Tony Benn dies aged 88

Tony Benn dies aged 88

Tony Benn dies aged 88

First published in News
Last updated

TONY Benn, the veteran Labour politician who died this morning, recalled travelling through Swindon countless times during his tenure as an MP in Bristol.

He also made many speeches here over the decades, as well as appearances at the Swindon Festival of Literature and at the Wyvern Theatre, to which he brought his one-man show in 2008.

Shortly before that appearance, he praised the people of Wootton Basset - now Royal Wootton Bassett - for their compassion during the repatriations of service personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Although staunchly anti-war, he said: “It’s absolutely right that they should celebrate the connections between the people and the soldiers.

“These young men and women are being sent to fight a war that an overwhelming majority of the people of their country disagree with, but they are doing their job with dignity and diligence.”

His most spectacular visit to the area was on April 10, 1970, when he went to Fairford and became the first supersonic Concorde passenger.

At the time Mr Benn was Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s Minister of Technology, and a strong advocate of the aircraft which would become a global symbol of Britain.

Following his two hour flight aboard Concorde 002 with test pilot Brian Trubshaw, the MP said: “I enjoyed it very much indeed.

“It was a very quiet and smooth flight. When we went supersonic I felt nothing at all, but then I didn’t expect I would.”

Comments (11)

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11:16am Fri 14 Mar 14

express_a_view says...

Whether one agreed or disagreed with him this was a man who argued coherently for his beliefs. One of his most famous saying was that "politicians are either sign posts or weather vanes." Some of the greatest politicians, of all political hues, have been those who had a vision of how things should be and who were consistent in arguing their principles. Currently we have too many politicians who spin around like weather vanes trying to get the right sound bite and constantly courting short term populism.
Whether one agreed or disagreed with him this was a man who argued coherently for his beliefs. One of his most famous saying was that "politicians are either sign posts or weather vanes." Some of the greatest politicians, of all political hues, have been those who had a vision of how things should be and who were consistent in arguing their principles. Currently we have too many politicians who spin around like weather vanes trying to get the right sound bite and constantly courting short term populism. express_a_view
  • Score: 14

11:23am Fri 14 Mar 14

Davey Gravey says...

A great man. Rip
A great man. Rip Davey Gravey
  • Score: 3

12:38pm Fri 14 Mar 14

ChannelX says...

There's no denying he stuck to his principles... it's just that his principles were so warped and misguided they led him to support and defend terrorists, rapists and genocidal dictators.

As Labour's own Gerald Kaufman famously once said:


"Tony Benn is described as a politican by those who have never met him"
There's no denying he stuck to his principles... it's just that his principles were so warped and misguided they led him to support and defend terrorists, rapists and genocidal dictators. As Labour's own Gerald Kaufman famously once said: [quote] "Tony Benn is described as a politican by those who have never met him" [/quote] ChannelX
  • Score: 1

3:57pm Fri 14 Mar 14

The Real Librarian says...

ChannelX wrote:
There's no denying he stuck to his principles... it's just that his principles were so warped and misguided they led him to support and defend terrorists, rapists and genocidal dictators. As Labour's own Gerald Kaufman famously once said:
"Tony Benn is described as a politican by those who have never met him"
Ah Gerald Kaufman

Kaufman was involved in the 2009 UK parliamentary expenses scandal, where a number of British MPs made excessive expense claims, misusing their permitted allowances and expense accounts.

Kaufman was found to have claimed £115,109 in additional costs allowances on his London flat between 2001 and 2008, and submitted a claim for three months' expenses totalling £14,301.60 in June 2006, which included £8,865 for a 40-inch LCD television and £1,461.83 for a luxury rug imported from New York City (plus £389.91 in customs expenses), which violated regulations forbidding claims for luxury furnishings. He blamed his self-diagnosed obsessive compulsive disorder for his claims, and also said that his condition led him to purchase a pair of Waterford Crystal grapefruit bowls on his parliamentary expenses. Between 2005 and 2007, Kaufman claimed £28,834 for home improvements. He was subsequently summoned to the Parliamentary Fees Office to explain these claims, and in the end was paid £15,329. He also claimed £1,262 for a gas bill that was £1,055 in credit. His claims for food between 2004 and June 2008 were £19,200, close to the maximum allowed. He was also challenged over regular claims for "odd jobs", which he submitted without receipts at a rate of £245 per month, then £5 below the limit for unreceipted expenses, to which he replied by asking why these expenses were being queried.


What an honourable man he is.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: There's no denying he stuck to his principles... it's just that his principles were so warped and misguided they led him to support and defend terrorists, rapists and genocidal dictators. As Labour's own Gerald Kaufman famously once said: [quote] "Tony Benn is described as a politican by those who have never met him" [/quote][/p][/quote]Ah Gerald Kaufman Kaufman was involved in the 2009 UK parliamentary expenses scandal, where a number of British MPs made excessive expense claims, misusing their permitted allowances and expense accounts. Kaufman was found to have claimed £115,109 in additional costs allowances on his London flat between 2001 and 2008, and submitted a claim for three months' expenses totalling £14,301.60 in June 2006, which included £8,865 for a 40-inch LCD television and £1,461.83 for a luxury rug imported from New York City (plus £389.91 in customs expenses), which violated regulations forbidding claims for luxury furnishings. He blamed his self-diagnosed obsessive compulsive disorder for his claims, and also said that his condition led him to purchase a pair of Waterford Crystal grapefruit bowls on his parliamentary expenses.[9] Between 2005 and 2007, Kaufman claimed £28,834 for home improvements. He was subsequently summoned to the Parliamentary Fees Office to explain these claims, and in the end was paid £15,329. He also claimed £1,262 for a gas bill that was £1,055 in credit. His claims for food between 2004 and June 2008 were £19,200, close to the maximum allowed. He was also challenged over regular claims for "odd jobs", which he submitted without receipts at a rate of £245 per month, then £5 below the limit for unreceipted expenses, to which he replied by asking why these expenses were being queried. What an honourable man he is. The Real Librarian
  • Score: 3

4:09pm Fri 14 Mar 14

adsinibiza says...

Whatever you may think of him or his politics - a man had died who had a family - this is not the time for political argument. RIP and condolences to the family
Whatever you may think of him or his politics - a man had died who had a family - this is not the time for political argument. RIP and condolences to the family adsinibiza
  • Score: 2

4:37pm Fri 14 Mar 14

SAM2WIN says...

Tony Benn was a man of principals , he knew what he believed in & stuck to his views .Agree with him or not , we need polititions like him today who are not swayed by the tide of popular opinion . Along with Maggie we have lost two great political figures (on either side of the spectrum) .
Is it any wonder we are now a lost nation .
Tony Benn was a man of principals , he knew what he believed in & stuck to his views .Agree with him or not , we need polititions like him today who are not swayed by the tide of popular opinion . Along with Maggie we have lost two great political figures (on either side of the spectrum) . Is it any wonder we are now a lost nation . SAM2WIN
  • Score: 3

6:36pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Hmmmf says...

Never mind the politics, as MP for Bristol he would have gone back and forth along the Bristol-Paddington mainline countless times, and he recalled doing that! And he made many speeches here! He's practically a Swindonian, and if he'd been born here or lived here, he would have been. It's not every former politician you can say that about. We should dedicate a piece of town centre street art to him in honour of his memories of travelling through our town.
Never mind the politics, as MP for Bristol he would have gone back and forth along the Bristol-Paddington mainline countless times, and he recalled doing that! And he made many speeches here! He's practically a Swindonian, and if he'd been born here or lived here, he would have been. It's not every former politician you can say that about. We should dedicate a piece of town centre street art to him in honour of his memories of travelling through our town. Hmmmf
  • Score: 1

8:33am Sat 15 Mar 14

ChаnnelX says...

SAM2WIN wrote:
Tony Benn was a man of principals , he knew what he believed in & stuck to his views .Agree with him or not , we need polititions like him today who are not swayed by the tide of popular opinion . Along with Maggie we have lost two great political figures (on either side of the spectrum) .
Is it any wonder we are now a lost nation .
Ah yes, Maggie - another one who supported genocidal dictators.. remember Augusto Pinochet?
[quote][p][bold]SAM2WIN[/bold] wrote: Tony Benn was a man of principals , he knew what he believed in & stuck to his views .Agree with him or not , we need polititions like him today who are not swayed by the tide of popular opinion . Along with Maggie we have lost two great political figures (on either side of the spectrum) . Is it any wonder we are now a lost nation .[/p][/quote]Ah yes, Maggie - another one who supported genocidal dictators.. remember Augusto Pinochet? ChаnnelX
  • Score: 2

8:29am Sun 16 Mar 14

ChannelX says...

The Real Librarian wrote:
ChannelX wrote:
There's no denying he stuck to his principles... it's just that his principles were so warped and misguided they led him to support and defend terrorists, rapists and genocidal dictators. As Labour's own Gerald Kaufman famously once said:
"Tony Benn is described as a politican by those who have never met him"
Ah Gerald Kaufman

Kaufman was involved in the 2009 UK parliamentary expenses scandal, where a number of British MPs made excessive expense claims, misusing their permitted allowances and expense accounts.

Kaufman was found to have claimed £115,109 in additional costs allowances on his London flat between 2001 and 2008, and submitted a claim for three months' expenses totalling £14,301.60 in June 2006, which included £8,865 for a 40-inch LCD television and £1,461.83 for a luxury rug imported from New York City (plus £389.91 in customs expenses), which violated regulations forbidding claims for luxury furnishings. He blamed his self-diagnosed obsessive compulsive disorder for his claims, and also said that his condition led him to purchase a pair of Waterford Crystal grapefruit bowls on his parliamentary expenses. Between 2005 and 2007, Kaufman claimed £28,834 for home improvements. He was subsequently summoned to the Parliamentary Fees Office to explain these claims, and in the end was paid £15,329. He also claimed £1,262 for a gas bill that was £1,055 in credit. His claims for food between 2004 and June 2008 were £19,200, close to the maximum allowed. He was also challenged over regular claims for "odd jobs", which he submitted without receipts at a rate of £245 per month, then £5 below the limit for unreceipted expenses, to which he replied by asking why these expenses were being queried.


What an honourable man he is.
Absolutely, like most left-wingers - nasty people dressing up their nastiness with a sneering veneer of 'caring'.

At least Kaufman didn't attempt to excuse, defend and support rapists.
[quote][p][bold]The Real Librarian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: There's no denying he stuck to his principles... it's just that his principles were so warped and misguided they led him to support and defend terrorists, rapists and genocidal dictators. As Labour's own Gerald Kaufman famously once said: [quote] "Tony Benn is described as a politican by those who have never met him" [/quote][/p][/quote]Ah Gerald Kaufman Kaufman was involved in the 2009 UK parliamentary expenses scandal, where a number of British MPs made excessive expense claims, misusing their permitted allowances and expense accounts. Kaufman was found to have claimed £115,109 in additional costs allowances on his London flat between 2001 and 2008, and submitted a claim for three months' expenses totalling £14,301.60 in June 2006, which included £8,865 for a 40-inch LCD television and £1,461.83 for a luxury rug imported from New York City (plus £389.91 in customs expenses), which violated regulations forbidding claims for luxury furnishings. He blamed his self-diagnosed obsessive compulsive disorder for his claims, and also said that his condition led him to purchase a pair of Waterford Crystal grapefruit bowls on his parliamentary expenses.[9] Between 2005 and 2007, Kaufman claimed £28,834 for home improvements. He was subsequently summoned to the Parliamentary Fees Office to explain these claims, and in the end was paid £15,329. He also claimed £1,262 for a gas bill that was £1,055 in credit. His claims for food between 2004 and June 2008 were £19,200, close to the maximum allowed. He was also challenged over regular claims for "odd jobs", which he submitted without receipts at a rate of £245 per month, then £5 below the limit for unreceipted expenses, to which he replied by asking why these expenses were being queried. What an honourable man he is.[/p][/quote]Absolutely, like most left-wingers - nasty people dressing up their nastiness with a sneering veneer of 'caring'. At least Kaufman didn't attempt to excuse, defend and support rapists. ChannelX
  • Score: 2

5:03pm Sun 16 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

SAM2WIN wrote:
Tony Benn was a man of principals , he knew what he believed in & stuck to his views .Agree with him or not , we need polititions like him today who are not swayed by the tide of popular opinion . Along with Maggie we have lost two great political figures (on either side of the spectrum) .
Is it any wonder we are now a lost nation .
Clearly you have forgotten that we live in democracy so politicians should indeed be swayed by the majority. Sadly he was just another arrogant politician who didn't care about democracy, just their own narrow view on life and abused their position to spout about it.

As for thatcher, she destroyed job security and any sort of long term view from businesses, it's all about profit today and sod tomorrow and giving a meaningful service or building working relationships it's all greed is good. And those businesses who try to care are few and far between as they can't compete with the stack em high sell em cheap brigade. Not 2 people who have helped this country, quite the opposite!
[quote][p][bold]SAM2WIN[/bold] wrote: Tony Benn was a man of principals , he knew what he believed in & stuck to his views .Agree with him or not , we need polititions like him today who are not swayed by the tide of popular opinion . Along with Maggie we have lost two great political figures (on either side of the spectrum) . Is it any wonder we are now a lost nation .[/p][/quote]Clearly you have forgotten that we live in democracy so politicians should indeed be swayed by the majority. Sadly he was just another arrogant politician who didn't care about democracy, just their own narrow view on life and abused their position to spout about it. As for thatcher, she destroyed job security and any sort of long term view from businesses, it's all about profit today and sod tomorrow and giving a meaningful service or building working relationships it's all greed is good. And those businesses who try to care are few and far between as they can't compete with the stack em high sell em cheap brigade. Not 2 people who have helped this country, quite the opposite! house on the hill
  • Score: 0

6:02pm Sun 16 Mar 14

Davey Gravey says...

Thumb fiddler
Thumb fiddler Davey Gravey
  • Score: 0

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