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Tony Benn


Known as Tony Benn, formerly 2nd Viscount Stansgate, is a British politician on the left of the Labour Party.
Tony Benn
We have been in recess since July, and during that time there have been a fuel crisis, a Danish no vote, the collapse of the Euro and a war in the middle east, but what is our business tomorrow? The Insolvency Bill [Lords]. It ought be called the Bankruptcy Bill [Commons], because we play no role.
Benn quotes
[Men] who would rather go to jail than betray what they believe to be their duty to their fellow workers and the principles which they hold.
Benn
Choice depends on the freedom to choose and if you are shackled with debt you donít have the freedom to choose.




Benn Tony quotes
The key to any progress is to ask the question why? All the time. Why is that child poor? Why was there a war? Why was he killed? Why is he in power? And of course questions can get you into a lot of trouble, because society is trained by those who run it, to accept what goes on. Without questions we won't make any progress at all.
Benn Tony
Anyone from abroad will tell you that it is the class system that really lies at the root of our problems, economic and industrial. The House of Lords symbolises that.
Tony Benn quotes
If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people.
Tony Benn
Britain's continuing membership of the Community would mean the end of Britain as a completely self-governing nation and the end of our democratically elected Parliament as the supreme law making body in the United Kingdom.
Benn Tony quotes
I have always said this of Tony: he immatures with age.
Benn
He has a deep contempt for Britain, the British people and parliamentary democracy. He is trying to climb back to power via the Treaty of Rome, and put Britain under government from Brussels for ever. In 1970 Mr Heath solemnly promised that he would not take Britain into the Common Market without the full-hearted consent of the British people. He broke his pledged word then, and he now says he will not accept a 'No' vote on Thursday. Heath promised more jobs and higher living standards inside the EEC. These promises were all broken, and he now tells us we are so poor we cannot come out; beggars can't be chooses. That is false, too. Heath's leadership has been a total disaster for the British people. The Tory Party threw him out.
Benn Tony
In developing our industrial strategy for the period ahead, we have the benefit of much experience. Almost everything has been tried at least once.
Tony Benn
If one meets a powerful person--Adolf Hitler, Joe Stalin or Bill Gates--ask them five questions: "What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?" If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.




Tony Benn quotes
The 1973 Labour Conference will have before it the most radical programme the Party has prepared since 1945.
Tony Benn
When you think of the number of men in the world who hate each other, why, when two men love each other, does the church split?
Benn quotes
This huge Commission building in Brussels, in the shape of a cross, is absolutely un-British. I felt as if I were going as a slave to Rome; the whole relationship was wrong. Here was I, an elected man who could be removed, doing a job, and here were these people with more power than I had and no accountability to anybody...My visit confirmed in a practical way all my suspicions that this would be the decapitation of British democracy without any countervailing advantage, and the British people, quite rightly, wouldn't accept it. There is no real benefit for Britain.
Benn Tony
... Ideas are more powerful than guns.
Benn Tony quotes
We have confused the real issue of parliamentary democracy, for already there has been a fundamental change. The power of electors over their law-makers has gone, the power of MPs over Ministers has gone, the role of Ministers has changed. The real case for entry has never been spelled out, which is that there should be a fully federal Europe in which we become a province. It hasn't been spelled out because people would never accept it. We are at the moment on a federal escalator, moving as we talk, going towards a federal objective we do not wish to reach. In practice, Britain will be governed by a European coalition government that we cannot change, dedicated to a capitalist or market economy theology. This policy is to be sold to us by projecting an unjustified optimism about the Community, and an unjustified pessimism about the United Kingdom, designed to frighten us in. Jim quoted Benjamin Franklin, so let me do the same: "He who would give up essential liberty for a little temporary security deserves neither safety nor liberty." The Common Market will break up the UK because there will be no valid argument against an independent Scotland, with its own Ministers and Commissioner, enjoying Common Market membership. We shall be choosing between the unity of the UK and the unity of the EEC. It will impose appalling strains on the Labour movement...I believe that we want independence and democratic self-government, and I hope the Cabinet in due course will think again.
Tony Benn
Through me the energy policy of the whole Common Market is being held up. Without opening old wounds, it pleases me no end.
Tony Benn quotes
I sometimes wish the trade unionists who work in the mass media, those who are writers and broadcasters and secretaries and printers and lift operators of Thomson House would remember that they too are members of our working class movement and have a responsibility to see that what is said about us is true.
Tony Benn
All war represents a failure of diplomacy.
Benn Tony
When we have a majority we will do it. I think the days of the Lords are quite genuinely numbered.


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