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In Conversation

Tony Benn RIP: A tQ Archive Conversation With The Manics' Nick Wire
The Quietus , March 14th, 2014 04:51

One of our favourite politicians is about to publish another book. One of our favourite rock stars is about to release another album. We thought we'd get them together. Overseen by (one of our favourite writers) Simon Price. This article was originally published in 2011. We're republishing it now on March 14th 2014 to pay tribute to the memory of a great man. Tony Benn RIP

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This article was originally published in 2011. We're republishing it now on March 14th 2014 to pay tribute to the memory of a great man. Tony Benn RIP

It had to happen. There were too many parallels, and too many symmetries to resist.

One of them is Britain's most outspoken Socialist in pop, the other is Britain's most popular outspoken Socialist. One of them has just recorded an album called Postcards From A Young Man, the other has just written a book called Letters To My Grandchildren. One of them is a working class kid made good, the other was born to be a Viscount but renounced his title. One of them is 41 years old and already crippled by pessimism, the other 85 years old and still optimistic for the future.

So, with a film crew in tow, Nicky Wire and I visited Tony Benn, the iconic elder statesman of the Labour left and "one of the few UK politicians to have become more left-wing after holding ministerial office", in his Notting Hill home for a fascinating cross-generational meeting of minds.

As the Manic Street Preachers' biographer and a Quietus contributor, I was there to mediate proceedings, push the conversation along if needed and, frankly, to meet one of my all-time heroes. Therefore, staying the right side of sycophancy and maintaining a meaningful debate presented a challenge, but once the formalities and the first few awkward minutes were out of the way, I think we managed to strike the right balance.

Wire and Benn hit it off well, and there was an evident mutual respect as we covered topics such as the Miner's Strike, the Labour leadership, Cuba and Castro, the power of music to spread political ideas, the surveillance of public figures, the conflict between electability and principles, the concept of the 'just war' and the question of social class, the former minister puffing on his trademark pipe throughout.

After posing for photos and signing our books ("In Unity" to me, "Love And Peace" to Wire), he told us “Your questions were much more intelligent than the ones I usually get from the BBC.” (I bet he says that to all the guys...), and despite his frailty, he followed us to the end of the garden path and out onto the street to make sure we managed to hail a cab and to wave us goodbye.

As well as being an utterly charming old gent – everyone's favourite grandad – he's an absolute inspiration. In the cab, Wire and I instantly agreed on one thing: if we still have that kind of energy when we're into our 80s, or even give much of a shit about anything any more, good luck to us.

In Conversation: Tony Benn & Nick Wire of the Manic Street Preachers from theQuietus on Vimeo.

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mister laurie
Sep 14, 2010 10:20am

amazing

"take care, keep going and don't give up"

hie me to the tattooist.

Mr Ben is thee man

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mister laurie
Sep 14, 2010 10:21am

In reply to mister laurie:

I swear I put his 2nd N in

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uncle d
Sep 14, 2010 11:32am

me and my mates used to use simon price's hairdo as a landmark if we lost each other at a gig at
brixton academy...

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kerrie
Sep 14, 2010 2:06pm

That was a really interesting discussion, brilliant.

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John Tatlock
Sep 14, 2010 6:23pm

Excellent stuff.

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adrianlobb
Sep 14, 2010 11:07pm

Brilliant stuff. Glad Nicky is the pop musician and Tony is the politician, though. That said, I'd vote for Simon Price any day of the week.....

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John Tatlock
Sep 14, 2010 11:39pm

In reply to adrianlobb:

Oh, well, Wire is the spare wheel in this chat, no question. But that doesn't mean the idea wasn't a good one. I think I'd rather see a straight up Price / Benn interview, but I suppose it's hard to find a hook for a music website to hang that on.

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Reinaldo Arenas
Sep 15, 2010 6:46am

Tony Ben is being disingenuous and just plain wrong when he says that the anti gay movement in Cuba was just traditional prejudice. It was not. It was Fidel Castro's legislation and reinforced in all manner of daily life. It’s a disgrace that neither Ben , Wire nor price attempts to tell the truth when it comes to this but just nod their head as if to say, ‘prejudice is an awful thing’’ The Cuban gig was a mistake, about time the Manics acknowledged that, it was however a brilliant marketing ploy – and that’s the record business baby,

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Anya Darr
Sep 15, 2010 8:37am

Really great, wide ranging and inspiring interview. I can't beleive only two people have 'liked' this. Am posting it on my FB site and beyond. The NEW Labour Party is a new party to which I don't belong! I concur Tony, I concur!

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John Tatlock
Sep 15, 2010 11:05am

In reply to Reinaldo Arenas:

You're quite right to raise this, though I don't think Benn is quite saying what you think he's saying. It is indeed true that gays were arrested and in many cases even executed in the early part of the Castro regime, and gays have continued to get fairly shabby treatment there ever since. And this is indeed a bit of history that really ought not be forgotten, especially by the left.

However, I think Benn's point was simply that there's nothing fundamentally linking socialism and persecution of homosexuals. This was in response to Wire's question about how you separate "good and evil".

For my money, that was a bit of a woolly question, but I always thought the Manics' thinking around that whole Cuba gig was woolly anyway.

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Shamus Dark
Sep 15, 2010 11:17am

Terrific! Tony gets better as he gets older.

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Nathan
Sep 15, 2010 2:50pm

"The most outspoken Socialist in pop"? What about Billy Bragg.

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Hasief
Sep 15, 2010 3:41pm

When I interviewed Nicky, I was the same way as he is here interviewing Mr. Benn.

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clwyd
Sep 15, 2010 4:31pm

look, nicky is in awe here of Mr. Benn - that's why he is the so-called spare part.
what a genius meeting, and if it was put to the elecrote tomorrow, Mr. benn woul be our Prime Minister would he not.
What an utterly inspiring, intelligent, kind man. good chairmanship too simon!!!

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Reinaldo Arenas
Sep 15, 2010 9:44pm

In reply to John Tatlock:

john tatlock you're wrong. you say that 'Benn's point was simply that there's nothing fundamentally linking socialism and persecution of homosexuals', but Mao believed homosexuality is a product of capitalism. Stalin criminalized it (5 years hard labor in the Gulag) and although homosexuality is legal, NONE of the 5 existing communist states recognize same sex relationships. You all want to bend over backwards (no pun intended) to forgive a romantic ideology and a very nice man who was deceived, like many intellectuals were, into supporting an evil regime defined by totalitarianism. As for Wire and Price - one look at their puffy bourgeois made up faces, and look at their soft white fleshy hands (no hard work) and they would have been first up against the wall

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John Tatlock
Sep 15, 2010 10:48pm

In reply to Reinaldo Arenas:

Hang on, are you saying that you think socialism and persecution of homosexuals *are* inextricably linked?

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barry James McCarthy
Sep 16, 2010 1:40am

Kudos to The Quietus, great video, great idea.
Thanks also to Reinaldo Arenas with regard to the comments on Cuba. Gays were persecuted and expelled from Cuba, the strange views by some on the left to deify Cuba and Castro despite the oppression, censorship and executions. Cuba makes a great T-Shirt but the left should be critical of the history of this regime. But I do not want to be too much of a naysayer, it's wonderful to hear Tony Benn, still a man with integrity and Nicky Wire may sometimes talk bollocks but I can't help but love him. Ever since the lyrics to "The Love of Richard Nixon" I have questioned whether wire is as astute as he is made out to be. Other than that nice to see to bastions of the left over a nice cup of tea.

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Reinaldo Arenas
Sep 16, 2010 9:01am

In reply to John Tatlock:

John Tatlock, the evidence is circumstantial but overwhelming, obviously homophobia it's not part of the communist manifesto, but in a court of law when forensic hard science is unavailable, a pattern of circumstantial evidence is enough to convict and the pattern here is devastatingly clear: intellectuals and homosexuals were demonized in Cuba, in many ways This was the Manics 'Sun City' but the pseudo 2nd rate journalists who squirted in their shorts at the concept of it all will never have the balls to admit -

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John Doran
Sep 16, 2010 9:54am

In reply to Reinaldo Arenas:

Hey man, I misread your 'puffy' comment. My mistake. Carry on.

You're still wrong about Pricey doing no work though...

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John Tatlock
Sep 16, 2010 10:11am

In reply to Reinaldo Arenas:

I don't intent any disrespect here, but I really can't make sense of what you are saying. I agree entirely that the Manics going to Cuba was a terrible error of judgement, and I do think that a lot of people on the left cut the Cuban regime more slack than it deserves. I think this is because it shows the viability of alternative economic models to western capitalism, which is obviously something socialists are very keen on. The problem is that having a viable economic model, and having a defensible approach to human rights are not linked. Which is, sadly, something a lot of people on the left don't want to believe. Many of them like to see the two things as fundamentally the same.

However, here is what Benn actually says in this interview:

The point you make about treatment of homosexuals... it is true that there are places in the world where the attitude to homosexuals is very, very primitive. But I don’t think that is identified with the socialist inspiration”.

If you're saying - as you appear to be - "that's wrong, it is indeed a part of the socialist approach", I think you'd have to do a bit more than listing people like Mao and Stalin. Everyone's human rights were abused under those regimes.

If I recall correctly, Cuba is second only to China in the number of journalists it has in prison, and the right to protest basically does not exist. Lots of stuff like that. Cuba has an appalling human rights record across the board.

My own take is that socialism per se is not the issue, but totalitarianism. When people have no democratic means at their disposal, they have no way of protecting or enhancing their rights. Look at it this way: we don't have reasonably good and improving gay rights in the UK because we have especially wise rulers, we have them because they've been fought for and won through the democratic process.

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Reinaldo Arenas
Sep 16, 2010 11:13am

In reply to John Tatlock:

This is my last comment (you'll be glad to hear) as it's all getting a bit tiresome now. Benn’s comment about homophobia, ‘But I don’t think that is identified with the socialist inspiration’ is a feeble and lame excuse for the persecution and murder of people from a regime that at on an ideological level he supports. I can understand the desperate need to justify and distance yourself from such brutality but my belief is that you should not separate the deed from the working ideology, so to restate ‘NONE of the 5 existing communist states recognize same sex relationships’. I apologise for making fun of Simon Price’s image, it is a wonderful example of self mythological branding in the 21st century. Nicky Wire on the other hand, looks like Hyacinth Bucket

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John Tatlock
Sep 16, 2010 11:39am

In reply to Reinaldo Arenas:

You seem to be over-equating communism and socialism somewhat. You're also not acknowledging the point that the countries you list are non-democratic.

> my belief is that you should not separate the deed from the working ideology

If the working ideology has nothing whatsoever to say about homosexuality, which it doesn't, then of course you need to separate the deed, if you want to gain any real understanding of why the deed occurs. Otherwise you're left with "socialists inevitably persecute gays" which is patently untrue.

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John Tatlock
Sep 16, 2010 11:40am

In reply to Reinaldo Arenas:

> I apologise for making fun of Simon Price’s image, it is a wonderful example of self mythological branding in the 21st century. Nicky Wire on the other hand, looks like Hyacinth Bucket
.
As an aside, this stuff is really lame.

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John Tatlock
Sep 16, 2010 11:41am

In reply to John Tatlock:

I mean, the irony of being all up in arms about persecution, but being unable to stop yourself making snide comments about people you don't know based on how they dress. This is basic page one stuff, really.

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Reinaldo Arenas
Sep 16, 2010 11:55am

In reply to John Tatlock:

John Tatlock, you have equated the persecution and murder of people to me making childish remarks about a 40 yr old writer who dresses like a goth and wears makeup. Shame on you, (by the way, i am able to stop making snide comments but thought my remarks nothing compared to the opinions of both both Price and self confessed cynic Wire

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John Tatlock
Sep 16, 2010 12:27pm

In reply to Reinaldo Arenas:

I haven't done anything of the sort.

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John Tatlock
Sep 16, 2010 12:30pm

In reply to John Tatlock:

I must say, I'm at a loss to know what "remarks" you'd attribute to Simon that are apparently so outrageous. Do you have any specific examples?

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Reinaldo Arenas
Sep 16, 2010 12:30pm

In reply to John Tatlock:

'the irony of being all up in arms about persecution, but being unable to stop yourself making snide comments about people you don't know based on how they dress' you've got it all out of proportion. SP is v powerful journalist with the ability to comment to a wide readership, NW has many thousands of fans who listen to his every word without discrimination. Get a grip John

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John Tatlock
Sep 16, 2010 12:37pm

In reply to Reinaldo Arenas:

Peter Tatchell is very well know and influential. Does that mean it would be okay to call him a faggot? Seemingly by this reasoning of yours it would.

The point, which you appear to have somehow missed is that you seem entirely happy to attack people on a primarily prejudicial front. Despite there being lots of Simon's actual words to go at here, in both the video and the text above, you have nothing to say about the content of his views, and lots to say about his age, his clothes, and your completely unfounded guesses at how hard he does or doesn't work.

If you can't see the glaring contradiction here, I'm not sure I can help you.

I think myself and most of my colleagues would chuckle at the notion of music journalists being "powerful" too, by the way.

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Rachael Fordham
Sep 16, 2010 12:38pm

How refreshing! Next maybe a threesome with Billy Bragg?

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John Tatlock
Sep 16, 2010 12:42pm

In reply to Rachael Fordham:

You've thoroughly lost me now.

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Reinaldo Arenas
Sep 16, 2010 1:06pm

In reply to John Tatlock:

Oh sorry, I didn't mean you were powerful, I meant Simon Price. Also, I never called anyone a faggot you madman. If I have to explain the difference between making a childish comment about Nicky Wire's makeup and calling Peter Tatchell faggot you are in trouble (what's PT got to do with this, except the FACT that he has worked tireless against the Cuban dictatorship for decades now). It was unfair of you to make that association and a sure sign that if you are a journalist, as you profess to be, you are not a very good one

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John Tatlock
Sep 16, 2010 1:28pm

In reply to Reinaldo Arenas:

I didn't say you'd called anyone a faggot. A pattern is emerging here of you reading (or hearing) one thing and interpreting it wildly differently.

I mean, let's take it from the top: I think Wire's a bit woolly on Cuba myself, but he actually raises the specific issue of mistreatment of gays in Cuba in this interview, and says quite clearly it's a problem for him. Benn makes the entirely valid that this is indeed bad, but he doesn't think it's an automatic product of socialism. Simon doesn't say anything about it.
.
From this, you've somehow conjured a frankly mad vision of Simon Price, powerful holder of the reigns of public discourse colluding with Wire and Benn to bury all talk of human rights atrocities in Cuba. This makes absolutely no sense.

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Jo Willcox
Sep 16, 2010 5:22pm

Tony Benn is a hero. Such dignity and superintelligence. I have always admired Cuba for many reasons including having the most women in leadership and having fantastic healthcare. It's a shame the rest of the world doesn't follow suit. I must read more about it, really interesting. A pretty amazing country, but USA, the global bully, always gets it way sadly. And UK not that really much better either.

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Jo Willcox
Sep 16, 2010 5:26pm

Oh. I just read the other comments. I didn't know about that. Every country behaves badly and of course, that was wrong. Oh know, I can't beleive it. I've gone and done it again! I'm keeping off the interweb. Perhaps I better go and read some books instead. Good to have a debate though.

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MsD
Sep 16, 2010 7:14pm

Great piece of work .. as for the comments, I agree with JT re. Cuba and sexual politics, and everyone's right to dress htf they want.
Love, light, socialism and nice shoes.
MsD x

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Sep 17, 2010 3:58am

In reply to MsD:

Especially leopard print shoes.

What about the Human Rights violations carried out on a daily basis by the West? Discrimination against gay people as we know is prevalent in this country, although clearly, state execution is cleary not comparable. It is good to have debate but if we want to move forward as human beings, we have to look at alternatives and not just denounce Cuba for all the injustice it carried out. Looking at our Britian's history, I don't think we have anything to be particularly proud of. Imperialism? Slavery?

Yes Cuba cannot be held up as an ideal regime but can't we take some of the positive aspects and positive aspects of our own democracy?

Also the treatment of the 'underclass' in this country is absolutely shameful. People tut tut when they hear about another Baby P or Raol Moat as if they have no responsibility whatsoever. I really want to have faith in human nature and Tony Benn offers hope. To change people, you have to engage them, not alienate them. I really liked Tony's point about teenagers not feeling listened to. Perhaps if we all did a little more listening and less talking (I include myself) we may actually be able to help the next generation to find a better way of living. Okay now I sound like Whitney Houston now. (Poor Whitney)

Anyway, I commend Simon Price, Nicky Wire and The Quietus for getting this interview and trying to bring these issues to the agenda for their audience. Simon and Nicky have hearts of gold. From what Nicky posted on the Manics Twitterfeed, he felt really inspired by Tony Benn and that all we can do in our own way, try to inspire each other.

I have to admit though, to having a soft spot for Wirey and Price Cube because they support nurses. And you can't go wrong with that. Plus I like their hair and make-up. And I'm not trying to blag tickets for their tour. I already bought tickets.

I apologise if my arguements were simplistic and any spelling errors but writing this very late as have a blocked nose and can't sleep. (You didn't need to know that did you?)

Thank you and Good evening.

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the london lorax
Sep 17, 2010 12:35pm

On a grim Autumn day this interview has given me hope - energy from anger can indeed keep the hope going. I love them both with equal measure and the fabulous Simon Price for being the best journalist around. Thanks to you all - Go easy..Step lightly...Stay Beautiful X

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Sep 17, 2010 12:55pm

In reply to the london lorax:

I concur. Simon is a brilliant writer/journalist and Nicky one of the best lyricists of our generation, singer (I was only joking about autotune) and musician.

I'm leaving twitter for solitude. (but will keep my beady eye on Mr Price's and Mr Brett Anderson's naughty posts - I couldn't compete and admitted defeat)

Here endeth the lovefest...
Yours Sincerely, Julie Burchill.

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russ angel (newport)
Sep 18, 2010 10:42pm

tony benn stole every scene in that interview i couldnt keep my eyes of him.i could have heard him talk all day.i wonder if he likes a bit of a tipple as well?

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Sep 19, 2010 12:42am

In reply to :

I apologise for my comments about Brett Anderson on twitter that has caused a great deal of offence. It was a huge error of judgement from a very stupid woman. I am not Julie Burchill but do admire her writing and only wish I had her mind. Again I apologise profusely about being so flippant and arrogant. And the over familar remarks about Nicky Wire and Simon Price. Yet another error of judgement. I actually try and read a book and not keep looking things up on google and reading snippets of information on twitter because as I have learnt to my shame, is that I have been reading things that were not valid.

Apologies to The Quietus for my inappropriate remarks as well. I did think that the interview was really good. I have learnt a lot of lessons this week.

Jo.

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Ciaran
Sep 19, 2010 10:32pm

This is a superb interview, thoroughly engaging and every bit the sort of feature that keeps bringing me back to The Quietus. Benn's book is full of optimism and a really inspiring read. Ciarán

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Stephen Comerford
Sep 20, 2010 12:14am

interesting stuff. But Benn talks about "the end of empire without war". Thats a bit of anglocentric historical amnesia.Like him all the same.

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John Calvert
Sep 22, 2010 9:51am

I fckin hate Nicky Wire. Who is he to arbitrate on new bands in the nme, after the MOR horrow show that were MSP's in the nineties - easily the most mundane sell-out in Rock history. Nicky you aren't clever, you arern't punk rock.

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MF DIMM
Oct 1, 2010 9:56pm

the devils really let himself go

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Richard
Oct 22, 2010 6:38pm

Hey.. I know I'm way late to this. But thank you Quietus, it is an inspiration.

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Anonymous
Oct 29, 2010 2:06am

What the FUCK is going on with Simon Price's hair!??

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Steven Edgar Jones
Nov 7, 2010 7:15pm

Great to know that Simon Price's sense of the comedic is not restricted to his head. This is the best situation comedy I have seen since Terry and June challenged the air waves back in the late 70's. What a pointless and preposterous 'conversation' between two self satisfied Champagne Socialists. The very idea that Wire is an intellectual of pop is absurd ... this notion would be based on what? The fact he owns several volumes of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations and a couple of A Levels. There he sits, looking somewhat bemused, in his 3000 pound Alexander McQueen jacket and ironic pop culture TV shirt discussing the merits of socialism. High comedy indeed. The Manic Street Preachers have always been a budget airline version of U2 and after the hyperbole of the 80's, the fact they chose to become career pop stars is rather shameful. But better that than the Pot Noodle factory a Nicky? Hope Lies With The Proles indeed. No wonder he claims to be a cynic when it comes to the frailties of human nature … deep down he knows himself to be a hypocrite and a phoney.

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David Davidson
Nov 12, 2010 4:57am

In reply to Steven Edgar Jones:

Be quiet you tart.

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John Calvert
Nov 26, 2010 10:35pm

In reply to Steven Edgar Jones:

Ha! Fuckin A Steven.

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Tim
Dec 12, 2010 3:22pm

In reply to Steven Edgar Jones:

"The Manic Street Preachers have always been a budget airline version of U2"... sorry WHAT? are you seriously suggesting U2 were more politically intelligent than the manics? give me a fucking break. U2 are singing "where the streets have no name", the manics are singing "i laughed when lennon got shot"...

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Dec 17, 2010 11:50pm

In reply to Tim:

I like the Manic Street Preachers a lot but can't line up their seeming fixation with "mass communication" and that slightly over varnished AOR sheen to a lot of their stuff with their politics and Wire's occasional delusion that they're a punk band.

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Dec 17, 2010 11:52pm

In reply to :

I also doubt Castro agreed that all rock was homosexual somehow.

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Dame Hyndman
Dec 21, 2010 3:19pm

In reply to Steven Edgar Jones:

I think you're probably right. I saw Tony Benn on his speaking tour a year or so back, read his diaries (where he has tendency to cast blame around at everyone apart from himself) He has a keen mind, usually a good analysis, but his answer to everything is big government and that government can provide every solution. He also has a strange romanticised view of the the workers. Having said that, even though I disagree with most of his solutions, he is a good orator, a proper politician and has been consistent in his views throughout the decades.

The Manics musically had a dreadful time after 'This My Truth...' which was patchy anyway. I certainly lost interest until recently and as for Cuba, I failed to see what they were doing supporting an oppressive regime. It doesn't matter if Castro is left right or anything in between. If he was such a man of the people he would have given the people of a Cuba their democracy, which he didn't. He is a dictator and they are not good people. It was an idiotic decision to go there and they were well and truly used.

It sits a little uncomfortably watching Nicky Wire going on about socialism these days when he and the band have made a mint through the record sales etc Nothing wrong with that whatsoever, but Nick you can't have it both ways mate.

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Matt
Jan 12, 2011 11:40pm

Tony Benn was probably having suspicions he'd died and gone to hell when he seen Simon Price. Then he heard Price was a Prince fan and knew immediately he was in hell.

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Jan 24, 2011 2:35pm

In reply to Matt:

This country's full of white, middle class men pretending to be working clas. People cozying up to their media mates, critising, even worse, bullying people for a living or/and for fun.

Those who, faced with spending thousands of pounds on a suit for their wedding, throw their 'ideals' of their bourgoise windows.

Coalitions are very 'in' at the moment, so Strictly was no surprise with it's glitter balls, bow ties and Ann Widecombe.

I thought I was embarrassing until I saw this 'interview'.

Lots of pampering of egos and pontification while the rest of us get on with proper jobs meeting with ordinary people, people who actually are working class.

You can't disguise middle age. Get some insight.
"Save us all from Satan's stare". Hmmm...

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kidyamlo
Feb 3, 2011 12:30pm

*Snipe
"You'd have been a child when that war was on."
It wasn't a f**king episode of The A-Team. Embarrassing.

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Robert Exley
Apr 24, 2011 5:07pm

Good peice, Benn always gives a good interview.

Though a couple of questions I would have liked to have been asked of him were:

1) His involvement in cracking down on the pirates back in the 60s when he was the postmaster general.

2) He followed his father into politics and, though he is a big supporter of social justice, how he feels that in an era where social mobility is becoming fudged in the UK, his son Hilary and grandaughter Emily have both profited from the Benn name, yet are both a part of the Blairite strand that has ruined the politics of the left. Also both supporters of the Iraq War - which he campaigned against.

The only two questions that would have improved an otherwise great interview.

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Robert Exley
Apr 24, 2011 5:15pm

In reply to Dame Hyndman:

I'm no apologist for Nicky Wire - I'm not even that big a fan of the MSP, but Nicky Wire isn't the Duke of Westminster, he's not sitting on a multi-billion pound fortune.

He also isn't disallowed an opinion on what political model is the best one for the population as a whole just because he's got a six figure income. Murdoch and Richard Desmond earn far more and we hear their opinions every day of the fucking week on that matter through their newspapers.

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Robert Exley
Apr 24, 2011 5:19pm

In reply to :

Tony Benn might not be working class, but both Thatcher and John Major were from a working class backgrounds and Benn has done more for working people than either of those two.

What background you're born into isn't necessary the issue.

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e. conway
Apr 25, 2011 7:46pm

I think this is utter rubbish. Nicky Wire is no more a socialist than David Cameron. Of course he can declare himself a socialist, he has the money, so he can protest about how unfair society is so long as it doesn't affect him. What a pretentious twat. How dare he!! he hasn't a clue. Let him go back to his country house.

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Robert Exley
Apr 30, 2011 12:54pm

In reply to e. conway:

If he still speaks up even though it doesn't effect him, that actually gives him more credit in my eyes. It would be a heck of a lot easier just to shut the fuck up about things and count his pennies, even publically back a government that would tax him less but he doesn't, he still has an opinion on the way the world is run.

And as for 'go back to your country house' - well as I've said, Murdoch and Richard Desmond have their country houses, so does Cameron. It doesn't stop them telling the world how they think things should be run, so why should it stop Nicky Wire? He's got much less money than them.

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Robert Exley
Apr 30, 2011 12:59pm

In reply to Tim:

I agree with your sentiments, but I think you could have used a better example.

Saying 'I laughed when Lennon got shot' doesn't exactly show political intelligence.

It's probably the stupid lyric they ever came out with TBH

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Holden
Jul 15, 2012 6:11am

Great, inspiring interview. However, I think 90% of these comments are a perfect example of the level of cynicism and apathy affecting younger generations today. What do you want? Another Arctic Monkeys interview about his favorite leather trousers? Damon slagging off blur and talking about his 900th half-assed solo project this week? The ethos about the Manics were all about bringing in intelligent, provocative and socio-political messages into the mainstream, kicking and screaming. Nicky's not perfect, but hes a brilliant guy and you can tell he'd rather be having a dialogue with someone like Benn then some twat from the NME. As far as Cuba is concerned, he voiced dissaproval for the last few british administrations but they're not about to start boycotting UK shows, are they? He expressed his misgivings clearly. As far as the whole corporate rock star/socialist dichotomoy, I'm inclined to agree for the most part, but there are no "rules." Nicky can be whatever the fuck he wants. At least he's not afraid to take a stand, which is more then you can say about anyone in the current british music scene.

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chris heggie
Oct 30, 2012 4:03pm

I have only just found this through a, generation terrorist, link. Amazing,two of my heroes in conversation- priceless. chris heggie.

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Tryphena Sparks
Mar 14, 2014 11:47am

It's a rare thing to cry when a politician dies but Tony Benn was one of the few proper ones, in the melee for the right reasons, for the people, for goodness sake. d&*n it

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Joseph
Mar 14, 2014 12:48pm

Great to see this again. A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine is worth reading.

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