From the Mind of Tony Benn

“It is vital to remember that the powers that be, which now speak so fulsomely of the virtues of free voting, bitterly resisted at every turn the advance of democracy”
“The idea that nationalization equals socialism is plainly false. And it is an idea that in recent years has been nurtured by Tories, and has been widely believed, in order to tar socialism with the same brush of bureaucratic inefficiency”
“Political parties willingly acknowledge problems and injustices, but are forever promising that at some unspecified date all will be well. The glitz of modern politics is designed to engender that false hope”.
“Market forces are the witchcraft of modern capitalism”
“Those of us who express anxiety about the secret state are often accused of paranoia… the danger lies not in massive conspiracy but in the gradual erosion of democratic accountability”
“We may win elections from time to time. But all that is worthless unless our thoughts and actions are firmly grounded on moral truth”
“Experience has shown that substituting Labour ministers for Tory ministers cannot achieve our objectives if we limit ourselves to the more humane and efficient management of capitalism which depends on maintaining unacceptable inequality”
“Socialists need to give as much attention to the institutions of the state as to the power structure of the economy, since both are riddled with privilege and they combine to deny the people of Britain their rightful inheritance”
“The fact that a moral approached has been so neglected in electoral politics, particularly by the Labour movement, for so long, and that the choices offered between the parties has been so managerial in character, may, in part; explain why we are facing our present difficulties”
“Democracy is always a struggle for justice against the powerful”
“Third way philosophers line up to support capitalism and free trade. Modernizers and focus groups yearn for more of it, and business friendly ministers think of nothing else”
“… I have always thought it positive to say that the important thing about democracy is that we can remove without bloodshed the people who govern us”
“I do not share the general view that market forces are the basis for political liberty. Every time I see a homeless person living in a cardboard box in London, I see that person as a victim of market forces. Every time I see a pensioner who cannot manage, I know that he is a victim of market forces”
“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”
“If we are serious about wanting peace we have got to eliminate the causes of war and to do that we shall have to study our history a bit more carefully”
“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


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