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RIP Tony Benn


Guest Len B'stard

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Guest Len B'stard

RIP Tone, up the workers and all that (usually right up em :rolleyes:)

Labour stalwart Tony Benn dies at 88

Former Cabinet minister and veteran left-wing campaigner Tony Benn has died at home, his family has said.

The 88-year-old former Labour MP had been seriously ill.

Mr Benn became an MP in November 1950 and served in the Cabinet under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan.

A major figure on the left of the party, he narrowly missed out on the deputy leadership in 1981 and went on to be a popular public speaker, anti-war campaigner and political diarist.

In a statement his children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua said Mr 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", the family said.

"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."

They said arrangements for his funeral will be announced in due course.

One of his most recent public appearance was in December, when he paid tribute to Nelson Mandela at a special event in Westminster Hall.

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

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

"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.

Prime Minister David Cameron also paid tribute to the Labour veteran on Twitter.

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

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26573929

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I worked in the constituency office for a staunch Bennite ex union MP. I spent a fair bit of time down in London in the HoP too, it was quite a number of years ago now, 98 to 2000 I think. Best job I ever had and fairly enlightening too. Unfortunately very low paid unless you move to the capital and have the means to further yourself.

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I think you would be pretty good at it Lenny. London might work slightly differently but the local constituency offices were staffed partly by volunteers, I ended up there as part of a university placement and they kept me on. It was a bit easier back then as Labour were actually in power so the opportunities were better and I was lucky to live in an area with an MP I respected and was happy to work for.

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Guest Len B'stard

Not sure they'd have me, criminal record and that. Still, certainly seems interesting. Thinking of getting a new job, something that involves a bit of moving around.

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I have a friend from back then who is still heavily involved. If you like I will sound him out about current foot in the door opportunities and how a criminal record would be viewed. Obviously it would kibosh a political career but the reseacher/ activist side of things might still be doable. I think you would have to be prepared to work voluntarily for a while to build experience.

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Yes, I met Clare Short a few times, John Prescott, David Blunkett and a number of junior ministers at the time whose names escape me. I never met Big Tony or Gordon to speak to but I saw them in PM's question time on a couple of occasions.

I think this thread deserves a picture.

20l1nk9.jpg

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The very first time I was taken to the House of Commons I accidently ended up getting very pissed. Myself and another student arrived into Kings Cross quite late on and were ferried to an evening engagement hosted by a charity in one of the HoC function rooms (I ended up working for this charity a few years later strangely enough).

We hadn't had time to eat and there was a lot of free champers on offer. Being age 20 it didn't occur to me to pass it up, unfortunately we then got taken on an official tour and to meet some people. My abiding memory is of us both staggering down the corridors trying to act sober and giggling a lot. Luckily we ended the night in the Members bar where all the real politics are conducted and everyone is pissed. You could smoke in there back then too. Good times. :-D

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I doubt they'd have me Alf but cheers anyway :) Did you ever get to meet any Labour high ups?

Lenny, you're an intelligent man, go down to your local constituency office and get talking to existing party members. That's the way to get involved. Unless you're a potential MP, they won't focus on your criminal record.

On topic: Great, great man. I wish the Labour leadership shared the politics of Tony Benn.

Edited by NGOG
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Wa-hey, Prezza!! Is he as big a prat in real life as he looks on the telly? :lol:

Like most people he seemed fine in person. I'm not pretending we shared more than a passing introduction and brief pleasantries though. That goes for all the people I met. I'm no political hot shot!

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My friend I mentioned up thread is a massive fan of Tony and has based his career following his beliefs. He's met him numerous times and they became quite friendly. I feel for him today as I know he is gutted and I'll forgive him for filling my Facebook feed with masses of Tony Benn stuff. :-)

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Not sure they'd have me, criminal record and that. Still, certainly seems interesting. Thinking of getting a new job, something that involves a bit of moving around.

Most MPs are a bunch of crooks anyway Len so I wouldnt worry too much about it.

Does anyone remember ALI G's interview with Tony Benn, it was classic! At one point Benn was so pissed off that Cohen had to stop the interview and say "look sir, you do realise that this is all an act and I'm not really this stupid?"

RIP Tony

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Guest Len B'stard

I never knew he had to stop and tell him that, i thought Ali G was, at least in those early days, totally for real in that he stayed in character and didn't let on it was a put on. I do remember Tony Benn losing his rag a bit, he was like 'you live in this world where you women are bitches and you take what you want' and Saschas like 'aiight, aiight' :lol: Dickhead :lol:

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I never knew he had to stop and tell him that, i thought Ali G was, at least in those early days, totally for real in that he stayed in character and didn't let on it was a put on. I do remember Tony Benn losing his rag a bit, he was like 'you live in this world where you women are bitches and you take what you want' and Saschas like 'aiight, aiight' :lol: Dickhead :lol:

Yeah this was one exception when he broke character cos he was worried that Tony was gonna lose it completely. If you watch it back you will notice that he goes from being totally pissed off to laughing and joking quite abruptly.

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Guest Len B'stard

The BNP are recruiting Len.

Are they really? :lol: You must point me in the right direction then Sire! Funnily enough y'know they do have the odd brown person in there, weird as that may seem. Yeah, he comes handy in rallies cuz see what you do is you put your arm around him and go 'SEE WE DONT BLAME RANJIT HERE, NO NO, NO WE BLAME THE CONSERVATIVES AND THE LABOUR PARTY AND ALL THOSE WHO IMPLE…imple…uh, PUT IN PLACE THESE IMMIGRATION POLICIES THAT ARE DESTROYING THE FABRIC OF ENGLISH, AND I MEAN ENGLISH, NOT BRITISH, ENGLISH CULCHAAAAAAAAAA!!'

To think, this time next week I could be Ranjit, oh joy! :D See they need him as a counterpoint to any surreptitiously taken recordings outlining Nazi sympathies or openly recorded films of pissed up would be fascists and their marches, handicapped from true fascism only by a lack of the requisite education to understand what the term 'fascism' means :lol:

And if i keep my head down and and prove my worth, who knows, this time next year I could be the guy who polishes Nicks glass eye!

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