Smoke and ire with battling Benn

VETERAN Labour politician Tony Benn, far left, stood his ground on Glasgow Green when protesters let off a smoke bomb at an Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) support meeting in 1971.

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Benn, who passed away aged 88 last week, was never afraid to speak truth to power.

Unlike many of the current generation of politicians, who are happy to hide behind spin doctors and official spokesmen, Benn was at his happiest, and his combative best, when faced with a crowd.

With his ever present pipe, cup of tea and Doctor Marten shoes, Benn was a stalwart supporter of Clyde shipbuilding, forming a strong alliance with shop stewards Jimmy Reid, Jimmy Airlie, Sammy Gilmore, and Sammy Barr.

Matt McGinn and Billy Connolly, also performed at this Glasgow Green protest.

Forty years later, in 2011, at a UCS memorial event at Glasgow's Mitchell Theatre, Tony Benn was back again, as the guest of honour.

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