Beacon of light

First published in Letters

TONY Benn is dead – we will not see his like again.

He leaves a great hole in the British/Welsh political scene. He loved Wales and its people.

During the 1980 steel strike, he was the only MP who joined our picket lines in Llanwern steelworks, Newport, and Guest Keen, Cardiff. He helped launch our magazine for striking steelworkers, Fight Back for Jobs, saying and “the word is mightier than the sword, Ray”.

Wyndham Coniff, from Caldicot, and Gary Finch, from Cwmbran, spent countless hours spreading his inspirational message across the picket lines. Tony spoke at 132 fringe meetings at the 1982 Labour party conference, always referring to the fighting spirit of Welsh miners and steelworkers.

During the historic 1984-5 miners’ strike, Margaret Thatcher frightened the life out of many MPs but not Tony. At one meeting in Cardiff, he spoke to a crowd of over 2000 and he travelled the length of the British coalfield, with the message – win this fight and we defeat Thatcher and her hated policies.

He was proved right when we defeated her flagship poll tax.

What an inspiration. What a beacon of light.

What a loss. I will never forget him.

Ray Davies Pandy Road Caerphilly

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