Tony Benn is dead

Dan Hannan, is moved by the news, and pens a powerful obituary:

Benn saw himself as part of a continuous tradition of indigenous Leftism – a tradition that he traced back through the trade union pioneers, back through the Chartists, back through Wilkes and Paine to the radical movements that emerged from the upheavals of the seventeenth century. He and I shared a fascination with the Levellers. He admired them for their opposition to prelates and princes, for their egalitarianism and for their faith in the common man; I for their libertarianism; both of us for their commitment, remarkable in its time, to a universal franchise.

Guido has this wonderfully sharable message up today, as well as a round-up of obituaries and a reminder he was not perfect:

Benn's 5 questions

For me, in a way he was before my time, but I had the pleasure of listening to him speak at the launch of Big Brother Watch. He was a great speaker, and surprisingly sound for a lefty.

UPDATE: Perry de Havilland is less diplomatic.


  1. Having the right to ask questions does not mean one has the right to an answer, nor to be free from repercussions for asking them.

    I am undecided about Benn. Can someone so clever, so connected, be so wrong about so much, and remain so unknowingly deluded?



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