Benn the Betrayer was never in the running for Labour leader

Don’t look so shocked, Hilary: Of course we were going to see through your betrayals [Image: Richard Gardner/Rex/Shutterstock].

Why would anybody think Hilary Benn a good choice as Labour leader? The role requires someone who can stick to a policy for longer than two weeks, and Mr Benn has shown he cannot manage this, over Syria.

Two weeks before the crucial vote on air strikes against Daesh in that country, Mr Benn opposed the possibility of any such strikes, but on the day he made a passionate speech in favour of them.

That turnaround qualifies him to be described in his own father’s terms as a “weathercock” – a politician who faces any way the wind blows.

Tony Benn said we needed more people in political life who were “signposts” – choosing a direction of travel, saying “this is the way forward”, and sticking to it.

Alex Salmond was right to suggest Mr Benn’s late father would have been appalled by his change of heart, and Mr Benn’s reaction to the indictment is neither here nor there.

To This Writer, it seems more likely he is unhappy that he has lost the respect of his peers, but what did he expect?

He betrayed his party leader, and he betrayed the memory of his father as well.

Hilary Benn has ruled out running for Labour leader in the wake of his dramatic speech on Syria and spoken of his regret at people using his father’s memory to attack his position in favour of airstrikes.

The shadow foreign secretary, son of the late anti-war Labour grandee Tony Benn, condemned former SNP first minister Alex Salmond’s comment that his father would be “burling in his grave” at his speech advocating bombing during the House of Commons debate on Syria.

“I agree with his fellow SNP MP who described it as repulsive. I thought, ‘Well, pretty cheap,’” he told the Guardian.

While he won respect for sticking to his views and speaking from the frontbench against Jeremy Corbyn, others accused him of betraying his leader and his father. Benn revealed he had replied to the many emails he had received since, even abusive ones.

Source: Hilary Benn rules out Labour leadership bid | Politics | The Guardian

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8 thoughts on “Benn the Betrayer was never in the running for Labour leader

  1. Phil Woodford

    This writer thinks Hilary Benn thoroughly embarrassed Corbyn during the Syria debate. You could tell be the body language. What Benn pointed out, of course, is that Jez’s policy of no military intervention anywhere has never been the mainstream view of the Labour movement. This is a party with a fine history of internationalism – from the socialists who went to fight against Franco, right through to Blair’s intervention against the Serbian genocide in Kosovo, which Corbyn shamefully opposed. Of course, Jez knew he was biting off more than he could chew by sidelining Benn in his laughable reshuffle. So he’ll always have to glance over his shoulder.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Jeremy Corbyn does not have a policy of “no military intervention anywhere”.
      Please show us where he said that.

      1. philwoodford (@philwoodford)

        Find me an example of when he has ever supported a British military intervention during his time in parliament or in his political career before. He even opposed military action against the Serbian genocide in Kosovo.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        What does that tell us, apart from the fact that he didn’t find any reason to support those actions? Nothing.
        Here’s his official line: “Corbyn said he would not describe himself as a pacifist but military action should be used only as an absolute last resort.”
        That’s from his Andrew Marr interview last November, quoted in the Graun:

    1. John Gaines

      A gutless self satisfied pratt, exactly the same cut as his pain in the Ass useless Peer, Harold Wilson could not stand the prattling twister.

  2. Chris Kordzinski

    No compassion, no empathy – a true Tory. Sorry, even worse – a true Tory in masquerade. Not wishing to be an inverted snob, but I can’t recall anyone on our council estate being called Hilary – with or without a vagina. So you have it – a complete twat.

  3. Terry Davies

    I personally sent an email to Hilary Benn
    asking him to resign and criticising him personally as a political advocate and careerist MP.
    Shaming of his father by his speech was mentioned and the narrative and content analysed with caustic comments made.
    the content of the email was not abusive but directly requested his resignation. He didnt reply to me so any response he makes regarding replying to all emails are misleading. he may have responded to some constituents however these were probably limited in number and I suspect of a standard reply format.
    I would welcome his resignation as unlike his father he lacks principle and may be described fittingly as a weathercock or fairweather politician. Any way the wind blows he will follow if there is gain in it for him personally.
    Sadly he has brought himself into disrepute although thankfully his father’s legacy will remain a source of respect for those principled within political parties. Hilary Benn is no longer believable and is viewed in a negative light. Therefore he should own his behaviour and resign.

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