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Labour stalwart Benn to stage talk

Labour veteran Tony Benn at Whitehall, where he delivered a letter from the Stop The War Campaign regarding the conflict in Georgia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 28, 2008. Photo credit should read: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

Labour veteran Tony Benn at Whitehall, where he delivered a letter from the Stop The War Campaign regarding the conflict in Georgia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 28, 2008. Photo credit should read: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

RECESSION, war and nature are just some of the topics that will be covered by retired politician Tony Benn when he takes to the Gaiety Theatre stage next month.

Mr Benn – the longest serving Labour MP in the party’s history – is guest speaker at an Isle of Man Sporting and Dining Club ‘Evening With’ event.

The event will begin with an interview on serious and topical themes including recession and war with Mr Benn drawing on his decades of experience, his political past and his ‘startlingly alert’ 86-year-old brain, throughout.

There will be a mix of politics, opinion and debate on various issues, followed by an opportunity for the audience to ask him questions.

Participation is encouraged!

He is against university fees, nuclear power and the Crown powers invested in the Prime Minister.

He is opposed to war, and Africa – not western muscle flexing – holds the solution to Zimbabwe’s troubles.

And he is despairing of NATO and concerned about the rise of the far right.

Describing his role as the nation’s classroom assistant, he yearns to encourage and is an undeniable treasure of our political and national life.

And in fact, he has topped several polls as the most popular politician in Britain.

His only props on stage will be a flask of tea, some tobacco and his trademark pipe.

Mr Benn was born in London and retired from the House of Commons in May 2001, after serving 50 years in Parliament, explaining he was ‘leaving parliament in order to spend more time on politics’.

He was a Cabinet minister in the Wilson and Callaghan governments from 1964–79, Minister of Technology, Secretary of State for both Industry and Energy and President of the Council of European Energy ministers in 1977.

An elected member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour party from 1959–1994, he was chairman of the party in 1971-72.

His published diaries, in seven volumes, cover the period from 1942–1990, and the next volume ‘Free at Last’ from 1990–2001.

He is the holder of seven honorary Doctorates from British and American universities, has recently been appointed as a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, and is a regular broadcaster.

And he is president of UK anti-war organisation Stop the War Coalition, set up to stop the War on Terror.

In 1949 he married Caroline Benn, educationalist and author of the biography of Keir Hardie who died in 2000 and they have four children and 10 grandchildren.

Organised by John Wannenburgh of the Sporting and Dining Club, the event is a follow up to ‘An Evening with Michael Portillo’ which was sold out in November 2011.

He said: ‘Whether you agree with Tony Benn or not, it is from his vast experience at the heart of national and international affairs, that he gleans his authority.

‘He is fun and lovable, serious and informed, all at the same time, and that has the makings of a tremendously entertaining evening!’

Tickets £15, concessions are available, by contacting 600555 or visit www.villagaiety.com

The event is sponsored by Appleby.

 

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