Saturday, 15 March 2014

My tribute to Tony Benn

As you know, yesterday, Tony Benn, one of the greatest left-wing politicians in British history (some say the greatest and most principled) passed away.

Throughout his long history of activism, he was a staunch radical who stuck to his principles and spoke for the people when it was right and necessary. Within the nearly 50 years he spent in Parliament, he campaigned for a better Britain, for the abolition of monarchy (which we need now more than ever) ,for Britain to oppose apartheid, for Labour to truly turn socialist, and successfully for peers to disclaim peerages,as he famously did so himself in 1963 to reclaim his seat of Bristol South East (now split via Bristol East and Bristol South). He also achieved a lot throughout his years in various cabinet posts in the late 1960s and late 1970s

Even when he retired from Parliament in 2001, he still remained a prominent activist for the 13 years until his death, prominently via Stop the War coalition and lastly the Coalition of Resistance and People's Assembly Against Austerity. The People's Assembly Against Austerity in London last year was the only time I heard him speak in person, and I sadly never got the chance to converse with him before his death, as many of my fellow Greens did.

I give my farewell to Tony thus, and give this message to you: remember him and his principles, and as he did, enter politics to do what is right and necessary, and to achieve what you believe needs to be achieved, and not to be just a career politician.

In memory of Anthony Neil Wedgwood Benn, formerly Viscount Stansgate, prominent Labour MP and left-wing activist, born 3 April 1925, who departed this life on 14 March 2014, aged 88 years.

No comments:

Post a Comment