Tony Benn

Guest writer Derek Williams with a short tribute to Tony Benn who died last week.

I was in the Labour Party in the 1980's and lucky enough to be in the Bristol South East constituency, with Tony Benn. My memories of going to ward meetings were of a packed and enthusiastic crowd whenever Tony spoke.

On more than one occasion, people in the audience would rise and, completely unprompted , would thank Tony Benn for his help in the past, usually for tackling the then DHSS or some other quasi bureaucracy.

He was genuinely loved and respected by all the constituency, whether or not they had voted for him.

The Tories reshaping the boundary led to his loss of seat in the 1983 election. I had canvassed and seeing the result on Election Special was like a kick in the testicles.

On another occasion, my aunt, who had a grandson in the Falklands debacle went to see him, out of her mind with worry; he was reassuring and comforting telling her 'not to let those bastards grind you down.'

Tony Benn was a great constituency MP, thinker and fighter. He will be sadly missed.

No comments