Tony Benn. 1925 - 2014. “He encouraged us”.
This is probably the wrong place to put this, but I was wondering if you could post this today. The most principled man in British Politics died today, at the age of 88. He was a socialist who, over time, moved more and more towards the left.
He fought tirelessly against war, poverty, and for better conditions for working people. He spoke passionately and articulately on behalf of workers in struggle. He marched on the streets with the people against Poll Tax and in support of the Miners Strikes, which very few MPs, even Labour MPs, refused to do. He fought for the NHS, "If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people". Check out what he said on Michael Moore’s “Sicko” for more on that. He was far more eloquent than I could dream to be.
He spent 50 years in Parliament, elected again and again. Apart from a few years when he had to sit in the House of Peers when he inherited the title of Viscount Stansgate. Even then he fought, he fought for the right to renounce his hereditary peerage, and instead return to the ‘Commons (his constiuency had voted for him even though he wasn’t allowed to sit). He achieved this in 1963, saying "The House of Lords is the British Outer Mongolia for retired politicians".
He opposed war after war, pointing out the double standards and hypocrisy of nations like the US and the UK. When talking about the Gulf War in the ’90s, he asked why do we support Saudi Arabia and then denounce Iraq for being undemocratic? It’s because "The Americans want to protect their oil supplies". It’s weird watching videos of him speaking on foreign policy in the early ’90s, because he could be talking today - nothing has changed. "Are we to live in a world where the sum of morality is a product of Parliamentary majority?" Well, evidently so. Just in the 21st century, he opposed the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, describing them as imperialistic, and even travelled to Baghdad to interview Saddam Hussein (which is on Youtube). He became the president of the Stop the War Coalition, and compared the insurgents to his own role in ‘Dad’s Army’ in WW2, saying "If you are invaded you have a right to self defence, and this idea that people in Iraq and Afghanistan who are resisting the invasion are militant Muslim extremists is a complete bloody lie. I joined Dad’s Army when I was sixteen, and if the Germans had arrived, I tell you, I could use a bayonet, a rifle, a revolver, and if I’d seen a German officer having a meal I’d have tossed a grenade through the window. Would I have been a freedom fighter or a terrorist?". When the BBC refused to air the contact details for charities to aid Palestine when it kicked off between Israel and Palestine, he did it himself.
A great man died today. He should be remembered, because “he encouraged us”.
A fishing village in Bangladesh is shown at sunrise as fishermen try to catch enough fish on the river to feed their families. Coastal and fishing populations are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
The Same As Oil by Andrew Rae 16/23
Artist and illustrator Andrew Rae wanted to convince people to choose tap water by highlighting the sheer madness that is mineral water.
“It bugs the hell out of me how many mineral water bottles are clogging up the oceans and being transported around the world when water is readily available from any tap. Stupid!”
More than 25% of bottled water comes from a municipal water supply - the same place tap water comes from.
If you like your water heavily branded, then don’t worry – these great labels will make a humble bottle of tap water look as good as any expensive bottle of mineral water.
We’re selling 23 limited editions of this poster printed on FSC paper with sustainable ink for £23 plus VAT, postage and packing with all proceeds going back to the Do The Green Thing charity. You can buy this one here.
Feet like cars by Marina Willer 2/23
The second of Do The Green Thing’s 23 Posters in support of WWF’s Earth Hour on March 23rd is by Pentagram designer Marina Willer.
Marina used a photo of her right foot to create a poster encouraging people to put down their car keys and put on their trainers:
“We can panic about where the car keys are, get grumpy in a traffic jam, run out of petrol before we find a parking space, have a fight with the pay machine, and get a congestion charge penalty to finish off. Or we can walk and enjoy the world.”
If you walked that two-mile trip to work every day instead of driving, you’d save over 320kg of CO2 every year. Plus you’d burn 73,200 calories, giving you buns of steel.
To discover a new route to work or a good stroll for a Sunday afternoon, check out Walkonomics for the most pedestrian-friendly streets in your area.