Tony Benn: Get Your Hands Off Our Women

Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh (Photo: PA)

Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting refers to an interview Tony Benn has just given on Radio5 Live, regarding the ongoing Operation Moshtarak against Taleban insurgents:

When Tony was 16 (in 1941) he joined ‘Dad’s Army’ and was trained to shoot rifles etc. Were the Germans ever to capture the UK and Tony see a German soldier take tea with an English girl, he may well have thrown a grenade into the scene. Now, would he have been a freedom fighter or a terrorist?

Benn, who has previously said that the Second World War could have been avoided with better efforts from Britain and France, did not allude to Nazi soldiers committing widespread killings of civilians or the mentally/physically infirm (as depicted in It Happened Here). He felt it necessary to equate “freedom fighting” with the killing of British women who had sullied themselves by fraternizing with German men.

Now, Benn may be suggesting that the bombers who killed schoolgirls at Lower Dir, Pakistan when they were in the presence of US soldiers were “freedom fighters”.  Or, and I personally think this is far more likely, he is being a complete and utter fuck-wit.


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13 Responses to “Tony Benn: Get Your Hands Off Our Women”

  1. Stuart Says:

    Tony Benn is a bad man period.

  2. efrafandays Says:

    I incline towards “long since gone crashing over the line from national treasure to national embarrassment”.

    I especially liked his wibbling over the DEC Gaza Appeal by, first of all, suggesting that Love Thy Neighbour is in the Decalogue and then that the Christian Messiah would have said it.

  3. yoni Says:

    The vile Ben has been a complete and utter fuckwit all his life, a promoter of fascist ideas, not terribly keen on Jews having a free country and generally on the wrong side of every human and liberal divide.
    He has never been a ‘national treasure’, unless you count total shits as ‘national treasures’.

  4. yoni Says:

    Benn, of course. Still a total shit.

  5. Полезный идиот Says:

    Benn is kind of like our Berlusconi, when it comes to saying ridiculously wrong things.

    Also useful in that he can almost always be relied upon to say something like the direct opposite of the truth.

    Still, I wouldn’t call him a shit though. Maybe if he had been in a position of authority in recent decades and had had real chance to put his preferred policies into action . But to do so just strikes me as being unnecessarily vindictive.

    And “national treasure” and “national embarrasment” are by no means mutually exclusive.

    Whatever else may be wrong with our political system, the fact that Benn is generally seen for what he is – and the whole description of him as a “national treasure” is a tried and tested way of sidelining him, and of restraining his appeal (a polite way of saying “yesterday’s man”, yesterday: a fine example of the English stiff upper lip and admirable practice of understatement) – and consequently kept far from power for much of his politically active life – shows that not everything in British political life is quite rotten, yet.

    National treasure is about right. Not for general circulation and not to be touched..

  6. efrafandays Says:

    I have a good friend who’s related by marriage to him and, although she often wants to stab him with toothpicks for his remarks about Israel specifically, she goes with the doddery old idiot take.

    There was an interview on the BBC betwixt him and Emily, in which she could be heard to be acting as a stabilizing influence on gramps.

  7. yoni Says:

    “But to do so just strikes me as being unnecessarily vindictive.”

    Tough toenails. I still call him a shit, and that’s even before we come to his Jew-hatred.

  8. efrafandays Says:

    Yet, Yoni, this is my personal blog… whereas the banter which goes around Harry’s Place can be compared to raucous pub-talk, here it’s like doing so in someone else’s living room.

  9. Leleya Says:

    I think that Jew hater is a bit extreme for Tony. And I say that as an Israeli who knows him personally. It’s his convictions which are extreme – not his emotions. And if you want to argue with him you should meet him in that arena.

    Anyway controversial characters ask controversial questions…what’s wrong with that? Surely we aren’t afraid to have them asked. While I don’t agree with most of Tony’s views, and in particular the pro-palestinian tactic of blurring the lines between terrorists and defence forces, I’d have to agree that dropping a bomb on a tea parlour from a military fighter plane and throwing in a grenade have the same murderous quality. That’s the straw man. Freedom fighters, guerillas, republican armies… they are all terrorists.

  10. efrafandays Says:

    When’s Tony getting his new bath-chair?

  11. yoni Says:

    What sort of argument is that? Sure it’s your blog. So? You start a political argument: are you saying that posters are not allowed to disagree with you?
    I happen to dislike antisemites. I said so. Полезный идиот called me ‘vindictive’ for saying that I detest people who cheer on those who would continue the work of the Third Reich. I disagreed with him/her. Why exactly is that a problem for you?

    Meet him in what arena? Anyone who clearly has a problem with Jews having a free country which they are entitled to defend, is an antisemite in my book. I don’t care if their problem arises from intellectual study of Mein Kampf or from having been frightened by something horrid behind the woodshed when they were three.
    By claiming that both have the ‘same’ murderous quality, it’s YOU who is blurring the distinction. You are saying that there is no difference between the aggressor nation and the defending nation. That is fantasy planet.

  12. Leleya Says:


    Your brush is too wide. You think the aggressor nation are always wrong by virtue of being aggressors, and by the same tune the defending nation are always right? It’s the ACTIONS on which one is to be judged, in my opinion, and we, as the defending nation must refrain even from acts of terror(ism) in the name of the state.

    And if you are going to throw out everything anyone says who doesn’t apriori agree with you, then you might as well refrain from debate altogether. No point in weighing in just to say F-off. Frankly that doesn’t add anything.

  13. efrafandays Says:

    I’ll leave it up to Leleya with her personal acquaintance with the pipe-smoking old codger, and personal experience within the IDF.

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