences up and down the country against internment and identity cards and for values of internationalism and humanity. And he often shared the stage with speakers of different political stripes with considerable generosity.

    "I shall never forget his many kindnesses to me, including when he ripped up a prepared speech he was about to deliver, in order to make my own nervous and novice remarks sound slightly less unplanned. In an age of spin, he was solid, a signpost and not a weather-vane."

    Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, said: "Tony Benn was a true socialist and a firm friend and defender of the trade unions and working people everywhere. He fought his cause with eloquence and commitment throughout his long life.

    "Above all, he believed that politics should always be guided by a moral compass and should give a voice and hope to those who needed it most. He will be sadly missed by all his friends in the Labour movement."

    Mr Benn had only recently moved into sheltered accommodation near his family house in Holland Park, London, where he had lived for decades.



    Tony Benn addresses thousands in Trafalgar Square to take part in the 'Hands off Syria' protest (Rex Features)


    Last year Mr Benn revealed he did not fear his own death after suffering a stroke, explaining that losing his beloved American wife Caroline to cancer 14 years ago had helped him cope.

    He said at the time: "Iím not frightened about death. I donít know why, but I just feel at a certain moment your switch is switched off and thatís it. And you canít do anything about it."

    Mr Benn stood down from Parliament in 2001 - joking that it was to ďspend more time on politicsĒ - and in recent years had been president of the Stop the War campaign.

    His son, Hilary, is Labourís shadow communities secretary

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    RIP greatly admired by all parties and the public.

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    says the millionaire who lives in a mud hut in the middle of burriram and has to catch fish to eat


    Quote Originally Posted by piwanoi View Post
    Yeah A multi millionaire champagne socialist who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who was a privately educated School boy of which he was so much against in later life , who later married a millionaire American women , who Harold Wilson (a week is a long time in politics) or (the pound in your pocket is still worth the same when he devalued the pound ) said of Benn ,"he Immature s more with age" what a fucking hypocrite.

  • #19
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    Now that the young socialist Bob Crow has passed away,there doesn't seem to be anybody else in the socialist camp to fill his shoes.

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    Without Tony Benn it's highly unlikely Maggie would have won 3 elections with ever growing majorities and been able to turn Britain around from verging on third world status as it was in 1979 so all Brits should thank him.

  • #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by piwanoi
    Yeah A multi millionaire champagne socialist who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who was a privately educated School boy of which he was so much against in later life , who later married a millionaire American women
    You reckon he betrayed his class ?

    So in spite of him seeming a decent sort, he did have something in common with you

  • #22
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    Had a few laughs at the expense of Tony Benn but he stood firmly to his principles and did what he thought was best.


    Quote Originally Posted by piwanoi
    Yeah A multi millionaire champagne socialist who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who was a privately educated School boy of which he was so much against in later life , who later married a millionaire American women , who Harold Wilson (a week is a long time in politics) or (the pound in your pocket is still worth the same when he devalued the pound ) said of Benn ,"he Immature s more with age" what a fucking hypocrite.
    That's one hell of a chip you're carrying piwi......

    Benn agreed with you on something...he was very anti the Common Market stating that it would rob Parliament of their rights to govern their own country (or words to that effect).

    One thing you don't have in common is the ability to express opinions. He was a brilliant orator and a superb writer. Whether you agreed with him or not, you had to admire the way he put his thoughts across.
    Last edited by Troy; 15-03-2014 at 03:53 AM.

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    One of few politicians I would have crossed the street to meet, as opposed to crossing the street to avoid. RIP.

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    What with Tony Benn and Bob Crow both leaving us on Cheltenham week, oh wow I could have missed a winning double there.
    Reds most welcome, I have worked all my life unlike these 2 champagne socialists.

  • #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobella
    I have worked all my life unlike these 2 champagne socialists.
    Is being an MP not work dobba? Even a member of the Opposition? Mostly wankers (I agree), but they do put in long hours. Benn could have lived a life of pampered nonentity on his slice of the Wedgewood fortune, but chose a political career instead.
    Last edited by sabang; 15-03-2014 at 06:02 AM.

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