Friday, March 05, 2010


It's been a surprisingly mad week: all sorts of crazy stuff flying in at me from different directions, making my head spin round n round like Linda Blair; some of it will surface in nxt few days/weeks and then all will become clear. Or not.

So, I took a few hours off on Wednesday nite to go and see Tony Benn speak in my hometown. Well, it would've been rude not to. He's 85 now, but still extremely entertaining. Fascinating hearing him talk about growing up in the 30s and 40s - the impact that The Spanish Civil War, persecution of the Jews in 30's Nazi Germany, etc had on him when he was young, filtered dn thru his parents; he met Ghandi when he was aged 6 - Benn, not Ghandi! - pamphleted for his dad when he was 10, etc.

An ITN news-wagon was parked outside to get a soundbite from him on the sad death of Michael Foot, another venerable old man of British Socialism.

(The links are for the benefit of Non.Brit readers; both Benn and Foot are v. well known to my fellow countrymen. Funny to hear Benn described as "a national treasure" when he was once called "the most dangerous man alive". Interestingly, he said he'd had a death threat again fairly recently; the first one in years...)


At 9:44 pm, Blogger Geoff said...

A national treasure along with Stephen Fry, Alan Bennett and David Attenborough? I like to call them the crown jewels.

Diana Mitford wrote "it goes without saying that apart from the politicians who gave the orders and the unfortunates who obeyed them, nobody in Germany or Britain knew anything about what was happening"...Hmmm.

Where are the Foots and Benns nowadays?

At 8:15 am, Blogger guttersnipe said...

yes its funny he seems quite a cuddly old grandad character now but i was reading a book about the political climate of the 70s and it painted a very drastic image of Benn as an extremist yin to Enoch Powell's yang. all i can remember about him from that time was that everytime a newsreader mentioned 'Mr Benn' on the telly, my little ears would perk up cos i thought they were talking about Mr Benn the children's tv character.


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