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Tony Benn [Image: Daily Mirror]

Tony Benn [Image: Daily Mirror]

Vox Political offers its sincerest best wishes to Tony Benn, who has spent a fourth night in hospital where he is understood to be seriously unwell.

Mr Benn was my constituency MP in Bristol during my formative years, and I used to hear a great deal about his beliefs and principles from politically-active members of my family who used to attend meetings with him.

This information greatly influenced my understanding of what politicians should be – especially during the time of Conservative ascendancy during the 1980s and 90s.

It is from him that I took the metaphor, often used on this blog, of politicians as either ‘signposts’ or ‘weathercocks’. A ‘signpost’ points clearly in the direction that person believes the nation should travel, while a ‘weathercock’ goes any way the prevailing (political) wind blows. Use that to examine your own MPs and see how they measure up!

I was lucky enough to meet him only two years ago, when he spoke at Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon. The event was attended, not only by members of the general public, but by politicians of every hue, including prominent Conservatives. Clearly, Mr Benn enjoys cross-party respect.

He spoke clearly and wittily, and it was a privilege to enjoy the illumination of his insights. I hope that he will recover soon, so we can all continue to enjoy the benefits of his wisdom.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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