RIP Tony Benn and Bob Crow

It’s been a bad week for us socialists, first RMT’s Bob Crow dies of a sudden heart attack, and now I hear today that Tony Benn is gone.

Both were men who fought for their beliefs, and in the case of Bob Crow I disagreed with some of the actions but you could never fault him doing what unions should do best – fighting for their members. The grudging or not-so-grudging plaudits from the likes of Boris Johnson are testament to that fact. And Tony Benn to quote the Chumbawamba song ‘Never Gave Up’ (although that was about Rappoport) and never sold out…strange how both were treated like fossils by the right-wing and neo-liberal centrists like New Labour, where actually I think they were terribly current, we need more of their kind now, not less.

In fact Blunkett’s response on BBC radio that Benn never understood ‘the middle ground’ got me shouting at the radio and wanting to throw things…abandoning your values just to get elected isn’t something you should be touting as a great thing, David. Benn might have had his odd misfire but usually was solid, and especially as he got older got better than worse, unlike some. Maybe it was because he came from pivilege and was aware of the pitfalls, rather than rushing to the shiny like New Labour lemmings. Anyway, a far greater man than any of Tony and crew. Will be missed.

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