More Time for Politics: Diaries 2001-2007 by Tony Benn, Ruth Winstone

By Tony Benn, Ruth Winstone

While Tony Benn left Parliament after fifty one years he quoted his spouse Caroline's comment that now he might have 'more time for politics'. And so this has proved: within the first seven years of this century he has helped reinvigorate nationwide debate via public conferences, mass campaigns and appearances within the media, passionately bringing ethical and political concerns to broad audiences. And all through, as ever, he has been preserving his diaries.

Commenting at the loss of life of the hot Labour venture from the re-election of Tony Blair in 2001 to the last word overseas coverage failures of Afghanistan and Iraq, he supplies different prescient bills of the government's by-passing of cupboard, parliament and the get together, of the 'war on terror', the controversy approximately Islam, globalisation and the alterations in British society. even supposing he's now not in strength or in parliament, Tony Benn continues to be a determine of huge recognize whose direct perspectives, in truth expressed, have usually woke up the nationwide sense of right and wrong. His most up-to-date Diaries, human and tough in flip, are a captivating read.

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I asked. ‘Yes. We like it here. ’ ‘Kufr Cana, the village where Christ changed the water to wine. We get many tourists visiting the church. ’ ‘No, never. And it’s my first time here on this mountain. It is so beautiful. ’ ‘It’s a good view of the Horns of Hittin. ’ I mused. ’ ‘They left. They took the boats and left. ’ ‘But they could not have had time to leave. ’ The other man, who had been silently expressing approval of his friend’s assertions, indicated that the Muslims had been kind to Christians.

This is my country, not his. I teach this to my three-year-old son. We Palestinians who live here know that the presence of Israel is not going to be for long. They will end up leaving, just like the Crusaders. ’ Not too far away an Israeli teacher in Orthodox clothing was instructing a group of young schoolchildren in a booming voice about the religious significance of this place: the partisans of the Maccabees had hidden in caves just below where we stood. They had sought refuge here and were slaughtered in 161 BCE by the Syrian general Baccides.

It distressed me to hear this young man distorting history. The more we spoke the more I realised how deeply antagonistic he was to the Christian Palestinians. ’ I asked him. ‘No. ’ ‘The editor of Al Karmil and one of the first to write about Zionism. He was a Christian. ’ I felt their discomfort when I confirmed that I was Christian and I found myself feeling annoyed at having to be defensive about the religion into which I was born. I was thinking in particular of Najib. Not that the Israeli leadership did not try to win the Christians to their side, as they had succeeded in doing with the Druze, who practise a religion that is an offshoot of Islam with its own unique features.

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