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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars


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on 16 November 2013
Frank, open, insightful and thought provoking...loved this from beginning to end. There may be some political views expressed which might not agree with every reader but the promotion of tolerance, consideration for others and love of the family shines through. Put any prejudices or ideologies to one side this is a talented and erudite man expressing thoughts on a range of issues many of which cross the political divide. Most of all the belief that the world is there for all to share and improved only through debate and discussion - not war.
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on 13 July 2014
Have read most of his diaries and leant a lot about the political machinations that go on behind the scenes, but what shines out mostly is the character of a gentle, eccentric, kindly, loyal, intelligent gentleman of principle. Truly an honourable man.
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on 18 September 2016
I was privileged to hear Tony Benn speak on many occasions at the Durham Miner's Gala, on TV and, latterly, at the Gala Theatre in Durham where he signed books outside and smoked his pipe in the interval. A wonderfully warm and philanthropic gentleman (meant in the sense that he was gentle, not a snide dig at his upbringing) who was clear until the end that New Labour (under Blair or Brown) was not part of the real Labour movement. Against the gutter-dredging realpolitik of his era, Benn stood out as a utopian and left wing free thinker, though still capable of being able to clearly expostulate the general trend of future labour policy. At the end of the book, frail and reliant on care workers himself, he reflects on his state and envisions, rather than the money-grabbing private care companies that pay their staff minimum wage and don't factor in travelling between houses, a National Care Service - a logical extension of the NHS for an ageing population. I await Jeremy Corbyn adopting this as Labour policy in 2016 or shortly thereafter...
To those who dislike Benn's radicalism, it is worth noting that many of his ideas were dismissed as lunacy, then ignored and have now re-entered the agenda as mainstream politics...public ownership of transport, power and banking. Benn was a left wing proponent of Brexit long before the British people caught up with the idea that ceding our power to un-elected EU bureaucrats was a bad idea.
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on 21 January 2015
I've been reading all of Tony Benn's diaries for past few months and this final edition has been the most enjoyable of the lot.

Benn's energy and passion for democracy hasn't diminished in his final years. He's still touring the the country attending endless meetings/rallies and keeps saying he needs to slow down but doesn't. The roof still leaks at 12 Holland Park Ave pouring through the kitchen into the basement, still loves his triple cheese pizzas, thinks The Observer is rubbish and Tony Blair still makes his blood boil.

Benn seems to display more of a human personal side to this edition as we get to hear more about Benn's relationship with his family and close circle of friends. He's probably more mischievous than ever, yet also serious when it matters. It was fascinating reading his personal account/views on the world banking collapse, end of New Labour, reflection on the past and thoughts on the future. Even when contemplating death, Tony Benn is still as philosophical as ever.

I was very sad this is the end of the diaries but I can always read them all again. Tony Benn wanted to inspire us all - well he certainly has with me. A great man who will be sorely missed.
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on 4 May 2014
What a wonderful ending of the diaries of this iconic sincere man. These words will stand the test of time in an egotistical materialist world of shallow even non existent values. Read it and see there is another way.
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on 10 November 2013
written as usual with thought and sincerity. You can feel his age and frailty as he goes through the years, yet this thoughts and ideas remain as active as they have always been.
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on 24 February 2015
Many years ago, when my dad was still alive, I asked him his opinion of Tony Benn, the man who wrote lots of diaries. Dad thought carefully before responding with ‘He’s either a genius or a complete idiot, and I haven’t worked out which yet.'
I never had chance to ask Dad if he had decided. What I do know is that Tony Benn is still missed because he cared about the little people. Recently I have been researching my family tree, going back through several stages of great grandparents to the start of the 19th century. As with most families, there are tales of happy times despite poverty. One of my great grandmothers in a census was described as ‘a pauper’ at age 79. It would be easy to get over-sentimental and say that for all her hard work and endurance that was what her life amounted to: poverty. Nothing more, nothing less.
We have to remind ourselves that these ancestors I write about are only a few generations away. I thought that these days of hardship were at an end. That was until I was involved in caring for my mother when she was discharged from hospital too soon. Evidently it is common practice for patients to be discharged from hospital before they have recovered because they need to free up the beds. I had no intention of complaining to hospital staff who were already over-worked, along with the social workers and carers, who tirelessly go about their work. I wrote to Jeremy Hunt, hoping that I would get a response from the man himself. Ah, but no, silly me, I am just one of the little people. After he got one of his sidekicks to write to me, I then wrote back to him again, hoping this time I would get a reply. Nope. Third time lucky? I don’t think I’ll bother. I’ll just remind myself of his indifference when the General Election comes around.
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on 2 April 2014
An easy and comfortable book to read. I felt closely in touch with Tony as I remembered him to have been following on from his sad death.
A much missed and kindly man!
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on 6 May 2014
What a guy. What a sad story. And what sacrifice one man made for those things he believed in. And if ever there was an advert for NOT spending your life in the Westminster village bubble - here it is. Variety IS the spice of life and sadly TB afforded himself little of it. But what a man. What conviction. What integrity. Our politicians could learn much..
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on 26 November 2013
Just a wonderful record of an honest man trying to live a good life; moving, Knowing it's his last diary, I actually felt bereaved when I got to the end of the book.
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