Friday, 27 March 2009

No Final Victories - No Final Defeats: An Evening with Tony Benn


Tony Benn had the great pleasure of spending an evening with me last Friday in Coventry. Or at least, that's how I'd like to suggest the encounter is presented.

In truth however, my wife and I, alongside over a hundred others spent a hugely entertaining and lively two hours with a man who still represents a significant force for good in British and International politics.

Across the wide range of issues thrown at him his central focus on accountability and credibility of political leaders was key.

The event last week kicked off a year-long series of engagements across the UK and I really would encourage you to get along and get involved in the debate. Regardless of your political outlook and affiliation Tony Benn is worth listening to as someone who has played a significant role in British political life since the 1950s.

You can see a list of the dates/venues:

I took the title for this post from his response to a question about the point at which socialists should, if ever leave the Labour Party. He suggested that his own life within the party was a series of highs and lows but that ultimately it was best place for socialists to remain and fight.

Would you agree?




Never Surrender! said...

You appear to have fallen into the trap of the cult of the individual.

TB was one, amongst hundreds of thousands, who bulit the Labour Party - and along the way made many mistakes.

I really can't see the benefit from going along to hear from someone who was no bearing on anything of relevance to the modern needs of trade unionists.

Ian Manborde said...


I have been accused of many things - but falling for the 'cult of personality' is a new one!

Believe me, I am old enough and wise enough to be able to critically assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of any politician and TB is no exception.

I profoundly disagree with your last point. TB is today with tens of thousands of people from across the UK ( as president of the Stop the War campaign.

His position on the illegality of war in Iraq, the failure of financial markets, the need to more greatly protect the needs of working families is as relevant today as it has been throughout history.

As I said originally in my post, people of all political persuasions and none should get along and engage and challenge. He would not fear anything you had to say and you should not fear anything he tells you.

Thanks for your contribution.



Jas said...


Did you make the march in london in the end?

Didn't see you there but then there were thousands attending - a relly great day!

Glad to hear that Tony Benn get the chance to meet you - no doubt he had this on his list of things to do before he passed away!

Agree with the point that we should listen do different points of view and that if nothing else he is part and parcel of our movements history.


Never Surrender! said...

Still not convinced.

Look at the past few days G20 etc., where's he been?