Tuesday, June 20, 2006
One of my biggest political highlights was the day last April when Tony Benn came to Shrewsbury to support my campaign. The warmth of the reception he recieved from the hundreds of party members and supporters that turned out to hear him speak was quite amazing and will live in the memory of all that were there for many years to come.
This week Tony very kindly agreed to answer a few of my questions about his life, his political heroes and what he would ask Tony Blair if he could still put down a question at PMQs.
Mike Ion: What is your earliest political memory?
Tony Benn: In 1928 I met a Labour MP when I was 3 years old, but did not see him again for seven years. Then one Sunday in 1935 I saw him in Parliament Square marching with the Blackshirts. He was Oswald Mosley who headed the Fascists. It frightened me and taught me the danger of using Racism to win power.
MI: Which three laws would you propose to repeal if you were writing Labour's manifesto?
TB: Three Acts would be:
The anti-Trade Union legislation enacted by Thatcher
The Terrorism Act which threatens our civil liberties
The Privatization of the Railways.
MI: Who are your three political heroes, living or dead?
TB: Gandhi, Mandela and Desmond Tutu
MI: What are you reading at present?
TB: Mainly political books on Globalization
MI: If you were still an MP today and could ask a question at Prime Minister Questions to Tony Blair, what would you ask him?
TB: I would ask the Prime Minister: What Nations are in the International Community, which are not and why?
MI: When can we read you next set of diaries?
TB: I am still doing my Diary every night and the next volume may be called THE END OF NEW LABOUR or THANK YOU AND GOODBYE due out after the next election.
MI: As a 'mature' politician what advice would you offer to today's aspiring MPs?
TB: Say what you mean, mean what you say and don't attack people personally.
MI: What is your biggest regret?
TB: I have made thousands of mistakes and they are all recorded in my Diaries so you can take your pick!
Posted by Mike Ion