Sunday, 29 June 2008

Tony Benn Writes for... The Telegraph

Left supports Right defending liberty

Libertarians from the Left and Right sometimes meet in the middle against an authoritarian state. In 1961, having served for 10 years as an MP for Bristol South East, I was declared disqualified because my father had been a peer and he had died. It was argued that I had inherited his peerage.

A by-election was called, and, despite my disqualification, I decided to contest it to argue a point of principle. Winston Churchill, the former Conservative Prime Minister, sent me a letter of support for which I am, to this day, most grateful.

I must be the only Labour candidate who has ever circulated 30,000 copies of a letter from a Tory leader to my constituents. The law that prevented me sitting in the Commons was later changed as a result of that by-election...
Read the rest

1 comment:

Letters From A Tory said...

Civil liberties has nothing to do with being Left or Right, so I'm delighted to see Tony Benn doing something that modern Labour MPs simply aren't able to do - stand up for their principles.