Jump to content
Hazel

Rest in Peace

Recommended Posts

I always loved listening to Tony Ben, even if I didn't totally agree with some of his opinions. He was a rare gentleman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tony Benn, a politician for more than half a century. A radical.

I always loved listening to Tony Ben, even if I didn't totally agree with some of his opinions. He was a rare gentleman.

Indeed, he was an amazing man. He was always courteous and spoke magnificently and passionately, because he was speaking honestly. I suppose it helped that I usually agreed with him.

 

He has definitely been one of my heroes since the early seventies and then my daughters discovered him for themselves recently - his powers had not waned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just had occasion to look him up and I'm not sure why.  Maybe it was when I was reading those books about Kim Philby (not to imply that Benn was a spy).  Anyway, I realized that he would be like Christopher Hitchens for me--I would always like him and find what he said interesting even though I would rarely agree with him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clarissa Dickson Wright - who apparently died in Edinburgh Infirmary on Saturday.  I only read her biography, Spilling the Beans, a few weeks ago and it was a real joy.  Loved her love of life and her cookery programmes.  So sad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed, he was an amazing man. He was always courteous and spoke magnificently and passionately, because he was speaking honestly. I suppose it helped that I usually agreed with him.

 

He has definitely been one of my heroes since the early seventies and then my daughters discovered him for themselves recently - his powers had not waned.

 

Indeed. I can't think of a British politician from my lifetime that I admired more. He turned his back on privilege (he was entitled to sit in the House of Lords but renounced his peerage) to champion, peace, democracy and the working man.

 

There has been much comment in the press about his stance making Labour virtually unelectable during the 1980s. I don't, however, believe this was a power play but because he was, as I mentioned on the thread we had marking Margaret Thatcher's passing last year a conviction politician, probably the last of his kind. We shall almost certainly not see his like again, and more's the pity.

 

Last week was a bad week for the British left, with the loss not only of Tony Benn, but of Bob Crow, the militant leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers union, who died of a heart attack aged just 52. I doubt that, after the incumbent Mayor (of whom I am not a fan), there were many more divisive figures in London. During his tenure, drivers on the Underground went on strike a staggering 24 times. When the Tube stops working, this city can come to a virtual standstill.

 

Every time they walked out, there were dark mutterings among my fellow Londoners about how well paid tube drivers were, how short their working week. However, very few seemed to stop and think about why this might be. As Billy Bragg observed in song, there is a power in a union, and Bob Crow exercised it to the full.                

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clarissa Dickson Wright - who apparently died in Edinburgh Infirmary on Saturday.  I only read her biography, Spilling the Beans, a few weeks ago and it was a real joy.  Loved her love of life and her cookery programmes.  So sad.

Sad to hear that, and surprised to hear that she was only 66, I thought she was years older than me.

I loved her idiosyncratic attitude to life and food, and the forthright way she expressed herself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

peace, democracy and the working man.

Yes, Tony Benn pointed out years ago that it's not the politicians ruling the country or the people who vote for them, but those in control of finance and investment. That's really showing now - new jobs created are low paid and zero hours, because big businesses don't want to invest the billions they have squirrelled away.

 

I think you may be right Grammath. There doesn't seem to be a party, or even a politician who is standing up for the poor any more. It's frightening how many people believe what politicians say and don't see those really struggling. There are so many people who just cannot cope on their pay or just get a job. I know many are driven to bad choices of loans and then debts spiral as was shown in this week's 'Famous, Rich and Hungry' programmes - but why are these loans legal anyway?

 

I didn't know much about Bob Crow, but have been reading up about him this week. I guess he was more known in London because of the strikes. It does seem to me, that governments have not treated any unions with respect since the miners' strikes. They don't listen, complain when unions get angry, and do what they want anyway. Billy Bragg is another of my favourites, but we don't seem to be able to unite much any more to act like a union and be powerful. These two men will be missed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Tony Benn pointed out years ago that it's not the politicians ruling the country or the people who vote for them, but those in control of finance and investment. That's really showing now - new jobs created are low paid and zero hours, because big businesses don't want to invest the billions they have squirrelled away.

 

I think you may be right Grammath. There doesn't seem to be a party, or even a politician who is standing up for the poor any more. It's frightening how many people believe what politicians say and don't see those really struggling. There are so many people who just cannot cope on their pay or just get a job. I know many are driven to bad choices of loans and then debts spiral as was shown in this week's 'Famous, Rich and Hungry' programmes - but why are these loans legal anyway?

 

I didn't know much about Bob Crow, but have been reading up about him this week. I guess he was more known in London because of the strikes. It does seem to me, that governments have not treated any unions with respect since the miners' strikes. They don't listen, complain when unions get angry, and do what they want anyway. Billy Bragg is another of my favourites, but we don't seem to be able to unite much any more to act like a union and be powerful. These two men will be missed.

It was pointed out more than once in the recent write-ups about Bob Crowe, that he not only fought for the drivers but employees who did not have might and muscle, such as the cleaners.

 

I often talk about Trade Unions with friends and colleagues and get a bit depressed at the way they are viewed. I try and tell them..."Unions: the people who brought you the weekend. And capped working hours. And employment rights and protections. And fair wages. And pensions. And ended child labour."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, BP. I was brought up by a shop steward dad and my gran was a union convenor. I vividly remember doing the birth of the trade unions in history at school.

 

In my own field, one benefit brought by strong trade unions is the fact that your children are taught by trained teachers with a degree and postgraduate qualification, and not anyone they can drag in off the street. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Margo MacDonald Scottish politician. As of late campaigning for assisted suicide, suffering from Parkinson's Disease.

Wasn't she firmly against assisted suicide until she was diagnosed with Parkinson's?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter Matthiessen, author of many books, including "The Snow Leopard," "Far Tortuga," and "Killing Mr. Watson," the events of which took place not far from where I am right now. He was in his late 80s and had been suffering from leukemia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mickey Rooney, the baby-faced star of practically every black & white film on Sunday afternoon TV during my childhood.

A working life of 90 years, and married eight times - he's earned his rest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mickey Rooney, the baby-faced star of practically every black & white film on Sunday afternoon TV during my childhood.

 

I couldn't possibly count the number of times I must have watched his movies on TV on the weekends when I was a kid. He was quite a character!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, seems it is true. She was found dead at her home after tweeting a pic of her and her mum. Not a fan of hers, but she did have 2 baby boys. Terrible shame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember watching Bob Geldof in Live Aid in 1985 with our kids, Peaches is one of his kids, sad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...