Free At Last: Diaries 1991-2001 (Tony Benn Diaries, Book 7)


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Overall, his concluding judgement on New Labour is highly critical; he describes its evolution as a way of retaining office by abandoning socialism and distancing the party from the trade union movement, [] adopting a presidentialist style of politics, overriding the concept of the collective ministerial responsibility by reducing the power of the Cabinet, eliminated any effective influence from the annual conference of the Labour Party and "hinged its foreign policy on support for one of the worst presidents in US history".

Benn strongly objected to the bombing of Iraq in December , [] calling it immoral and saying: "Aren't Arabs terrified? Aren't Iraqis terrified? Don't Arab and Iraqi women weep when their children die? Does bombing strengthen their determination? Every Member of Parliament tonight who votes for the government motion will be consciously and deliberately accepting the responsibility for the deaths of innocent people if the war begins, as I fear it will.

Several months prior to his retirement, Benn was a signatory to a letter, alongside Niki Adams Legal Action for Women , Ian Macdonald QC , Gareth Peirce , and other legal professionals, that was published in The Guardian newspaper on 22 February condemning raids of more than 50 brothels in the central London area of Soho. At the time, a police spokesman said: "As far as we know, this is the biggest simultaneous crackdown on brothels and prostitution in this country in recent times", the arrest of 28 people in an operation that involved around police officers.

In the name of "protecting" women from trafficking, about 40 women, including a woman from Iraq, were arrested, detained and in some cases summarily removed from Britain. If any of these women have been trafficked Having forced women into destitution, the government first criminalised those who begged. Now it is trying to use prostitution as a way to make deportation of the vulnerable more acceptable. We will not allow such injustice to go unchallenged.

Benn chose not to seek re-election at the general election , saying he was "leaving parliament in order to spend more time on politics.

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Shortly after his retirement, he became the President of the Stop the War Coalition. The interview was broadcast on British television. He spoke against the war at the February protest in London organised by the Stop the War Coalition, with police saying it was the biggest ever demonstration in the UK with about , marchers, and the organisers estimating nearly a million people participating.

He toured with a one-man stage show and appeared a few times each year in a two-man show with folk singer Roy Bailey. He continued to speak at each subsequent festival; attending one of his speeches was described as a "Glastonbury rite of passage ". He presented a left-wing view of democracy as the means to pass power from the "wallet to the ballot". He argued that traditional social democratic values were under threat in an increasingly globalised world in which powerful institutions such as the International Monetary Fund , the World Bank and the European Commission are unelected and unaccountable to those whose lives they affect daily.

On 27 September , Benn became ill while attending the annual Labour Party Conference in Brighton and was taken by ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital after being treated by paramedics on-the-scene at the Brighton Centre. Benn reportedly fell and struck his head.

He was kept in hospital for observation and was described as being in a "comfortable condition".


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In a list compiled by the magazine New Statesman in , he was voted twelfth in the list of "Heroes of our Time". In September , Benn joined the "Time to Go" demonstration in Manchester the day before the final Labour Party Conference with Tony Blair as Leader of the Labour Party, with the aim of persuading the Government to withdraw troops from Iraq , to refrain from attacking Iran and to reject replacing the Trident missile and submarines with a new system.

He spoke to the demonstrators in the rally afterwards. In their book The Plan , Carswell and Hannan write that "Historically, it was the left that sought to disperse power among the people. It was the cause of the Levellers and the Chartists and the Suffragettes, the cause of religious toleration and meritocracy, of the secret ballot and universal education", [] adding:. These days, though, the radical cause should have different targets. The elites have altered in character and composition. The citizen is far less likely to be impacted by the decisions of dukes or bishops than by those of Nice or his local education authority.

The employees of these and similar agencies are, today, the unaccountable crown office-holders against whom earlier generations of radicals would have railed. Yet, with some exceptions—among whom, in a special place of honour, stands Tony Benn—few contemporary British leftists show any interest in dispersing power when doing so would mean challenging public sector monopolies. Cameron also said in that, alongside George Orwell 's Nineteen Eighty-Four , Benn's Arguments for Democracy was "a very powerful book which makes the important point that we vest power in people who are elected, and that we can get rid of, rather than those we can't".

At the Stop the War Conference , he described the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as "Imperialist war s " and discussed the killing of American and allied troops by Iraqi or foreign insurgents, questioning whether they were in fact freedom fighters, and comparing the insurgents to a British Dad's Army , saying: "If you are invaded you have a right to self-defence, and this idea that people in Iraq and Afghanistan who are resisting the invasion are militant Muslim extremists is a complete bloody lie.

I joined Dad's Army when I was sixteen, and if the Germans had arrived, I tell you, I could use a bayonet, a rifle, a revolver, and if I'd seen a German officer having a meal I'd have tossed a grenade through the window. Government is responsible for explaining what it has done and I don't think we were told the truth. Mary's Season. Tony Benn headed the "coalition of resistance", a group which was opposed to the UK austerity programme. In , Benn was awarded an honorary degree from Goldsmiths, University of London. He was also the honorary president of the Goldsmiths Students' Union , who successfully campaigned for him to retract comments dismissing the Julian Assange rape allegations.

In , Tony Benn reiterated his previous opposition to European integration. I took the view that having fought [Europeans in the Second World War ] that we should now work with them, and co-operate, and that was my first thought about it. Then how I saw how the European Union was developing, it was very obvious that what they had in mind was not democratic.

And the way that Europe has developed is that the bankers and the multinational corporations have got very powerful positions, and if you come in on their terms, they will tell you what you can and cannot do. And that is unacceptable. My view about the European Union has always been not that I am hostile to foreigners, but that I am in favour of democracy I think they're building an empire there, they want us to be a part of their empire and I don't want that. In , Benn was diagnosed with chronic lymphatic leukaemia and given three or four years to live; at this time, he kept the news of his leukaemia from everyone except his immediate family.

Benn said: "When you're in parliament, you can't describe your medical condition. People immediately start wondering what your majority is and when there will be a by-election. They're very brutal. Benn suffered a stroke in , and spent much of the following year in hospital. Figures from across the political spectrum praised Benn following his death, [] and the leaders of all three major political parties the Conservatives , Labour and the Liberal Democrats in the United Kingdom paid tributes to Benn on his death.

Conservative leader and Prime Minister David Cameron said:. I mean, I disagreed with most of what he said. But he was always engaging and interesting, and you were never bored when reading or listening to him, and the country a great campaigner, a great writer, and someone who I'm sure whose words will be followed keenly for many, many years to come. Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg called Benn an "astonishing, iconic figure" and a "veteran parliamentarian, he was a great writer, he had great warmth and he had great conviction Leader of the Opposition and Labour leader Ed Miliband , who knew Benn personally as a family friend, said:.

I think Tony Benn will be remembered as a champion of the powerless, as a conviction politician, as somebody of deep principle and integrity. The thing about Tony Benn is that you always knew what he stood for, and who he stood up for. And I think that's why he was admired right across the political spectrum. There are people who agreed with him and disagreed with him, including in my own party, but I think people admired that sense of conviction and integrity that shone through from Tony Benn.

Benn was a prolific diarist: nine volumes of his diaries have been published. The final volume was published in He made public several episodes of audio diaries he made during his time in Parliament and after retirement, entitled The Benn Tapes , broadcast originally on BBC Radio 4. On 5 March , it was announced that a large political archive of Benn's speeches, diaries, letters, pamphlets, recordings and ephemera had been allocated to the British Library.

The audio recordings total to thousands of hours of content. During his final years in Parliament, Benn placed three plaques within the Houses of Parliament. Two are in a room between the Central Lobby and Strangers' Gallery that holds a permanent display about the suffragettes. The second was placed in and is dedicated to all who work within the Houses of Parliament. The third is dedicated to Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison and was placed in the broom cupboard next to the Undercroft Chapel within the Palace of Westminster , where Davison is said to have hidden during the census in order to establish her address as the House of Commons.

In Bristol, where Benn first served as a member of parliament, a number of tributes exist in his honour. A bust of him was unveiled in Bristol's City Hall in Benn told the Socialist Review in that:. I'd like to have on my gravestone: "He encouraged us. I did my maiden speech on nationalising the steel industry, put down the first motion for the boycott of South African goods, and resigned from the shadow cabinet in because of their support for nuclear weapons. I think you do plant a few acorns, and I have lived to see one or two trees growing: gay rights, freedom of information, CND.

I'm not claiming them for myself but you feel you have encouraged other people and see the arguments developing.

Tony Benn - Never be afraid of getting old

I'm not ashamed of making mistakes. I've made a million mistakes and they're all in the diary. When we edit the diary—which is cut to around 10 per cent—every mistake has to be printed because people look to see if you do. I would be ashamed if I thought I'd ever said anything I didn't believe to get on, but making mistakes is part of life, isn't it?

Tony Benn has been cited as being a key mentor to future leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn , with his Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell commenting that "they would discuss everything under the sun. Jeremy was very close to Tony right up until the end. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This British person's barrelled surname is Wedgwood Benn , but they are known by the surname Benn. The Right Honourable. Caroline DeCamp m.

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Stephen Hilary Melissa Joshua. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 3 September The Guardian. Retrieved 4 May Key proponent of democratic socialism: Duncan Hall Retrieved 18 March Socialist Review.

Free at last! diaries - AbeBooks - Tony BENN: X

Archived from the original on 11 September Retrieved 2 May Art in Parliament. UK Parliament. Retrieved 3 May Stop the War Coalition. Retrieved 7 April Archived from the original on 7 February Retrieved 2 March The youngest of his brothers, Jeremy, was still-born. Great War London. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online.

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Oxford University Press. Free Radical. Channel 4. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. Quoted in Brown, Rob 27 September The Glasgow Herald. The Catholic Herald. Retrieved 29 January New Statesman.


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  7. The Best of Benn. Retrieved 5 April Oxford National Dictionary of Biography Online. Financial Times. Retrieved 8 April The Independent. Retrieved 10 April Tony Benn — Stop the War Conference Event occurs at The Biography Channel. Archived from the original on 30 September Retrieved 2 April The London Gazette Supplement. History Press. Dare to Be a Daniel.

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    United Kingdom: Hutchinson. Turner 19 March What Crisis? Aurum Press. The Times Diary. Times Newspapers. The Times. Seasons in the Sun: The Battle for Britain, — Penguin Books Limited. Nazir Tabassum". Progressive Writers Conference. Speeches [New] ed. Nottingham: Spokesman Books. Daily Telegraph. London, UK. Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionar. Council of Economic Advisers. Geoffrey S Becker Tadlock Cowan.

    Charles E Kirkpatrick. The Ground General School. Geoffrey S Becker. Engineer Intelligence Bulletin No. Headquarters Eighth Ar Engineer Section. Burkhart Mueller-Hillebrand. The Manhattan Engineer District. Department of Military Art and Engineeri. Justin T Kulongoski Kennewth Belitz.

    Jay Albanese National Institute of Justice. Book Description Paperback. This volume of his Diaries describes and comments, in a refreshing and honest way, upon the events of a momento. Book Description Arrow , Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is hours from our warehouse.

    Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Brand New Book. Tony Benn s account is a well documented, formidable and principled critique of the New Labour Project, full of drama, opinion, humour, anecdotes and sparkling pen-portraits of politicians on both sides of the political divide.

    This volume also offers far more of an insight into Tony Benn s personal life, his thoughts about the future and his relationship with his family, especially his remarkable wife Caroline, whose illness and death overshadow these years. Seller Inventory LVN Items related to Free at last! Free at last! Tony BENN. Publisher: Arrow Books , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.

    View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Buy New Learn more about this copy. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Search for all books with this author and title. Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. Published by Cornerstone, United Kingdom New Paperback Quantity Available: 1.

    Free At Last: Diaries 1991-2001 (Tony Benn Diaries, Book 7) Free At Last: Diaries 1991-2001 (Tony Benn Diaries, Book 7)
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    Free At Last: Diaries 1991-2001 (Tony Benn Diaries, Book 7) Free At Last: Diaries 1991-2001 (Tony Benn Diaries, Book 7)
    Free At Last: Diaries 1991-2001 (Tony Benn Diaries, Book 7) Free At Last: Diaries 1991-2001 (Tony Benn Diaries, Book 7)
    Free At Last: Diaries 1991-2001 (Tony Benn Diaries, Book 7) Free At Last: Diaries 1991-2001 (Tony Benn Diaries, Book 7)
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