Daily News Hub

DNH

Famous quotes and Sayings by British Politician Tony Benn. Biography

“Well I came across Marx rather late in life actually, and when I read him, two things: first of all I realised that he’d come to the conclusion about capitalism which I’d come to much later, and I was a bit angry he’d thought of it first; and secondly, I see Marx who was an old Jew, as the last of the Old Testament Prophets, this old bearded man working in the British Library, studying capitalism, that’s what ‘Das Kapital’ was about, it was an explanation of British capitalism. And I thought to myself, ‘Well anyone could write a book like that, but what infuses, what comes out of his writing, is the passionate hostility to the injustice of capitalism. He was a Prophet, and so I put him in that category as an Old Testament Prophet.”

· Interview with John Cleary, 23 February 2003

· “My Great-grandfather was a Congregational Minister and my Mother was a Bible scholar, and I was brought up on the Bible, that the story of the Bible was conflict between the kings who had power, and the prophets who preached righteousness. And I was taught to believe in the prophets, got me into a lot of trouble. And my Dad said to me when I was young, ‘Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone, Dare to have a purpose firm, Dare to let it (be) known.’”

o Interviewed by Kevin Zeese in ‘Counterpunch’, December 19, 2005

“[The Labour Party]’s never been a socialist party, but it’s always had socialists in it, just as there are some Christians in the Church, it’s an exact parallel.”

· Today Programme, 10th February 2006

Tony Benn Quotes on War and Peace

“it would be a total corruption of the whole meaning and spirit of the UN Charter, which was carefully written to make it possible the peaceful settlement of international disputes, to try to present it as offering a blank cheque for war whenever the United States wants one”

“Simply having nuclear weapons destroys democracy. When a country has them, ministers – of all parties – lie. No minister has ever told the truth about any central question of nuclear policy”

“The word terrorists is a term of abuse used to describe those with whom you disagree. According to Mrs Thatcher, the ANC are terrorists”

“I never had any sympathy with the Soviet system and its lack of democracy but I never believed the Russians were threatening to invade Western Europe”

“In 1993 I spoke in Hyde Park to a couple of million people…afterwards someone from the BBC said ‘you’re a voice in the wilderness’ and I said ‘well there are two million people in my wilderness, how many are there in yours?’

“It is wholly wrong to blame Marx for what was done in his name, as to blame Jesus for what was done in his”

Quotes on Socialism and Democracy

“Although socialism is widely held by the establishment to be outdated, the things that are most popular in British society today are little pockets of socialism, where areas of life have been excluded from the crude operation of market forces and are protected for the benefit of the community”

“Democracy is not just voting every 5 years and watching Big Brother in between and wondering why nothing happens. Democracy is what we do and say where we live and work”

“I was born about a quarter of a mile from where we are sitting now and I was here in London during the Blitz. And every night I went down into the shelter. 500 people killed, my brother was killed, my friends were killed. And when the Charter of the UN was read to me, I was a pilot coming home in a troop ship: ‘We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.’ That was the pledge my generation gave to the younger generation and you tore it up. And it’s a war crime that’s been committed in Iraq because there is no moral difference between a stealth bomber and a suicide bomber. Both kill innocent people for political reasons.”

· Question Time, 22 March 2007

Biography Tony Benn

  • Tony Benn at Wikiquote
  • Tony Benn at Bennite