January 6th, 2014

Simon Hoggart 1947 – 2014

Guido particularly enjoyed one of Hoggart’s last pieces about learning Tony Benn ‘loathed’ him:

“To be loathed by Tony Benn is something any political writer of my age would sell their grannies for. I feel humbled by his hatred. He got almost everything wrong – not least the cuckoo behaviour that helped usher in Margaret Thatcher’s long reign. Or take his trip to the Chinese embassy after Mao’s death, recorded in an earlier volume of his diaries. He says that he was “a great admirer of Mao … he made mistakes, because everybody does”. True enough. I certainly do. But my mistakes do not make me possibly the greatest mass killer in history. Here are the figures: Number of innocent people who died in the Great Leap Forward, through Mao’s policies for the countryside and from mass executions: between 40 and 65 million. Number of deaths caused by me: 0. But Benn greatly admired Mao.”



  1. 1
    Fundamentals says:

    What is the point in saying RIP?


    • 3
      DR says:

      Simply a mark of respect, you oaf!


      • 6
        That is silly says:

        Then it is pointless. No living person can grant a dead person peace. If it is a mark of respect then it would be far more honest to say I respected him or her.


        • 11
          Agent Zed says:

          That’s torn it.


        • 13
          Polite Society says:

          It is a wish, not a command.


        • 14
          M­­a­q­bo­ul says:

          It is a wish, not a bequest. Now..



        • 15
          Casual Observer 5 says:

          You are Tony Benn and I claim my five pounds.

          RIP Simon


        • 17
          Julian says:

          How do you know what happens to some one when they are dead?
          I don’t mean brain dead of which you are, admittedly, an authority.


          • Anonymous says:

            This is a problem that is facing doctors more and more. When is a person dead? The accepted definition (today) is being challenged now that it is possible to resuscitate a person whose heart has stopped beating and lungs have stopped breathing and “brain death” is not in the few minutes it was thought to be.

            There was a time that a corpse would not be declared dead until it started decomposing, that may have to be revisited.


          • Nick Clegg, Cockroach-in-Chief says:

            There’s life in the coalition yet.


        • 51
          Adam Smith says:

          Actually it’s Requiescat in Pace, May he rest in peace.


  2. 2
    Little English People says:

    Anyone hated by the vile Benn is ok in my book.


    • 19
      Jabba Le Chat says:



    • 24
      Spotty Dog says:

      Bill was always the nice one, not Benn.

      Farewell Simon.


    • 30
      I hate socialists. says:

      Tony Benn is a typical champagne socialist .This is probably where Ed Miliband
      got his communist dogma from when Benn came round to the Miliband Marxist
      family house.


      • 36
        Village Idiot says:

        ….I am not sure,but I believe Benn tapes all his words for the benefit of…er… …Oh,yes, his over inflated ego….ffs


        • 41
          2nd Viscount Stansgate says:

          But I’m a national treasure don’t you know – just ask the BBC


          • Only chavs shop at Tesco says:

            National treasure? National hypocrite, more like. He gave up the title and kept the money, the property and the privilege. The revelation that his snake-like son, the Boy Named Hilary, was panicking about IHT says all we need to know about this prominent “socialist” family. Walk past Wedgie Senior’s house in Holland Park sometime, and take in who the neighbours are. Socialist? There’s as much wealth there as in Chelsea or St John’s Wood.


  3. 4
    Time to correct untruths creeping in says:

    I wish some of the MSM would stop saying that the state pension is a benefit.

    True it is for recent arrivals to the UK and those who have chosen a life of daytime sofa.

    But for the majority, the pension is not a benefit and is wholly conditional on a working lifetime of national Insurance contributions.


    • 16
      M­­a­q­bo­ul says:

      Recent arrivals don’t get the state pension. You need to have made 30 years of NI contributions to get the full state pension.


      • 29
        Interesting says:

        So, the state pension is fully dependent on having paid regular premiums over a working like. And the only connection to a benefit would be for those who have not paid their full premiums and are helped out by the benefits system?


      • 61
        Mr Quelch says:

        Er no, you can get Pension Credit of £130 pw even if you’ve never paid tax or NI contributions.


  4. 5
    And yet Al Campbell is still alive says:

    A good man. RIP


  5. 7
    Adam Smith says:

    My enemy’s enemy is my friend.



  6. 8
    Thinking about it says:

    I didnt mind listening to him. I am appropriately sad, not too much as I didnt know the man, but in a reflective way.


  7. 9
    Ed Balls says:

    Ed Balls


  8. 10
    webwrights says:

    Oh hell, that really is savage and sad news. I knew him only slightly, and lost regular contact several years ago when I moved out of London, but he was always the most glorious company.


    • 43
      Sir Michael White says:

      You are Kimberly Quinn (or is it Quim?), and I claim my five pounds!

      P.S. Blunkers sends his regards.


  9. 12

    He is not dead, I am told.

    He is just writing a very long sketch.


  10. 18
    M­­a­q­bo­ul says:

    Which is worse: to be loathed by Tony Benn or to be called a “dear old chum” by Sir Michael White ?


  11. 22
  12. 23
    Fuck the LibLabCon says:

    Gordon Brown has been seen!



    • 28
      Brownian motion says:

      That’s because there will soon be well-paid vacancies in the English cricket hierarchy.

      Flower and Flowers are history. Out!


      • 58
        broderick crawford says:




  13. 26
    JH34989342529345 says:

    His quote about Benn is a perfect example of the thinking – if you can call it that – of the left.

    Another good one regards Ralph Miliband. He employed a researcher for one of his wafflefests who happened to have travelled throughout Soviet era East Germany.

    He eagerly enquired as to what she thought of the workers’ paradise. She told him she had been horrified at the sight of soldiers lying on the ground at the border railway stations, with belt-fed machine guns aimed at the underside of the outgoing trains ready to pick off anyone clinging to the bottom, trying to escape the socialist utopia.

    He refused to consider that such a thing existed. It’s not that he didn’t believe it, he just wouldn’t consider it.

    That’s why socialism ends up in death camps. The left have a hard-wired blind spot that prevents them recognising their own evil.


    • 39
      Cato Street Conspirator says:

      ‘He refused to consider that such a thing existed. It’s not that he didn’t believe it, he just wouldn’t consider it.’

      He was an anti-Stalinist Marxist, which is pretty clear from his books, if you’ve read any of them (which I doubt). He was never a member of the Communist Party and, in fact, the only party he’d belonged to was Labour.

      Your story is a lie.


  14. 31

    A polar vortex. That has to mean global warming. Definitely.



  15. 35
    Lakes Legend says:

    Got a last-minute ticket to see him at “Words by the Lake” in Keswick last March.
    His talk on Prime Ministers I have known was hilarious.
    The best one was when Margaret Thatcher was frightened of being tossed off when on a large gun platform.
    He says he never killed anyone but we nearly died laughing.


  16. 37
    Mike says:

    Was he the one who was doing Kimberley Quinn at some point?


  17. 38
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    Simon Hoggart 1947 – 2014

    It’s 1946 you know.


  18. 46
    Sunderland is a Labour ghetto thats why its shyte says:

    I loathe Benn and everything he has ever stood for,never did a days work in his life and as Hoggart remembers he got everything wrong.When he passes I will be as mean to his memory as the Marxist scum were about Mrs T.


    • 48
      JH34989342529345 says:

      You have to feel sorry for the left. All their heroes have died off with only Comrade Benn remaining to shuffle off this mortal coil, for whom the BBC will probably have a full two months of blanket-coverage-beatification to desperately try to ‘inform’ the proles of what a giant loss it is.

      Once the current crop of 60s student radicals have died off you only have shameless opportunists like Umunna left to fill in, and they don’t have a fucking clue what to do with their undeserved power other than fill their own pockets and Twitter feeds.


      • 49
        Sunderland is a Labour ghetto thats why its shyte says:

        Ummana a man educated beyond his intellect.


        • 67
          Only chavs shop at Tesco says:

          SILG, etc, etc. I was just telling a friend I’ll be pissing on Benn’s grave when the old fraud finally stops breathing. He said I’d better be quick as he’ll be there shitting on it! Ha!

          Just imagine the saturation coverage the Biased Bollox Corporation will come up with. It’ll make the hysteria surrounding the snuffing of that South African terrorist look anaemic.


  19. 47
    Raptor says:

    “He (Miliband senior) was an anti-Stalinist Marxist.”

    A Trot, then.


  20. 50
    Tony Benn is scum says:

    Tony Benn, an utter twat. Used to love strutting around pretending he fought the Nazis, even lied about it when ranting at John Bolton.
    The truth was that his dad fixed it for him so that his entire war service was spent as an RAF Pilot Officer gunning his Spitfire around the skies above Rhodesia. He didn’t meet many Fokkers there except himself. Never once saw real active service. The BBC of course love him.


    • 52
      JH34989342529345 says:

      The twat got to fly Spitfires?

      I hate him even more. What a waste of the most beautiful machine ever made.


      • 53
        Tony Benn is scum says:

        Knowing what Benn is like, it was probably his batman that flew the Spitfire whilst he quaffed pink gins in the officer’s mess, making up stories about what a war hero he was buzzing all those kaffirs in the bush.
        The man is an utter shite of the first order.


        • 54
          Sunderland is a Labour ghetto thats why its shyte says:

          I met Benn once and asked him why the Sun which he loathed was bought in its millions by the working class he didnt say a word just pissed of with his frien Chriss Mullin two useless twats together!


          • Tony Benn is scum says:

            I passed by Mullins once in the corridors of the National Crime Squad (where I used to worked). He was there to stir the shit as usual. I just sneered at the little maggot. I think he got the message.


        • 73
          What?. says:

          Had a ‘bloody good war’, then.


    • 65
      Steve says:

      It’s correct that he was a pilot officer in southern Africa undergoing training. I’m not sure they trained in Spitfires. The rest of what you say in just nonsense.


  21. 55
    Nigel's Red Barrel says:

    I’ll never forgive him for getting rid of Radio Caroline and Radio London when he was minister for posts and telecommunications

    Horrible Marxist bastard..


  22. 59
    No such thing as Happy New Year in Edinburgh shitty! Same Auld Leeching Tripe over & over again! says:



  23. 62
    Another Benn hater says:

    Wonderful writer, only one worth reading on the Grauniad.


  24. 64
    Directorate of Non-Compliance says:

    Thanks to all who have posted little nuggets of information about Benn. Very useful in confirming the overall picture. The posh Socialists are the worst; much prefer the cloth-cap chaps from the North East – they may be misguided but at least they are genuine.


  25. 68
    Susan Bor says:

    Lord Stansgate looked down on him because he was not upper-class? Tells us all we want to know about him.

    RIP Simon


  26. 75
    Keiran Francis says:

    Just for the record Tim Loughton never posted a comment about me on this blog.

    Anyone can post on this blog assuming whatever name they wish to use.

    In fact I could have posted it myself and then claimed it was from him or anyone else

    Although its been used on a blog site as proof of it being posted by TIm Loughton, its complete garbage to think he posted it.

    Notice that the original post was edited when it was used on a certain blog too.


  27. 76
    Mick E Mouse says:

    So claiming a post even edited is by the author it says is really unreliable?

    Oh dear, looks like someone owes someone an apology


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