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The Benn Diaries 1940-1990 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
This book was not nearly as entertaining or informative as I had expected. Tony Benn is an incredibly intelligent man but one whose time has come and gone. I do not believe that he is as naive as these diaries would lead us to assume: he seems unable to understand any view which does not fit his own. I was also disappointed by his reading of the events, which history has shown to be consistently wrong - David Owen would lead the SDP into the Conservative Party, the Labour Party was finished when Neil Kinnock took over, etc.Half way through this book, I was on the verge of hurling it out the window: Mr. Benn never questions his rectitude, should sixty million people in Britain vote, in unison, against him, he would blame the media, a right wing conspiracy, or anything.The miners strike was a classic example of where he could have been a valuable recorder but, every miner was a sweet innocent and every policeman was a fascist thug. This attitude weakens an argument which undoubtedly has some merit.: terrible things were done by the forces of law and order, but not every member thereof.Benn further dilutes the responsibility of the thugs by implying that, at every subsequent rally, the same treatment occurred. He never questions anyone who claims violence by the police.Having curtailed the urge to eject the book, I reached the end feeling rather sorry for Mr. Benn. He could have been so much, very possibly a Prime Minister to rival Tony Blair's record but, could never compromise and seems to have turned into a leader of a small group of acolytes unable to interact with the world at large.I do not feel that Benn is nearly as useful as Chris Mullin because Mullin reports, is self deprecatory and an outsider whereas Benn is always right, is the centre of his universe and too close to the action.