Tony Benn , one time Labour MP, Labour Cabinet minister, and leader of the democratic left in Britain died yesterday. He was an inspiration to many and will be sadly missed. The best tribute I can make is to post these two videos, the first a 10 minute history lesson for neo-liberals, of him in full flow.
“Education is our core weapon……If people knew what was happening they wouldn’t accept what was happening…the Government doesn’t want people to know…”
“Every single generation has to fight the same battles again and again. There is no final victory and no final defeat.”
“I am very proud I was in the Labour Party of 1945. Our manifesto was very clear. It said the interwar slumps were not acts of God….it was the direct result of too much economic power in the hands of too few men who behaved like a totalitarian oligarchy in the heart of our democratic state. They had and they felt no responsibility to the nation”.
“…in wartime there are no economic arguments at all. I’ve never heard a general say I can’t bomb Baghdad this month because I’ve exceeded my budget. You just do whatever is required. We should adopt the principle you do whatever is required in peacetime too. People want jobs, they want income they want education, they want health care , they want to be looked after if they are old”.
The second is an interview he gave to Michael Moore:
“If you can have full employment by killing Germans, why can’t you have full employment by building hospitals?”
Tony Benn spoke passionately about the NHS, saying that there would be a “revolution” if it was removed – and also argued for full employment.