"Old Labour" socialist, Tony Benn was a Labour MP until 2001, when he retired "to spend more time on politics". He famously renounced his peerage in the 1960s in order to remain in the House of Commons.
These are the answers which we judge Tony Benn would have given to the survey. Where appropriate, answers are accompanied by a rationale which explains why we believe this person would have given the answers we claim.
|New roads and railways should be built by private companies, not the government.|
|Services like health care, education and social security should be provided by the government, not by private enterprise.|
|Sometimes interest rates should be raised to reduce inflation, even if doing so would cause a large number of job losses.|
|Drivers should pay enough tax to cover the cost of environmental damage caused by motor transport, even if that would price some people off the roads.|
|The wealthy should pay a larger proportion of their income in tax than the poor.|
|The government should raise revenue by taxing consumption rather than income.|
|Overall, economic migrants bring benefits to our country.|
|The government should subsidise farmers so that they stay in business, even if it would be cheaper to buy food from abroad.|
|Smokers should be required to kick the habit before receiving medical care for smoking-related illnesses.|
|Everyone bears a moral responsibility for the actions of their government, even when they do not support them.|
|Anybody who wants top-quality health care should expect to have to pay for it.|
|The mix of minorities in public institutions should reflect their numbers in the general population.|
|Having individual local representatives is more important than electing parties in exact proportion to their support.|
|Officials like public prosecutors should be directly elected rather than chosen by the government.|
|For society to be cohesive, it is important that everyone shares a common language.|
|Legal protection for free expression creates more trouble than it's worth.|
|Nobody should go hungry, even if they refuse to work.|
|Some art should receive government funding.|
|Our nation has a glorious history.|
|A person's social status shouldn't depend on who their parents are.|
|We should offer sanctuary to anybody fleeing persecution.|
|There are some ethnic groups who can never be fully integrated into our society.|
|Everyone should stand up for the National Anthem.|
|Class distinctions should exist.|
|To protect society from drug abuse, narcotics must be banned.|
Benn favours an inquiry into cannabis laws. Presumably this means entertaining the possibility of liberalisation of cannabis laws.
|Alcohol is a more dangerous drug than marijuana.|
|Shared religious beliefs should be an important part of our society.|
|Family is more important than society.|
|Sometimes the only way to make a legitimate point of view heard is to break the law.|
|Our society needs more lawyers.|
|Some crimes are so serious that the only proper punishment is the death penalty.|
|Dealing with nuisance crimes like petty vandalism makes serious crime less likely.|
|Everyone should have the right to trial by jury.|
|It's more important to rehabilitate criminals than to punish them.|
|It is only acceptable to use proportionate force to defend your property from criminals.|
|Members of our society should be familiar with the history and traditions of our culture.|
|Overall, young people benefit from compulsory military service.|
|Schools should concentrate on training people for the workforce.|
|Schools should not teach children anything which contradicts their parents' religious faith.|
|Some people should not have access to the Internet.|
|Correct grammar is important.|
|Scientists bear no moral responsibility for how their discoveries are used.|
|Some technologies should never be used, whatever their benefits.|
See, for instance, his views on nuclear power.
|Some medical research would require so many animal experiments that it should not be done, whatever the benefits.|
Benn is a vegetarian and prominent anti-vivisectionist.
|Religious faith should be based on the literal word of God.|
|There is a place for organised religion in government.|
Benn disestablishment of the Church of England.
|There are some sexual acts which are immoral, even between consenting adults.|
|It is immoral to be lazy.|
|It is never moral to break the law.|
|No woman should be allowed to have an abortion, whatever the circumstances.|
|National law should always override international agreements.|
Although Benn berates the US for breaking international law in its foreign policy, he was strongly opposed to British membership of the Common Market in the 1970s. See, for instance, this report of his remarks on the European Single Currency.
|Sometimes civilians are a legitimate military target.|
|The people of this country have a very different character to those of our neighbours.|
|Aid projects abroad should always be funded by charities, not the taxpayer.|
|It's acceptable for a businessman to bribe a foreign official to complete a sale.|
|Our armed forces should intervene to stop genocide in other countries.|
Not clear. Benn complained that NATO intervention in Kosovo aided the KLA in their policy of ethnic cleansing.
|Our sense of right and wrong comes from religious faith.|
|Children should always obey their parents.|
|In the right circumstances, cutting taxes can increase government revenue.|
|Economic globalisation will increase inequality.|
|It's more important to make the poor richer than to decrease the gap between rich and poor.|
|There is a danger that some large corporations will become more powerful than governments.|
|Aggressive foreign policies can put a stop to international terrorism.|
|Drug abuse is a problem primarily because of its effects on drug users, not its effects on the rest of society.|
|The only way for some workers to achieve fair pay is through collective bargaining.|
|Nobody should be sacked for going on strike.|
|Small businesses are more important to the economy than large corporations.|
|The government should act to stop companies paying executives excessive salaries.|
|Workers in the public sector should be paid as much as those doing similar jobs in private industry.|
Political Survey: an open, honest version of politicalcompass.org.
Copyright © 2003 Chris Lightfoot. Available under a Creative Commons Licence.
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