Flame of Anger, Flame of Hope
“Inside him burned the flame of anger against injustice
– and the flame of hope that we could build a better world.
That was what moved him.
For that reason he was trusted.
He was a lovely man.
And I hope that his family will gain something
from the knowledge that their grief is shared.”
(Tony Benn, born in London, 3 April 1925 – died 14 March 2014)
The above quotation pays tribute to Tony Benn.
But the quotation itself is extracted from Tony Benn’s own generous tribute to John Smith, the former Labour Party leader.
On 12 May 1994 the Labour Party leader John Smith dies at his Barbican home in London.
Later that day, Tony Benn, speaking in the House of Commons as the elected Member of Parliament for Chesterfield, says ofJohn Smith:
“I thank the Prime Minister (John Major) and the other Members who have spoken for what they have said about John Smith.
“I had the privilege of knowing him (Smith) and of working with him closely over 25 years in Parliament and in government, and he had two qualities that I would like to mention.
“Inside him burned the flame of anger against injustice, and the flame of hope that we could build a better world. That was what moved him.
“Secondly, he was a man who always said the same, wherever he was. Whether one heard him in public at a meeting or in private, whether one heard him in the Cabinet or in the House of Commons, he always said the same thing.
“For that reason, he was trusted.
“He was a lovely man, and I hope that his family will gain something from the knowledge that their grief is shared by us.”
© Paul Coleman, London Intelligence, March 2014