Tony Benn gives a stem winder from over on the other side of the pond. Now 83 in ten minutes time he crushes it. The British lilt in the voice and the humanity of his cause ooze from this talk.
Our work is never done. Every generation the implacable foe escapes from the cage we put them in to regroup and once more launch their attack. It arrives as fear of other, of the fraud and abuse in social welfare programs, in the accusation that there are fat, lazy bastards driving luxury automobiles, and promiscuous Trollip’s licking the ears of the underserved unemployed horndogs.
The elite send bankers to the political hearings. They bemoan regulation and thunder on in mock earnestness about how unprofitable their circumstances are. They pocket bonuses of multiple millions and gripe bitterly about a school teacher’s pension. Unions are broken and wages are suppressed. And they do this by simply making the uneducated and uninformed jealous.
Tony Benn is about the business of the common man or woman who struggles to make a decent wage and something of a happy life for their children. It is about good schools, health care, public transportation, affordable housing, safe neighborhoods and a government dedicated to protecting the rights of all its citizens.
The extreme wealth concentrated in the hands of those few hundred individuals? It turns out that they can be a hazard to democracy. Those gigantic entities and enterprises known as multinational corporations need to be leashed and the supervision and regulatory apparatus of our government ought to apply a firm jerk on their chain to bring them to heel.
As it was for generations before us it is the same now. We allowed the elite to rewrite the rules to their advantage and they have taken it. Citizens United, the repeal of Glass-Steagall, raising taxes on labor while reducing taxes on capital… all of this has been done by the well paid lobbyists and politicians. It has been nothing less than a self inflicted error.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to enjoy Tony Benn’s pointed speech. He is clear. He is honest. He stands up for all of humanity. He is in his late years living a purposeful life. We have climate change, inequality and a worldwide family planning project to implement.
Workers are in sum the majority. It has come time for us to once again act like one.