“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Third Benn?

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The Third Estate has an interview with Tony Benn.

Tony Benn NPG

Tony Benn NPG

I have to be honest I’m not a great fan of Tony Benn, I can’t quite get worked up into the frenzy of hero worship that is so prevalent in politics.

Also, it is partly political, I didn’t think much of him as a politician when in power, agreeing to the expansion of nuclear power in Britain. If I remember well, later on he blames it on the civil servants having told him to go along with it, which is a pretty pathetic excuse if you’re a Cabinet minister and an adult. If he agrees with nuclear power he should say so, and if not, he should take the blame himself and not try to foist it on others.

But that’s only part of the problem, coming from the political aristocracy Benn doesn’t do humility very well, and his anti-Europeanism smacks too much of the little Englander syndrome for my tastes.

Yet I recognize that he’s an articulate fellow, as one might expect given his privileged up-bringing, and not stupid either, so occasionally he can provide some political insights.

Still, the Benn diaries are a must for anyone interested in politics of the 1960-90s.

Read more of him at the Third Estate.

Written by modernityblog

15/07/2009 at 04:04

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