Too Many Dresses

doctor of romcoms, twee as fuck

RIP Tony Benn

on March 14, 2014

I get a bit fatigued at the reaction to any high-profile death online. It always seems like people want to claim a bit of it for themselves, which I find a bit distasteful.

However, today sees the death of someone who had a massive impact on me, so I did feel moved to write about it (and blog for the first time in YEARS). This probably makes me a big fat hypocrite.

But Tony Benn…Tony Benn came and visited my sixth form. He did a talk in a draughty dance studio to the tiniest audience – there can’t have been more than ten of us. At the time, I was just developing a sense of social justice and beginning to understand how politics work (because, of course, they don’t like to teach you any of this in compulsory education). I remember him as a kind, compassionate yet determined man, with a sharp sense of humour. He wanted us – the next generation – to be under absolutely no delusions about the mammoth task that getting any kind of progressive change was. But he wasn’t pessimistic. He gave me, I suppose, a cautious hope, coupled with the knowledge that I, along with my peers, would have to strive for the type of world we wanted, and couldn’t just expect it to fall into our laps.

Before I went into that room, I only had a vague sense of who he was, what he stood for, and a feeling that he might have some interesting stories to tell. I left with a sense of purpose.

His passing today reminds me of his message – which wasn’t conveyed through high rhetoric, but by genuine humanity. So, thank you, Tony. And rest in peace.

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