Tony Benn seriously ill in hospital

Last Updated: February 12, 2014By Tags: , , , , ,
Tony Benn [Image: Daily Mirror]

Tony Benn [Image: Daily Mirror]

Vox Political offers its sincerest best wishes to Tony Benn, who has spent a fourth night in hospital where he is understood to be seriously unwell.

Mr Benn was my constituency MP in Bristol during my formative years, and I used to hear a great deal about his beliefs and principles from politically-active members of my family who used to attend meetings with him.

This information greatly influenced my understanding of what politicians should be – especially during the time of Conservative ascendancy during the 1980s and 90s.

It is from him that I took the metaphor, often used on this blog, of politicians as either ‘signposts’ or ‘weathercocks’. A ‘signpost’ points clearly in the direction that person believes the nation should travel, while a ‘weathercock’ goes any way the prevailing (political) wind blows. Use that to examine your own MPs and see how they measure up!

I was lucky enough to meet him only two years ago, when he spoke at Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon. The event was attended, not only by members of the general public, but by politicians of every hue, including prominent Conservatives. Clearly, Mr Benn enjoys cross-party respect.

He spoke clearly and wittily, and it was a privilege to enjoy the illumination of his insights. I hope that he will recover soon, so we can all continue to enjoy the benefits of his wisdom.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. aussieeh February 12, 2014 at 11:56 am - Reply

    If only half the New Labour lot had half of this mans integrity, sincerity, morals and wisdom, they would never be out of power and this country would be at the top of its game.

  2. amnesiaclinic February 12, 2014 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Thanks, Mike for keeping us up to date. Sending him lovexxxxxx

  3. Barry Davies February 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Indeed, best wishes to him, although I didn’t always agree with his policies he has always had the integrity to stand by his beliefs, unlike the pile of trash in parliament these days.

  4. Ian Duncan February 12, 2014 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    As above + 1.

  5. Jane Owens February 12, 2014 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Undeniably, both a man and a politician with principle and passion. Far too many drones in the Commons nowadays.

  6. beetleypete February 12, 2014 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    A real gentleman, and someone who is that rare thing, an intelligent politician. I hope he is better soon.

  7. imran February 12, 2014 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    one comment he made which always stays in my head is: “There is no moral difference between a Stealth bomber and a suicide bomber. They both kill innocent people for political reasons.”

    What a guy!

  8. beastrabban February 12, 2014 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Tony Benn is a figure in politics, who has aroused great passions from immense respect to bitter hatred from his political opponents. One of my aunts, who was very politically involved, once gave me a letter and photograph of him she had received after writing to him about an issue. He is a man of immense integrity and an excellent speaker. He gave his utmost support in the 1960s to the campaign by Black Bristolians to end the colour bar then in force on the City’s buses. It also says something of the man’s stature that he was also capable of receiving the respect and friendship from his opponents on the other side of the House. In the 1990s he went on a speaking tour of Britain with Norman Tebbit. I knew people at the time who were very Libertarian in their political beliefs, who nevertheless went to see him and remarked on just how good he was, and how packed the audiences were. Like Mike, I hope he will get better, and we can continue to enjoy his wit and humane insights for a few more years to come.

  9. Jim Round February 13, 2014 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    Wonder what he’ll make of Milliband’s latest ramblings:
    RIP Labour

  10. […] to eulogise over him. I have already written about the effect Mr Benn had on my own development in a previous article and see no reason to rehash […]

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