Tony Benn's Most Eloquent Verbal Assaults (VIDEO)

From Iraq To Thatcher, Tony Benn Knew How To Slam His Opponents

An eloquent orator and formidable opponent, Tony Benn’s speeches – from his idealistic blueprint for Labour in the 1970s and unwavering support for coal miners under Thatcher, to his disapproval of the Iraq invasion and withering attack on “Bush’s puppet” – are many, and mightily memorable, here a five occasions when the late Labour politician was on particularly fine form…

UN Ambassador John Bolton

A prickly exchange on the legitimacy of the Iraq war with former UN US Ambassador John Bolton during a Question Time episode in 2008, concluded with Benn succinctly remarking:

“It’s a war crime that’s been committed in Iraq because there is no moral difference between a stealth bomber and a suicide bomber – both kill innocent people for political reasons.”

Pit Closures

On October 21 1992, he gave an impassioned statement in the House of Commons denouncing the Tory government’s decision to close the country’s coal industries, asserting:

“It was callous, it was brutal, it came from a party that prides itself on a citizens charter and a class society and that is why hundreds of thousands of people are marching in London today.”


During the Gaza-Israel conflict in 2005, Mr Benn appeared on BBC News to discuss the humanitarian situation in the region, but after lamenting the corporation for not broadcasting an aid appeal for Gaza citizens, the Stop the War Coalition founder took it upon himself:

Tony Blair

As the Chilcot Inquiry prepared to examine the UK’s invasion of Iraq, Tony Benn gave an interview with Channel 4 News decrying Tony Blair and George Bush’s decision to invade the country and put his own questions to “Bush’s puppet”.

Margaret Thatcher

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Benn was in indomitable form as he made a beeline for the legacy of Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government, commenting:

“They think it’s the retirement of a popular headmistress under circumstances some might regret.”

Tony Benn's life in pictures


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