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Meeting Tony Benn

July 1st, 2009 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · No Comments · Politics

Me & Tony Benn, Worthing, June 30th 2009

Me & Tony Benn, Worthing, June 30th 2009

Today I went down to Worthing for ‘an evening with Tony Benn’.   This was a fundraiser for his grandaughter, Emily, who is the parliamentary candidate down there, and a very pleasant evening it was too.Tony Benn has always been a bit of a hero and inspiration to me.  The only time I ever saw him before was when he was speaking at a rally in Trafalgar Square in the 80s.   I can’t remember if it was a CND rally, or an anti-apaartheid rally, or something else, but I do remember that it was his birthday and the whole crowd (estimated to be in excess of 7 by the police at the time) sang happy birthday.

Back then Benn was held in great esteem by the sort of person who went on these marches but was public enemy number one in the tabloid papers.  In the years since then he seems to have acheived national treasure status.  Not sure when that happened, but surely he deserves it.  He spoke to us for a short time, leaving most of the evening free for questions from the floor.

It was a welcome change to have somebody from the Labour party speaking and to be able to sit there agreeing with everything they said!   There were some very thought-provoking comments on all sorts of topics, particularly on war and how much we should interfere with other nations’ affairs.

Emily Benn was also there.  I thought she was very impressive and so absolutely bloody young.  I am still finding it hard to adjust to parliamentary candidates who are literally young enough to be my children, but I can see why she was selected because she spoke well and sounded like a real politician. (But I won’t hold that against her)

I know that when she was selected there were suggestions that it was just because of the family name and Tony’s influence in the party.  Personally I think that if Tony Benn’s influence had anything to do with it then it was only the influence he will have had over Emily and her development rather than anything else and when she gets into parliament, as I am sure she will, it will be under her own steam.

East Worthing & Shoreham Labour Party put on a really good evening.  Tea, coffee and soft drinks laid on, and a plate of strawberries, raspberries, grapes and cherries on every table. Lots of party members and supporters from all over the county were there and made to feel extremely welcome.

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