Like many, I was sad to hear that Tony Benn had died. Only last week I’d watched the documentary film The Lottery of Birth which featured an interview with Benn. In it he said:
I think the key to any progress is to ask the question ‘why’ all the time. Why is that child poor? Why was there a war? Why was he killed? Why is she in power?
Last night I listened to Benn’s episode of Desert Island Discs and was struck by him saying:
I have tried to use such experience as I had to encourage other people. And if I had an epitaph I would like people to say ‘he encouraged us’.
He certainly encouraged in the full sense of the word: to give confidence and hope. He encouraged me to keep asking the question why.