Tony Benn

Goodbye Tony. There were many things about which we might disagree. However no one could take issue with the way you supported the working class of the UK.Together with Denis Healey you mght have conquered the world. Compared to the present day apparatchiks and nomenklatura of the so-called Labour movement you were a giant. Sorely missed.

Yes David. I never met the man but several people I knew, very political sociologists (well, once they were) like Tony Giddens and David Held knew him well and always spoke of him with the greatest respect. He kept the two parts of the Labour Party well apart, even contributed to the SDP lot going their own way. Shirley Williams was on Newsnight last night and poured scorn on him, which disturbed me because the BBC could have done better than choose her. Well, Dianne Abott was very much more token than the other, so that was a really poor show.

I always found him, like Eric Hobsbawm, just a bit too bourgeois in their Hampstead 'castles', but as a great liberal and fighter for a cause Benn was inspiring. He will go down as one of the great, last left wingers, let Miliband take note and learn from that message. He will indeed be sorely missed.

My first job (absolute heaven for a bookworm like myself) was Assistant Librarian at the Oxford Union Society. Tony was one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. Whenever he came in the first people he made a bee line for were the likes of myself. A man who practised what he believed and morally sound. Greatest respect for him, for me a Grandfather figure - and my Grandfather was to be admired and loved.