"When you get to No 10, you've climbed there on a little ladder called 'the status quo'.And when you are there, the status quo looks very good" - House of Commons, 1995."If I rescued a child from drowning, the press would no doubt headline the story: 'Benn grabs child"' - 1975, on his cynical attitude towards the media."I am a public library" - Newspaper interview, July, 1999."If the Queen can reject the advice of a minister on a little thing like a postage stamp, what would happen if she rejected the advice of the Prime Minister on a major matter?If the Crown personally can reject advice, then, of course, the whole democratic facade turns out to be false" - When, in the 1960s, as Postmaster General, he tried to have the Queen's head removed from stamps.
"Marxism is now a world faith and must be allowed to enter into a continuous dialogue with other world faiths, including religious faiths" - In a lecture in 1982.I opposed the Libyan bombing and I opposed the Gulf war and I never believed that any of those principled arguments lost a single vote - indeed, I think they gained support though that was not why you did it.What has been lacking in Labour politics over a long period is a principled stand" - 1992.The second is the realm of ideas where I try to be very free" - 1971."The crisis that we inherit when we come to power will be the occasion for fundamental change and not the excuse for postponing it" - Labour Party conference, 1973.