Free at Last!
Tony Benn’s diaries have received a chorus of superlatives and have themselves altered our view of recent history. In this volume, he covers British politics during two wars, five party leaders, two prime ministers and the rise of New Labour.
Tony Benn is the longest serving MP in the history of the Labour Party. He left Parliament in 2001, after more than half a century in the House of Commons, to devote more time to politics. This volume of his Diaries describes and comments, in a refreshing and honest way, upon the events of a momentous decade including two world wars, a change of government in Britain and the emergence of New Labour, of which he makes clear he is not a member. Tony Benn’s account is a well documented, formidable and principled critique of the New Labour Project, full of drama, opinion, humour, anecdotes and sparkling pen-portraits of politicians on both sides of the political divide. But his narrative is also broader and more revealing about day-to-day political life, covering many aspects normally disregarded by historians and lobby correspondents, relating to his work in the constituency, including his advice surgeries. This volume also offers far more of an insight into Tony Benn’s personal life, his thoughts about the future and his relationship with his family, especially his remarkable wife Caroline, whose illness and death overshadow these years. Tony Benn is a unique figure on the British political landscape: a true democrat, a passionate socialist and diarist without equal. With this volume, his published Diaries cover British politics for over sixty years. It is edited, as are all others, by Ruth Winstone.