Sunday 18 February 2018

Tony Benn quotes

"The House of Lords is the British Outer Mongolia for retired politicians." – 'New York Times', February 1962.

"I am not a reluctant peer but a persistent commoner." – November 1960, at a press conference.

"If the queen can reject the advice of a minister on a little thing like a postage stamp, what would happen if she rejected the advice of the prime minister on a major matter? If the crown personally can reject advice, then, of course, the whole democratic facade turns out to be false." – When, in the 1960s, as postmaster general, he tried to have the queen's head removed from stamps.

"Broadcasting is really too important to be left to the broadcasters." – 1968, when Minister of Technology.

"Some of the jam we thought was for tomorrow, we've already eaten." – 1969.

"The flag of radicalism, which has been hoisted in Wolverhampton, is beginning to look like the one that fluttered 25 years ago over Dachau and Belsen." – On Enoch Powell's campaign speech, 1970 general election.

"I try to operate on two unconnected levels. One on the practical level of action, in which I am extremely cautious and conservative. The second is the realm of ideas, where I try to be very free." – 1971.

Irish Independent

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