Despite being born into an aristocratic family, Benn fought tirelessly for a more equal, egalitarian, socialist society. This video outlines his political viewpoint.
During the 1980s, Benn was one of the key voices articulating opposition towards Margaret Thatcher's neoliberal policies.
Benn had been Secretary of State for Energy in the 1970s, and even after leaving the position, defended the miners against Thatcher's assault.
Incresingly in the 1990s, Benn was marginalized within his own party, as New Labour came to the fore, but he still remained active, campaigning for causes he believed in. He retired in 2001, in his words, "to devote more time to politics." The treatment of the Palestinian people was one cause he championed. When the BBC refused to highlight the issue, he went off-topic live on air and said "if you won't broadcast the Gaza appeal then I will myself." Classic, no-nonsense Tony.
John Bolton, not used to such strong, clear-talking politics, seemed taken aback at the forcefulness of Benn's argument here on Question Time. Benn cuts the pro-war argument to shreds.
Benn was one of the few figures satirized by Sacha Baron-Cohen's Ali G who came out with more integrity than when he started. Benn refused to treat his interviewer differently and fought back at his ludicrous statements. As a mark of respect (or should that me (respec'?) Ali G said "man, that guy likes a fight."
He fought tirelessly for democracy his whole life and made politics simple and understandable for everyone. The final video is his documentary, Big Ideas that Changed the World: Democracy, which comes as close as possible to laying out his version of history and politics.
After his passing, expertly-penned tributes have been flowing in from nearly all corners. I can think of no better compliment to him than to say he said what he meant and he meant what he said. They don't make 'em like that any more. Rest in well-deserved peace.