#see power tuesdays: Tony Benn in front of Westminster
It is Tuesday, time to #see power on my blog. Above is Tony Benn in
1961, in front of the mother of all parliaments, Westminster, the then
undisputed seat of British political power.
I have chosen this picture of Benn,
a life-long critic of British membership in the European Communities/ the European Union, to highlight one rather significant aspect,
or element, of post-democracy – the transfers of national sovereignty to
a supranational European level.
I apologise that this post
looks a bit like #explore power mondays. I just think Tony Benn’s
“democracy test” is a vital contribution to this week’s exploration of
the post-democratic times we seem to live in.
“The House will forgive me
for quoting five democratic questions that I have developed during my
life. If one meets a powerful person–Rupert Murdoch, perhaps, or Joe
Stalin or Hitler–one can ask five questions: what power do you have;
where did you get it; in whose interests do you exercise it; to whom
are you accountable; and, how can we get rid of you? Anyone who
cannot answer the last of those questions does not live in a
Speech to the House of
Commons, 16 Nov 1998 (Hansard volume 319 column 685 fom 7.20pm,
Debate on: European Parliamentary Elections Bill)
Tony Benn (3 April 1925 – 14 March 2014)