Monday, February 05, 2007

That Chomsky For Social Democrats Tony Benn, Kicks It Off In Dublin.

This Indymedia contributor stumbles out of their weekend lethargy long enough to dust off a hangover and type up this report on a Tony Benn address entitled "Peace, Faith and Power" delivered over two weeks ago on January 23rd to Trinity's Hist. With the dazzling might of the Internet age at my disposal, contemporous reporting has never been so exciting…

First the platitudes, Tony Benn is one of Britain's most graceful statesmen, serving over half a century in the British parliament before famously leaving to “devote more time to politics” and declaring himself "free at last" of the parliamentary shackles delaying real struggle. While many of his generation of leftist politicians hold no interest in and add even less to today's movements Benn is remarkable in how many cling to him as an icon. He remains well received at gatherings such as Glastonbury's left field when voicing the concerns mobilizing those many decades younger than him.

With his popularity in mind, this Hist meeting took place on the quite with no posters around Trinity and an absolute silence among most left circles. But no surprise there - these sort of college meetings appeal to few outside those directly interested. They are mainly a play pen for society hacks to engage in a gymnastics of the intellect with all the prowess Richie Kavanagh displays musically. After I found my seat, two such sorts next to me lusted for controversy and filled each other in on the upcoming immigration debate featuring Aine Ni Chonail. "Is she a good looking woman?" One said to the other.

Arriving not exactly on time, Benn took to the podium with a clunky old cassette player and an IPod recording this speech as he does all of them. He opened up by loudly declaring that "the Irish cause is burnt into his heart" and how he once put up a plaque to Countess Markivicz as if to ingratiate himself to an audience who overwhelmingly come from a generation politically defined by anything but the North. He hoped the evening is a "discussion rather than of an academic character" and so did I, knowing that anything but an audience led discussion would mean Hist morons bravely defending the progress of history against Benn's foolhardy economy wrecking throwback-ism...continues at Indymedia.ie

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