Friday, 14 March 2014

Do as I say, don't do as I do

From The Evening Standard, six years ago:

Last October 100 concrete tiles were replaced on a sea wall outside the Essex farm belonging to Mr Benn's father Tony, after they were ripped off by the tide.

But at the same time the Environment Agency decided to abandon to the sea the harbour at Southwold and parts of the nearby village of Walberswick, 70 miles up the coast on the Blyth estuary in Suffolk.

Tony Benn's house in Suffolk had its coastal wall repaired with public funds [allocated by the very same government department which son quite coicidentally happens to be in charge of]...

Stansgate Abbey farm, the Benn family seat on the Blackwater estuary, is currently occupied by veteran left-winger Tony Benn, former Cabinet minister and Labour leadership contender.

Last week ramblers complained there was no public right of way across it - despite the fact that Hilary Benn's department wants to open all of England's coastline to walkers.

12 comments:

Bill Quango MP said...

Everyone says what a nice man he was.
If Hitler had had better manners his legacy wouldn't be so toxic.

DBC Reed said...

Quit the mockery.Tony Benn was heavily involved with the Labour Land Campaign in its early days.

Mark Wadsworth said...

BQ, don't be silly.

DBC, no sorry, Bob Crow walked the walk, Mr T Benn just talked the talk.

DBC Reed said...

Read the Foreword by DW to Jerry Jones' "Land Value for Public Benefit", new extended version, on Net for Tony Benn involvement with Labour Land Campaign.Did a lot for LLC's credibility.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, OK, Benn wrote the write as well as talking the talk.

You, Carol, Jerry, Dave et al have done a thousand times more for the LLC's credibility than Benn ever did.

DBC Reed said...

Benn was before my time LLC-wise. Pre-my-time it was a fairly massive deal with a huge active membership organising summer conferences that made the quality press. Benn's was a name that you wanted in your publicity.
However the LLC has always been sold out by the insistence of certain well-placed Homeownerists who (stll) want to exempt most houses from LVT.

I don't know if you are aware but Bob Crow affiliated his union to the LLC. The potential of this connexion was never realised. Maybe the LLC might have been the cross-over point between Crow's sophisticated views on working-class home ownership and his insistence on high wages.

I don't know whether you saw the Benn tribute on the Telly late last night.A sickening low-point was reached when that egotistical bell-end Kinnock slapped down Benn, who was saying Socialist/common sense things about Thatcherite right to buy council houses, with the Daily Mail level personal attack "when you have to buy or rent a house Tony you'll be listened to." Nothing like a working-class Tory trying to play the struggling down-trodden fighter for human rights (to own a capital asset that is guaranteed by the State to appreciate in value).

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, yes I had heard of RMT supporting the LLC, great stuff.

But the point is that Benn was a bit of a hypocrite on these fronts. He said he was a Republican, get rid of the Queen, fair enough, but was he intending to hand back the keys to his "family estate" which he only acquired under the same system as put the Queen in her place? Methinks not.

DBC Reed said...

Thw Stansgate Estate was bought by William Wedgwood Benn who was by all accounts a selfless public servant for both Liberal and Labour Parties.He flew operational missions for the RAF in his sixties in WW2.The estate was passed down in the normal way, nothing like the monarchy unless you consider the crown to be a hereditable asset in the same class as landed property.In which case troublemakers should buy the monarch's rights.
You are just being mean spirited and perverse over Benn.His "extreme left" industrial policy consisted of trying to keep concerns going when those banjo strumming laissez faire revivalists wanted to let them perish out of ideological purity.Personally I would prefer nationalised production to no production at all which is what we have got at the moment thanks to market forces being allowed to push all the investment into landed property.Time has also proved Benn right over the Russians : it is not they who are trying to push bases over the old boundaries of the spheres of influence.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, Benn did a lot of good stuff, like introducing post codes and going on CND marches, and that Common Ownership of land bill might or might not have been a good idea (was it about LVT?).

But he did arrange for his house to be repaired at taxpayers' expense and that is the end of that.

DBC Reed said...

He did not arrange for his house to be repaired at taxpayers expense: the Environment Agency stuck back some concrete panels which had fallen off the outside of the sea wall that protects 300 properties. It is not even clear who owns the sea wall .The Environment Agency would see themselves as getting a bargain for some cheap repairs> Do you own the road outside your house and have to repair it?

Bayard said...

I have to agree with DBCR here, it's just a cheap pop by the ES, worthy of the DM (although the DM would have told us how much Stansgate Abbey Farm was worth, for added envy factor).

DBC Reed said...

@B The DM carried the same story practically word for word from Evening Standard but without mentioning it was 5+ years out of date.DM refers to repairs taking place last year not in 2008.As Mail used to own ES (until 2009) they probably felt they had the right to take the story out of an archive which they must have been really desperate to scan.