York politicians pay tribute to Tony Benn

York Press: Politician Tony Benn, who has died aged 88 Politician Tony Benn, who has died aged 88

YORK politicians paid tribute to Tony Benn following the former cabinet minister’s death, aged 88.

The ex-Labour MP, who served Parliament for more than 50 years and was also a renowned public speaker and diarist, passed away yesterday at his London home.

York Central MP Hugh Bayley said: “He was one of a tiny number of MPs who the chamber would fill up for when it was their time to speak - there might be only ten or 20 people in there, but when it was his turn, within five minutes there would be a couple of hundred.

“They came because they were interested in his ideas and what he had to say, and because he spoke so well. It was theatre as well as politics, and he had a wonderful sense of humour and way with words.”

Mr Bayley said Mr Benn’s legacy would be initiating House of Lords reform by renouncing his hereditary peerage to remain an MP, as “a champion of British manufacturing”, and as a people’s politician. He said: “He believed politics is about giving people a voice, reflecting what they say in Parliament, and that’s what I learned from him more than anything.”

Guildhall councillor Brian Watson, during his time as a shop steward at aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley, met Mr Benn on several occasions and said: "I always found him not only a very knowledgeable person, but a straightforward and honest speaker and negotiation - there was no spin with Tony.

"He would have said 'if it needs spin, it isn't worth bothering with". It is a sad day indeed for socialism, and he will be long remembered by those of us who were lucky enough to have met him in a work environment."

Coun Janet Looker, who also represents Guildhall, said: “He was always hugely inspirational and I admired the energy he put into keeping debate and dialogue going – he had a voice we don’t seem to have in politics any more, and I think we will miss that.”

Council leader James Alexander tweeted: “So sad at the loss of Tony Benn...the movement has lost a hero.”

Comments (7)

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8:19pm Sat 15 Mar 14

nowthen says...

Tony Benn said : “He believed politics is about giving people a voice, reflecting what they say in Parliament : if it needs spin, it isn't worth bothering with. ..... I didn't agree with a lot of Tony Benn's agendas but I always admired his honesty and integrity. I wonder what he'd make of York's Labour led council. I expect answers to include : grave , in , turn and his.
Tony Benn said : “He believed politics is about giving people a voice, reflecting what they say in Parliament : if it needs spin, it isn't worth bothering with. ..... I didn't agree with a lot of Tony Benn's agendas but I always admired his honesty and integrity. I wonder what he'd make of York's Labour led council. I expect answers to include : grave , in , turn and his. nowthen
  • Score: -45

9:48am Sun 16 Mar 14

oldgoat says...

nowthen wrote:
Tony Benn said : “He believed politics is about giving people a voice, reflecting what they say in Parliament : if it needs spin, it isn't worth bothering with. ..... I didn't agree with a lot of Tony Benn's agendas but I always admired his honesty and integrity. I wonder what he'd make of York's Labour led council. I expect answers to include : grave , in , turn and his.
Agreed. I'm glad Alexander did his best to keep his mouth shut. Him and his rabble, naming no names, perhaps need to study something of what Tony Benn was about. Then they could try being a fraction of what he was. Steep learning curve but they might make it...
[quote][p][bold]nowthen[/bold] wrote: Tony Benn said : “He believed politics is about giving people a voice, reflecting what they say in Parliament : if it needs spin, it isn't worth bothering with. ..... I didn't agree with a lot of Tony Benn's agendas but I always admired his honesty and integrity. I wonder what he'd make of York's Labour led council. I expect answers to include : grave , in , turn and his.[/p][/quote]Agreed. I'm glad Alexander did his best to keep his mouth shut. Him and his rabble, naming no names, perhaps need to study something of what Tony Benn was about. Then they could try being a fraction of what he was. Steep learning curve but they might make it... oldgoat
  • Score: -13

10:02am Sun 16 Mar 14

Pinza-C55 says...

The reason Tony Benn was demonised in the 1970's was because he challenged the conservative establishment - capitalism, the house of lords, the royal family and especially the press.
Unfortunately conservatism won, so now we have a Labour party which is simply the Tories in cheap suits.
Tony was a man of principle and will be missed in a country which has no principles.
The reason Tony Benn was demonised in the 1970's was because he challenged the conservative establishment - capitalism, the house of lords, the royal family and especially the press. Unfortunately conservatism won, so now we have a Labour party which is simply the Tories in cheap suits. Tony was a man of principle and will be missed in a country which has no principles. Pinza-C55
  • Score: 26

3:31pm Sun 16 Mar 14

MouseHouse says...

Time has proved Tony Benn to be overwhelmingly correct, and will continue to do so.

Much missed.
Time has proved Tony Benn to be overwhelmingly correct, and will continue to do so. Much missed. MouseHouse
  • Score: 7

9:35pm Sun 16 Mar 14

petethefeet says...

I'm a Tory but will always listen to people with convictions. I was delighted to hear him speak in the Minster. RIP.
I'm a Tory but will always listen to people with convictions. I was delighted to hear him speak in the Minster. RIP. petethefeet
  • Score: 6

7:50am Mon 17 Mar 14

Kevin Turvey says...

I do not do mainstream politics as they are all liars and sharks from both sides (particularly in the middle!) with a few exceptions, Tony Benn and ‘The Beast of Bolsover’ are those exceptions.

However Tony Benn had real integrity, principles and foresight and will be missed.

His like will not be seen again as todays career politicians are only in it for the career/money and not the principles at stake and to genuinely want to help their constituents.

‘Council leader James Alexander tweeted: “So sad at the loss of Tony Benn...the movement has lost a hero.”’

James Alexander will never be worth the sh!t on Tony Benn’s shoe, Better he said nothing and we all thought he was a fool rather than prove he is one by opening his mouth!
I do not do mainstream politics as they are all liars and sharks from both sides (particularly in the middle!) with a few exceptions, Tony Benn and ‘The Beast of Bolsover’ are those exceptions. However Tony Benn had real integrity, principles and foresight and will be missed. His like will not be seen again as todays career politicians are only in it for the career/money and not the principles at stake and to genuinely want to help their constituents. ‘Council leader James Alexander tweeted: “So sad at the loss of Tony Benn...the movement has lost a hero.”’ James Alexander will never be worth the sh!t on Tony Benn’s shoe, Better he said nothing and we all thought he was a fool rather than prove he is one by opening his mouth! Kevin Turvey
  • Score: 5

11:29am Mon 17 Mar 14

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

Tony Benn used to enjoy listening to Radio Caroline whilst in the bath. Yet he was the postmaster-general who closed down all the pirate radio stations in 1967. A man "who believed in politics giving people a voice"?
Tony Benn used to enjoy listening to Radio Caroline whilst in the bath. Yet he was the postmaster-general who closed down all the pirate radio stations in 1967. A man "who believed in politics giving people a voice"? Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: 2

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