Hilary Benn Watch

a noble chance
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Most people who frequent this forum will be aware of the spectacular speech given by dark horse Hilary Benn in the conclusion of last night's debate on air strikes in Syria.

It is fashionable to say this in the wake of these kinds of surprises but I have long suspected that there were hidden depths to him. The question is, what does it mean?

Benn defied the leader of the Labour party as a senior shadow cabinet member, taking the initiative to wear the crown for a large chunk of MPs not just in Labour but across the entire House. When he sat down the House of Commons was consumed with cheers, applause, standing ovations and tears of a kind which are arguably no longer in living memory since the Churchillian epoch. His Tory counterpart and opponent said it would go down as one of the best speeches ever given in Parliament. Senior Labour MPs are already admitting to having been persuaded by his contribution. He spoke to the hearts of Labour MPs and demonstrated political leadership and presentability of a kind which Corbyn is clearly completely incapable and insodoing he made an embarrassment of Corbyn's leadership while remaining publicly loyal. He demonstrated intellectual and moral courage and independence in the same breath as a statesmanlike capacity to work with other parties in the interests of the nation. He also simply demonstrated an oratorical ability which is as far as I know entirely unmatched in the entire House, especially in terms of uniting its members around oneself. Philip Hammond was positively pitiful in Benn's wake.

What is your analysis? Surely such a seismic event cannot pass without significantly altering the course of future events? What do you believe will be the consequences for Corbyn and Labour? Benn for leader? He has said that he does not want to be leader, but then Boris Johnson says much the same.

The speech can be viewed in the timeline of this page on BBC News:

http://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-politics-34961844

I have taken the liberty of tagging a few members who may have interesting contributions
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Farm_Ecology
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I noticed a moment when he sat down, Corbyn looked very sheepish. He had to make room to make room for Benn. This subtle body language was very interesting.

In any case, as well spoken the speech was, it didn't really tackle any of the issues that were raised in the debate. It was a generic statement about how ISIS is bad, fascism is bad, and how everyone vote for war because we don't like bad things. It also echoed previous concerns that the bombings had nothing to do with defeating ISIS or helping the Syrian people, and more with some show of solidarity with the international community. It was an emotional speech at the end of the debate that appealed to those on the fence that could be bought with a feel-good speech.
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Rakas21
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I think a lot of MP's have spectacular ability and potential but in this case Hilary got a chance to profess it at the right moment.

It's possible we'll see people rallying round him come May as an alternative but nothing will come before then. Corbyn will be measured against Miliband come May and if he can't make progress in Scotland or get 38% in the English council elections then Hillary's time to strike may come should he build on tonight.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Farm_Ecology)
I noticed a moment when he sat down, Corbyn looked very sheepish. He had to make room to make room for Benn. This subtle body language was very interesting.

In any case, as well spoken the speech was, it didn't really tackle any of the issues that were raised in the debate. It was a generic statement about how ISIS is bad, fascism is bad, and how everyone vote for war because we don't like bad things. It also echoed previous concerns that the bombings had nothing to do with defeating ISIS or helping the Syrian people, and more with some show of solidarity with the international community. It was an emotional speech at the end of the debate that appealed to those on the fence that could be bought with a feel-good speech.
To be fair, part of politics is playing to your audience. Corbyn may be loved at Labour party meetings when he's surrounded by the far left but it may be that he doesn't read the public's or parliaments mood very well. Perhaps that's a skill that Hillary has.
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a noble chance
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(Original post by Farm_Ecology)
In any case, as well spoken the speech was, it didn't really tackle any of the issues that were raised in the debate. It was a generic statement about how ISIS is bad, fascism is bad, and how everyone vote for war because we don't like bad things. It also echoed previous concerns that the bombings had nothing to do with defeating ISIS or helping the Syrian people, and more with some show of solidarity with the international community. It was an emotional speech at the end of the debate that appealed to those on the fence that could be bought with a feel-good speech.
As were Churchill's war-time speeches. I'm not sure how incriminating it is for someone to successfully unite everyone around him with emotional appeals, especially as a conclusion. The arguments had been made many times for hours. His job at that point was to round them all together and ensure they hit home and he could not have done that more successfully.

Also, he didn't say the bombings had nothing to do with defeating ISIS. He said that they were both about defeating ISIS and demonstrating solidarity with our allies which is important in itself.
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ChaoticButterfly
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I've not heard the speech first hand.

Did he mention the kurds who are actually socialists as our socialist friends? Or is this just the same wishy washy mean nothing socialism of modern day European social democrats?
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a noble chance
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
I've not heard the speech first hand.

Did he mention the kurds who are actually socialists as our socialist friends?
The speech is made available in the link in the OP. You will have to scroll down through the timeline to find it.
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TheArtofProtest
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His father would be spinning a mile in his grave.
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username878267
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We go on about bravery, the reality is while he goes back to his warm, comfy bed tonight, Syrian children will be waking up to the sound of bombs.
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emiloujess
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Speech of the night. I'm against Syria airstrikes but he certainly made a good case in favour of it. He could be a potential Labour leader. Good for him for being strong enough to go against Corbyn though!
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a noble chance
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(Original post by TheArtofProtest)
His father would be spinning a mile in his grave.
I admire him all the more for it.
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username878267
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(Original post by Rakas21)
I think a lot of MP's have spectacular ability and potential but in this case Hilary got a chance to profess it at the right moment.

It's possible we'll see people rallying round him come May as an alternative but nothing will come before then. Corbyn will be measured against Miliband come May and if he can't make progress in Scotland or get 38% in the English council elections then Hillary's time to strike may come should he build on tonight.
Could you see someone like Hilary persuading any Tory voters?
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interact
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his speech was the worst, so cringe.
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interact
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today i like all the MP's except cringe hilary and mother cooper and how can forget lost hussain with his random, irrelevant comments
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a noble chance
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(Original post by Bornblue)
We go on about bravery, the reality is while he goes back to his warm, comfy bed tonight, Syrian children will be waking up to the sound of bombs.
They'd be waking up to the sound of Kalashnikovs and machetes and explosives otherwise, intended to kill many more of them and in far more brutal and tortuous ways.
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TheArtofProtest
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(Original post by emiloujess)
Speech of the night. I'm against Syria airstrikes but he certainly made a good case in favour of it. He could be a potential Labour leader. Good for him for being strong enough to go against Corbyn though!
Let's just hope it doesn't blow back with egg on his face, 6 months down the line, the time when Cameron has promised us that there will be a new Syria of sorts.
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a noble chance
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(Original post by interact)
and how can forget lost hussain with his random, irrelevant comments
Was that the rotund Labour MP near the Speaker's chair? What a total waste of time and space that man is.
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interact
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(Original post by a noble chance)
Was that the rotund Labour MP near the Speaker's chair? What a total waste of time and space that man is.
lols ye
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TheArtofProtest
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(Original post by a noble chance)
I admire him all the more for it.
I gathered that from your lavish praise, on what I considered, quite a mundane speech.
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username878267
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(Original post by a noble chance)
They'd be waking up to the sound of Kalashnikovs and machetes otherwise, intended to kill many more of them and in far more brutal and tortuous ways.
This is just playing right into Isis's hands.
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