Saturday, 15 March 2014

TONY BENN, An english republican.

Tony Benn
Socialist and Republican

Tony Benn, a true Socialist in every aspect of the word. It is not what he achieved politically, rather the principles of what he held fast to all of his life and that made him great!

I see little point in rewriting what others have already written about him (Tony Benn) and so therefore I direct you to the following links

Tony at The Glastonbury Festival

Finally, let the words of another notable republican socialist fill your heart and mind.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has described Tony Benn as a true friend of the Irish people following his support for a united Ireland.

His republicanism and dealings with Sinn Fein long before IRA and loyalist ceasefires which ended the Northern Ireland conflict in 1994 provoked controversy, particularly his invitation to Mr Adams to come to Westminster.

The former West Belfast MP said: "Tony was a true friend of the Irish people.

"A principled politician and activist, he spoke up passionately for the idea of a united Ireland. He remained an avid supporter of Irish freedom throughout his life."

Mr Benn met the Sinn Fein leader on numerous occasions. He invited Mr Adams to a meeting in 1983 during the height of the IRA's campaign when the republican party's tolerance of violence was anathema to most in Great Britain.

After a visit by Mr Adams was blocked in 1993 he correctly predicted that he would eventually visit Downing Street, to become a regular occurrence during peace process negotiations under the Blair administration.

Mr Benn,once campaigned to have the Queen's head removed from stamps. He was a republican, advocating an end to the monarchy.

His interest in Northern Ireland was long-standing and helped keep the issue on the Westminster agenda.

Mr Adams, now a public representative in the Irish parliament, added: "Tony was a champion of the downtrodden and the voiceless in Britain, in Ireland and throughout the world.

"I met Tony many times over the years. He was a thoughtful and highly intelligent human being and a genuinely nice man, whom I will greatly miss."

In 2002, when the peace process was gridlocked over IRA arms decommissioning, the upper-middle class and nonconformist radical called for joint authority to be introduced by London and Dublin.

Ireland's foreign affairs minister, Eamon Gilmore, said he was a man of great integrity and determination.

"Tony was a most principled and respected parliamentarian and was also a great friend of Ireland.

©belfasttelegraph 2014


  1. Indeed - I wrote about him yesterday - the passing of a great - and what is more hones - man.

    1. Thank you Weaver. Indeed he was an honest man. Honesty being the one quality that is sadly lacking in the majority of today's politicians.

  2. I have always had great respect for Tony Benn - as you say he was a true Republican Socialist.
    I read part of his diary where he recounted a conversation with a Tory candidate in 2003 who had recently met Thatcher. When this man asked her what she considered to be her greatest achievement she replied
    "New Labour."
    As Tony Benn remarked 
"That says it all really."
    He will be greatly missed.

  3. I once went canvassing in Chesterfield for Tony Benn when I still believed in the old Labour party. Tony Benn should of been Prime minister. A great man!

  4. He was what we lack these days, honest, principled, deeply committed. What has happened to politics today?

  5. Unfortunately the majority of politicians today are cunning, conniving wasters driven by power and high finance.

  6. B.Furlong said :

    I agree with all the sentiments expressed regarding the late Tony Benn (RIP). I have observed revolutionary movements around the world in recent decades. In my view post peace, revolutionary movements are at their most vulnerable to counter revolution.The cause is often the sleveen politician. Tony Benn however belonged with that noble band of Politicians who history will record and remember fondly.

    Brian Furlong.

    1. Thank you very much for your comment Brian.

  7. He was a good and honest man who stood up for his principles. Today's politicians could learn a lot from him. We can see his home across the river where his wife is buried and I believe he will also be laid to rest.

  8. Indeed Fran, Tony Benn would make a good role model for a politician from any country to base themselves on.

  9. I didn't know much about him, being from the other side of the pond, but can tell from my UK friends' FB feeds that he was an honourable, principled man. They don't make too many of those anymore.


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