When I Met Tony Benn

So sad to hear of the death of Tony Benn. I first met him in 1994 at a march and rally against the Criminal Justice Bill. Benn was one of the speakers and I was one of the organisers. As soon as I saw him I went up to shake his hand. There was no hesitation. How often do you get to meet a national hero face to face? What struck me was how open he was. He paid attention. I felt that I mattered to him, that he was genuinely interested in what I had to say. The next … Continue reading When I Met Tony Benn

An Interview With Tony Benn

The following interview was recorded on the 9th October 2000 at Tony Benn’s house in Notting Hill. It was for a book I was planning to write at the time, called The Lords of Misrule about the protest movement, which had recently scored such a high-profile victory by closing down the WTO meeting in Seattle in 1999. The interview was published in  Red Pepper and on the LabourNet website. I put in up here today as a tribute to Tony Benn, one of a rare breed, an honest politician, who died on the 14th March 2014. An inspiration to the end. Tony Benn: I’ll … Continue reading An Interview With Tony Benn

German efficiency all to do with working practice

Angela Merkel’s visit to the UK parliament last week left me puzzling as to the source of German economic success. Is it because they are more naturally efficient than we are, or is there something institutional, something they do that we don’t? I read a couple of articles which answered that question for me. One of them was about the Union of Auto Workers in the United States who recently lost a ballot to organise the workforce in Volkswagen’s Tennessee plant. How do you imagine the management of Volkswagen reacted to the news? Had it been a British or an … Continue reading German efficiency all to do with working practice