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Laugh of the Day.

On the day that Antony Wedgewood-Benn was buried… So long Tone, let’s hope we don’t see your like again soon…

I was watching the Chase (a half way decent UK quiz show). This question was asked…


What did Tony Benn want removed from British Postage Stamps in the 60’s?

The contestant answered …

The Glue?

Ah from the mouths of clueless quizzers eh? the wrong answer of course but so very very right about Tony Benn. He really was that barmy.

Off to Dorset for a week.


  1. Cheeryble says:

    If you had a quarter the style of Tony Wedgewood Benn you’d be a far finer man than you obviously are.
    When you get past the stage of proclamation to the converted get back to us.

  2. RAB says:

    The trouble with Tony Benn was that he was all style and no brains. A very charming man in person (I met him several times, he was an MP here in Bristol for many years until he lost his seat due to boundary changes and failed to win the new one. He then went looking for a gold plated safe seat like all the unelectable Labourites do) but he would have charmed you into the Poorhouse, sucking on his pipe and sipping on his pint mug of tea. Even his Cabinet colleagues couldn’t stand him (and I knew one of them too, George Thomas) because he had a massive ego and was not a team player. What he believed was right and bugger what anyone else thought! I believe Oswald Mosely had a lot of style and was quite charming in person too . :-)

  3. Go away Cheeyble – you not wanted.

    As for Mr Benn.

    If he was really a “fine man” – he would not have supported the IRA (not just “he wanted peace” – he supported the same objective as the IRA – a socialist “United Ireland”) and all the other vicious socialist scum (around the word) that he supported. The best that can said of Mr Benn is that he had good intentions – but no judgement what-so-ever. He lived in a dream (a fantasy) which had no connection to the real world.

    I remember Mr Benn for many BBC television shows – whatever the question he would reply with one of his standard “history” replies, where the “historical” information he came out was always wrong.

  4. Mr Ed says:

    In Portugal in 1983, there was no glue on stamps. A Correio, the post office, I went into in the Algarve, had little ink pots full of glue with paint brushes for you to apply glue to your stamps, and i queued up for my turn with the brush.

    Mr Benn would have taken us back beyond the days of unsticky stamps towards the Stone Age given half a chance, that aim was his life’s work. He failed.

  5. John Galt says:

    Don’t forget Benn was seen as a contender during the 1970′s and 1980′s, but unfortunately was defeated for the leadership and deputy leadership each time he threw his hat in the ring which is a shame, because a Bennite opposition would have been more fun than watching a dog with worms smear its arse all over Princess Anne’s carpet.

    How he would have handled Militant I have no idea, probably would have called for the expulsion of the Mensheviks or something equally bizarre. I know he was very personable, but time-and-again his judgement was shown to be poor and his wisdom lacking. Certainly Clause 4 reform would have been a non-starter.

    Indeed his reforms to the NCB pay structures and union agreements in the late 1970′s may have been partly to blame for the 1984 miners strike.

    A bit like a reverse compass in that whichever side of an argument he was on was either the wrong side or for the wrong reasons. Usually both. I’m not glad he’s dead, but I don’t recognise the person they are eulogising.

  6. john in cheshire says:

    Marxism is evil and is the enemy of all normal people who want to retain our superior Western, Christian-based civilisation. Mr Benn was a marxist and therefore an enemy of the vast majority of people in our country.

  7. RAB says:

    When I was in Spain and Portugal in the 70′s, the cigarette papers over there didn’t have glue on them either, Mr Ed. Have these Continentals got super sticky saliva we thought? Or are they too busy eating their horses and donkeys to boil them up for glue? Trying to roll a five skin { we have no idea what he is talking about here… Ed} was nigh on bloody impossible!

  8. John Galt says:

    @John in Cheshire – Bloody spot on.

    @RAB – Ever manage a “Camberwell carrot”? My brother could just about manage to make one, but it had to be smoked in a heads-up position as it had a tendency to wilt.

  9. Sam Duncan says:

    “I’m not glad he’s dead, but I don’t recognise the person they are eulogising.”


    And yes, a Stansgate-led Labour Party would have been even more hilarious than Michael Foot’s. Indeed, his personal charm might actually have held it together better, prolonging the amusement.

    Much like Woody Allen’s films, I preferred Labour when it was funny. Mind you, Ed’s doing his best, bless ‘im.

  10. RAB says:

    Camberwell Carrot? Pah! I went backstage at a Bob Marley gig in the late 70′s for a chat and what they were smoking there was conical and thick as a baby’s arm. The buggers never passed it to me though. Them Rastas could be very Racist, exclusive or could that be just plain tight arsed? Never mind, there was so much smoke in the room I got “Nicely Nicely” just from being there. :-)

  11. NickM says:

    Well then you got nowt to complain about RAB!

  12. John Galt says:

    Had the same experience at a Hawkwind concert at Leeds University Students Union about 1991. You could cut the air with a knife there was that much Mary Jane being smoked. Then as we were all stoned and enjoying the music some women started dancing on stage in the buff.

    It was a surreal experience I can tell you, although not quite as surreal as the time we went to Amsterdam and smoked dried magic mushroom cigarettes. Now that was trippy and really fun, took about a week for the intermittent after-effects to wear off. Not quite so funny when you’re commuting around the M25 the following week and not sure how you got there.

    Apparently the Dutch authorities banned those soon after – spoilsports!

  13. JohnW says:

    If you think having “style” and being “finer man” means a lifetime of sacrificing innocent people, violating individual rights, sucking up to foreign dictators and continuously proclaiming brotherly hate from every pulpit while hypocritically ensuring others cannot enjoy the privileges you seek to reserve for your own family then I suspect you in want of more than a dictionary.

  14. RAB says:

    Complain, Moi? My life has been blessed in many ways. I am available to complain on others behalf though.. as well as for weddings and barmitzvahs.


    The Gay Buddhist and I hitched up to london from Cardiff for the Greatful Dead concert at Alexandra Palace in 1974. It was an amazing gig with the best sound system I ever heard. Unlike all other gigs where to talk to the person next to you, you had to scream in their ear, with that system you could talk naturally and still the sound was awesome. Anyhoo… of course we were tripping; you did not go to a Dead gig straight.

    We met up with a load of friends who were supposed to give us a lift back to Cardiff. But when we opened the back doors of the van, they were all so wasted, and the space so packed that we thought better of it. We got a taxi to Paddington, bought the Sunday Papers and a bite to eat, and got the train back to Cardiff.

    The Van turned up three days later. They were so out of it they had reached Manchester before they realised they were going North not West.

  15. NickM says:

    JG, RAB, it’s like a fucking hippy reunion round here! Good story RAB about the van – sounds like that Cheech and Chong movie.

  16. John Galt says:

    JG, RAB, it’s like a fucking hippy reunion round here! Good story RAB about the van – sounds like that Cheech and Chong movie.

    RAB certainly qualifies, but I was from the Marillion era which was more prog-rock. Went to see them and Jethro Tull at the Milton Keynes Bowl in 1986. Bloody fantastic. Shame I never got to see Queen though.

    Can’t do the old whacky any more as it completely fucks-up my concentration and what with the mandatory random drug tests* that go on in the financial institutions, it’s not a smart move. Last spliff I had was Amsterdam in 1997.

    * – In one or two of the banks and oil companies I worked at the top performers never got tested even though one or two of them had weekend coke habits. If you weren’t performing and they wanted you out without having to pay your contractual bonus and/or termination payments (standard for city traders), then you’d get a Monday morning “random” drug test.

  17. NickM says:

    I am moderately amazed no bugger has said, “And then the Shop keeper arrived….”

  18. Talwin says:

    I bought (and enjoyed) his diaries: and so must have umpteen others, for they were very popular. I paid to attend one of his ‘An evening with Tony Benn’ shows in a packed Preston Guildhall. The show toured the country. He was as relaxed and confident as you might expect, but his tales were straight lifts from his diaries.

    If he only got paid for a quarter of his various TV appearances, he would have made a shed-load of cash.

    I reckon he was worth a fortune (no problem for me) and, therefore qualified as a typical, modern socialist.

  19. Another Anne says:

    RAB watches The Chase! The Governess is so pleased!

  20. RAB says:

    Heavens to mergatroid! If that is the real Frosty Knickers above, and the email address suggests that it may well be,,,, a huge welcome to our humble blog dear lady.

    Yes I watch the Chase. It is a good format with proper questions, a quality crew of Chasers and a very amusing and able presenter in Bradley Walsh.

    I have always loved quizzes. The wife and I used to play in the Bristol Quiz League (the oldest in the country apparently) for a team called the Lings… er Quizlings,,, geddit? Yes of course you do, I winced too, but they had long chosen the name before we joined.

    Anyway us Lings were good, very good. It was a five person team format but we usually managed with four, We were a very balanced team too. Dave, our captain, did all the usual standard quiz stuff…Flags of all nations, capital cities etc plus maths and science; Ian, an economics grad, good on politics etc, my wife Ness on Art and Classical music, and me on general knowledge, history, and of course Rock Pop and Jazz. So good that we won the League 3 times in a row.

    Now we were only playing for fun, book tokens, a few pints and a night out, but the rivalry was intense. The runners up to us were very jealous and obviously decided to do something about it, so they got in a ringer!

    The opening match of the next season they had a new member. He was a man mountain of a bloke, like Hoss Cartwright on steroids and a brain to match. He then proceeded to answer all the questions for them. At half time when you get the drinks in, I decided to chat to this bloke to find out who he was. Turns out he is a teacher from Newport who went to university with one of our nearest rivals. Funny I thought… Newport and Bristol are only 40 minutes apart by car but it’s a long way for a few pints and book tokens.

    Well you will have guessed it by now Anne, the new member was the Beast… Mark Labbett. Our deadly rivals had brought in a bleedin professional! Boy did that piss us off! I don’t blame Mark, but sometimes when I watch the show I am sorely tempted to apply to be on the show just to go head to head with him. Mark will confirm this story I’m sure.

  21. John Galt says:

    Chances of being the real Anne Hegerty are somewhere close to zero unfortunately. :-(

    The Chase is quite good though. The few times I’ve watched it I’ve got about 1 in every 3 or 4 questions. Mark Labbett is very impressive, although a complete narcissistic poseur.

  22. RAB says:

    You’re more than likely right John. The email address I got was……….. but you know much more about computers than I. I suppose it’s not hard to phony up that is it?

    And you’re right about Mark. He is a nasty arrogant win at all costs and gloat about it sort of bloke. Our rival team won the next season entirely down to him. How could the rest of the team take pride in that sort of victory? The Lings left the League then and other teams did too. It almost broke the League up, but it still limps on, just. He left such a bad smell behind him.

    The other Chasers are magnanimous when they lose and often praise the contestants for their sterling efforts, but not him. He is a bloody smart guy though.

  23. NickM says:

    Never seen “The Chase” but it appears a lot in the th “Dumb Britain” section of PI for staggering pignorance. I do though quite like “Pointless”. And I do miss “15-1″ from C4 which was of course replaced by Noel Edmonds big money guessing game. Another shaved turd from the People who gave us “Big Brother”. I can do the voice you know…

  24. NickM says:

    I do though like University Challenge and am fucking good at it. I tend to ace the sci/maths but am quite good at the other stuff. I was a bit pissed that Manchester lost in the semi to Trinity, Cambridge. Not least because the extremely good Manchester Captain was bloody goo looking. And I guess at some level I tend to identify with this area now. I mean after the second time you get beaten-up somewhere…. It kinda feels like home.

  25. Another Anne says:

    No, it is actually me, and RAB, could you redact my email address before it gets flooded? Ta ever so. I’ve been lurking here for years (also Samizdata, Mr Puddlecote, David Thompson etc).

    The Manchester UC team is coached by a guy whose team I played against on Saturday, and they absolutely mullered us (we were more thoroughly beaten by them than by the team that had Kevin Ashman and Pat Gibson on), so you can tell how well coached they are.

    Mark has a large personality, I quite agree, but I wouldn’t get on with him so well if he were a narcissistic poseur. If you were talking about C J de Mooi, now …

  26. RAB says:

    Oh my god! My profuse apologies Anne. It has now been removed. I have only now gotten round to it. We are in a cottage in Dorset for a week, and have been walking the Bonkers dog down to the Old Harry Rocks for most of the day, and only just got back. Plus I am on the laptop with the bastard useless dongle again, which is slower than dial up. Plus I really am computer illiterate so it has taken me half an hour to figure out how do do it.

    Keep on lurking, but the odd comment would be better ;-)

  27. John Galt says:

    :-) Chuckles Buggerlugs the Third will be along any minute, I guarantee it!

  28. RAB says:

    Na not him… The site doesn’t cater for comments in green ink. ;-)

  29. Another Anne says:

    No worries, RAB. I spent a night in my cousin’s cottage in Tolpuddle a couple of months ago – lovely place, but the wifi was unspeakably shit. :)

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