Tony Benn, secret mounter of illegal Parliamentary plaques

When Tony Benn was a Member of Parliament, he would go around with homemade plaques celebrating heroes of democracy, such as suffragette* Emily Wilding Davison, and illegally screw them to the walls. He copped to this during a sitting of Parliament in 2001, saying, "I have put up several plaques—quite illegally, without permission; I screwed them up myself. One was in the broom cupboard to commemorate Emily Wilding Davison, and another celebrated the people who fought for democracy and those who run the House. If one walks around this place, one sees statues of people, not one of whom believed in democracy, votes for women or anything else. We have to be sure that we are a workshop and not a museum."

*The term "suffragette" is considered pejorative (or at least diminutive) in Canada and the USA, where the preferred term is "Suffragist." The British movement for women's suffrage adopted the name and bore it proudly, sometimes pronouncing it with a hard "G," as in "SuffraGETte the vote."

(via Retronaut)

Notable Replies

  1. The British Suffragettes really did go thru a lot of shit to get the votes for women. Go download the BBC series Shoulder to Shoulder (1974) to get the full story. Especially memorial was the scene of Mrs. Pankhurst being force fed with a rubber tube down her nose.

  2. He then put his knowlege of heating ducts to good use, surreptitiously repairing residential and commercial environtmental control systems without filing the proper paperwork.

  3. Anthony Wedgwood Benn
    Is one of the bravest of men.
    The worst in life he can fear
    Is ending it as a Peer.

    Spike Milligan.

  4. micah says:

    The man held up well in an interview with Ali G, too:

  5. I screwed them up myself

    It's rare to see a politician admit that.

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