Tony Benn and England's Radical Tradition

Paul Lay considers the late MP's contribution to and understanding of England's radical tradition.

Paul Lay | Published in 14 Mar 2014

An article by Tony Benn from the May 1999 issue of History Today. The image shows a four-year-old Benn and his brother in 1929Tony Benn’s death at the age of 88 was announced this morning. Others can pay tribute or cast doubt on the achievements of a long and contentious political career. I want to consider his place in England’s radical tradition and his understanding of it. Benn engaged deeply with the past – he contributed to History Today and was a fixture of the commemorations held since 1975 at the Cotswold town of Burford, the site of Cromwell’s ruthless assault on the Leveller movement, which sought universal male suffrage, executing ringleaders Cornet Thompson, Corporal Perkins and Private Church on May 17th, 1649.  

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