Thursday 20 December 2012

Privilege checking 1973

Saturday 29 September

I got buttonholed in the bar by Tommy [Lord] Balogh, who is such a bore ... 'Moreover, Tony, we must see to it that we never have any more lower middle-class Ministers like Dick Marsh and Roy Mason who are just bullied by these fascist civil servants. We need public school boys like you to stand up to them.' That just about sums up his view of politics. You put in your aristocratic friends, who then are able to down the civil servants. I said, 'If this country changes, it won't be because of public school Labour Ministers beating public school civil servants. It will be because the people at a Conference simply won't accept the explanations given from the top and will just go on demanding change until they actually get it.'

Tony Benn, Against the Tide: Diaries 1973-76, p.65

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