The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Ask the powerful five questions

with 2 comments

Like wealth of most kinds, power seems to make people smaller. Washington, D.C., (for example) is not known for its champions of selfless idealism.  Yet many of those same people came into politics with a hope of doing good.  I suspect it is a very hard place from which to keep focused on justice.

Tony Benn, Labour‘s second-longest serving member of parliament in the U.K., proposes five plain-spoken questions:

Those might raise a fuss, eh? (h/t Homeyra!)

Here’s another Benn thought-provoker:

If you talk about a global answer to a global crisis, you can’t just talk about the movement of capital, now we are told all the time we must not have protectionism, but the most powerful protectionism in the world is immigration policy. Capital can move anywhere in the world to boost its profits. But labor can’t move because of the immigration control. Now I am raising huge questions, I recognize that. But if it is legitimate for a big American company to go to Malaysia where the wag[es] are low and triple their profit, why shouldn’t a Malaysian looking for high [wages] just go to America?

Well?  Immigration as protectionism – now there’s a fresh insight!

2 Responses

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  1. Great to see this posted. As it happens, I also followed the link at Homeyra’s yesterday and saved this, impressed that Tony Benn has inspired appreciative fellow Brits to create a website, and was also struck by this compelling blackboard image with, as you well describe, its plain-spoken and simple questions. You may know that Tony Benn recently spoke up against the BBC’s dubious decision not to broadcast a public appeal for Gaza, repeating the telephone number in an interview on air several times. Britain is lucky to have this anti-war veteran and veritable (inter)national treasure.


    April 13, 2009 at 4:45 am

    • Thanks, Ann – I’m not as familiar with him as you – British politics doesn’t get much coverage here – but I certainly value the questioning of power, and he does sound wise.


      April 13, 2009 at 5:28 pm

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