Read any of Tony Benn's diaries or listen to any of the excerpts and you are guaranteed serious, warm, erudite, humble and thoughtful observations on the big (and small) issues of our time. This great man - the most important voice of reason of the past 50 years - was vilified by a corrupt media and dismissed as a 'left wing loony'. This is no loony. He is an unapologetic socialist. Anyone who thinks that the current political and financial chaos is better than properly implemented, caring socialism, should perhaps reconsider. We live in times of quasi-feudalism, where non-elected organisations, representing the interests of a few individuals and corporations, have taken the place of the lords of the manor. Listen to Benn! He is and was almost always right! Very unusually for a politician, he is capable of unashamedly admitting when he has been wrong (e.g. the nuclear energy issue).
The same review applies to The Benn Tapes 1 and 2 - these are fascinating reminders of the political changes and machinations of the latter decades of the twentieth century, seen through the eyes of an increasingly isolated and frustrated Tony Benn. The sense of the time that has passed since these episodes is amplified by the variable quality of the sound recordings and the production decision to drop in frequent 'recording-equipment-sound-effects'. The 'home-made' effect that this generates soon wears thin, and makes the subsequent diary recordings (1991-2001 and 2001-2007) much easier-listening in comparison.
It is to our great benefit that Tony Benn was such a prolific diarist. Even better than Mr. Benn dictated his thoughts to tape and it is these you can hear on these CDs; you hear his actually recordings of life both in government and in opposition. These are not anecdotal sketches, they are detailed accounts of his life in politics and outside of it.
Worthy of special mention in this CD collection is the episode called "Nuclear Safety" in which Mr. Benn was embroiled in a strike at Windscale and "No Minister!" in which he records his frustrations in government when dealing with officialdom. They are highly recommended as they show Tony Benn as an exceptional political thinker, public speaker and human being of great intellect, empathy and integrity.
Day 1 in heaven..or the other place....you storm around...what was that really all about.....some faceless pen pusher knocks on a dusty old door, and sat behind his desk sucking his pipe is old uncle Tony...let me tell you ...in a world of leaks lies and words of comfort...from the likes of Boris.......and let's face it everyone.....you do wonder how does anything get done?...Harold Wilson says Tony, plays on the weakness and not the strength of his people....the prime minister has the power..too much...of a king. This and many on the spot tales of times past....interesting for those who have just voted on our stay in Europe...the jigsaw of just British politics...made me think how complex are 28?.......watching the 1976 series bill brand...came to mind the surgery where an old world war one serviceman drops his trousers to show the hip....hit by shrapnel....I enjoy listening to all sides of most things...I'm to old to take sides, this diary from somebody who you think lays his cards on the table........well you hope so, I'd like to think it's all genuine.......but living on earth....it's getting harder to see anything with anything other through the eyes of a cynic.....but then I would think that is job done for some. Tony benn is always worth a listen.