When Tony Benn left Parliament after 51 years, he quoted his wife Caroline's remark that now he would have "more time for politics". And so this has proved: in the first seven years of this century, he helped reinvigorate national debate through public meetings, mass campaigns, and appearances in the media, passionately bringing moral and political issues to wide audiences. And throughout, as ever, he has been keeping his diaries.
Commenting on the demise of the New Labour project, from the re-election of Tony Blair in 2001 to the ultimate foreign policy disasters of Afghanistan and Iraq, he gives other prescient accounts of the government's by-passing of Cabinet, parliament, and the party, of the "war on terror", the debate about Islam, globalisation, and the changes in British society.
Although he is no longer in power or in parliament, Tony Benn remains a figure of enormous respect whose direct views, honestly expressed, have often awakened the national conscience. His latest diaries, human and challenging in turn, are enthralling.
Shortlisted for the Channel 4 Political Book Award, 2007.
"Now in his eighties, Benn calls these seven years since he left Parliament 'a blaze of autumn sunshine.' Driven by his passion for debate and justice, he continues to travel the country promoting his strongly held and compassionate views. His honest interview with Saddam in Bagdhad; his searing analysis of the Iraq debacle (Blair's comment on paying the blood price was 'tribal'); his many friendships (including with Bill Clinton who, he muses, is young enough to be his son); he tells all with a warm spontaneity that makes the listener feel like a special guest." ( Observer)
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An incredible social document from an impassioned socialist
- Mr. S. M. J. Brown
Yes I would. Because it is honest, and there is something existential about it.
His voice is great. And also you can feel the passion for humanity.
Yes, but I would recommend that you savour it.
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