Tribute from the President of the Socialist International, George A. Papandreou to Tony Benn
Tony Benn, a landmark figure of the British Labour Party was a politician with the ability to mobilize public opinion, regardless of whether one agreed or disagreed with his views. He passionately served values and principles rather than public offices. He believed society can be changed through the active involvement of citizens- not only by the elites. Furthermore, he considered that accountability is an inherent component of democracy. He fought relentlessly for social justice, peace and disarmament. His struggles are still relevant today.
For us socialists, his life and legacy remind us of a perspective that is really needed today:
The conviction that debates should focus on ideas and not on the agendas of interest groups.
The belief that empowering the rule of law protects us from the rule of the most powerful .
The feeling that the “abolition” of politics , would only serve to broaden inequality.
The optimism that we can make a difference in many ways , by associating vision with realism.